How many times have you heard that homeopathy is nothing but a joke or “I tried it, but it didn’t work’?  Here is a recent study that shows homeopathy can be just as effective as expensive pharmaceuticals – and much safer.

According to recent research from Germany, “The authors compared the symptomatic effectiveness of a complex homeopathic preparation Zeel (1-3 tablets orally per day depending on body weight) to carprofen (4 mg/kg body weight) in dogs (n=68) aged >1 yr diagnosed with osteoarthritis in a multicenter, prospective, observational open-label cohort study in 12 German veterinary clinics. The active treatment period was 56 days.”

“Symptomatic effectiveness, lameness, stiffness of movements, and pain on palpation were evaluated by treating veterinarians and owners. Clinical signs of osteoarthritis improved significantly (P <0.05) at all time points (days 1, 28, and 56) with both therapies. At the end of the treatment period, effectiveness was comparable in both groups,” wrote S. Neumann and colleagues, University of Gottingen.

The researchers concluded: “Both treatment regimens were well tolerated with only three treatment-related adverse events, all in the carprofen group. (J Am Anim Hosp Assoc 2011; 47: 12-20. DOI 10.5326/JAAHA-MS-5483).”

Assuming that there were 34 dogs in each group, we can deduct that 9% of the dogs on carprofen had an adverse reaction.

Those are pretty high odds when there is a homeopathic alternative that is equally effective, much cheaper and very safe…and can be purchased without a prescription.  Yet vets continue to reach for the pharmaceuticals and we allow them to do so.  If your dog suffers from arthritis and is on NSAIDs, consult with your vet and ask her to read this important research…and pass this information on to as many dog owners as possible.

Too many vets and dog owners dismiss homeopathy as nothing but a placebo and we need more people to be aware of this type of research, especially in North America where research is sparse.  If we as dog owners demand this type of product and can support its effectiveness with clinical research, we can help educate veterinarians and pet owners on the effectiveness of integrative medicine.  If we don’t do participate in our vets’ education, then the pharmaceutical companies will.  We as consumers can influence the type of products our vets prescribe – let’s use our voices and help dogs avoid the dangerous side effects of NSAIDs.

Neumann and colleagues published their study in the Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association (Effectiveness of the Homeopathic Preparation Zeel Compared with Carprofen in Dogs with Osteoarthritis. Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association, 2011;47(1):12-20).

For additional information, contact S. Neumann, University of Gottingen, Clinic Small Animal, Institute Vet. Medical, D-3400 Gottingen, Germany.

Publisher contact information for the Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association is: American Animal Hospital Association, PO Box 150899, Lakewood, CO 80215-0899, USA.