The Fight Is On For Veterinary Homeopathy

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The Conneticut Veterinary Medical Association has submitted a resolution to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) that “proposes that AVMA have a policy that states homeopathy is an ineffective practice and that its use as a veterinary therapy be discouraged.”

The CVMA believes:

  1. Safety and efficacy of veterinary therapies should be determined by scientific investigation. When sound and widely accepted scientific evidence demonstrates a given practice as ineffective or that it poses risks greater than its possible benefits, such ineffective or unsafe philosophies and therapies should be discarded.
  2. In keeping with AVMA policy on Complementary and Alternative Veterinary Medicine, AVMA discourages the use of therapies identified as unsafe or ineffective, and encourages the use of the therapies based upon sound, accepted principles of science and veterinary medicine.
  3. Homeopathy has been conclusively demonstrated to be ineffective.

A background statement asserts, “Specific veterinary therapies may be identified by the AVMA as unsafe or ineffective based on a thorough evaluation of the available scientific evidence and a general agreement among scientists that the balance of the evidence demonstrates the practice to be ineffective or unsafe.”

The background goes on to state that the theoretical foundations of homeopathy are inconsistent with established scientific principles, clinical trials have shown homeopathy to be ineffective in treating or preventing disease, and the use of ineffective therapies to the exclusion of established treatment may endanger patients.

A Rebuttal

Of course, here at Dogs Naturally, we view things a bit differently. This resolution is insulting to the wonderful vets who give freely of their time to write for the magazine, the supposed colleagues of the veterinarians making these claims. Fair is fair, so here is our rebuttal to the CVMA.

“Safety and efficacy of veterinary therapies should be determined by scientific investigation.”

Homeopathy has been scientifically proven as both safe and effective. Repeatedly. The research is there but the veterinary associations turn a blind eye to it. Although veterinary research has been limited, here are a few studies showing the efficacy of homeopathy:

The most compelling research however, is human research. The following is an except from Extraordinary Medicine.

A meta-analysis is a study of studies, a totaling of results reached in a group of them. The Faculty of Homeopathy did a meta-meta-analysis, and found: “Four of five major comprehensive reviews of RCTs in homeopathy have reached broadly positive conclusions. Based on a smaller selection of trials, a fifth review came to a negative conclusion about homeopathy.”

The four:

Kleijnen J, Knipschild P, ter Riet G. Clinical trials of homeopathy. Br Med J 1991; 302: 316–23.

Linde K, Clausius N, Ramirez G, et al. Are the clinical effects of homoeopathy placebo effects? A meta-analysis of placebo-controlled trials. Lancet 1997; 350: 834–43.

Linde K, Scholz M, Ramirez G, et al. Impact of study quality on outcome in placebo controlled trials of homeopathy. J Clin Epidemiol 1999; 52: 631–6.

Cucherat M, Haugh MC, Gooch M, Boissel JP. Evidence of clinical efficacy of homeopathy – A meta-analysis of clinical trials. Eur J Clin Pharmacol 2000; 56: 27–33.

This is the fifth

Shang, A. et al, Are the clinical effects of homoeopathy placebo effects? Comparative study of placebo-controlled trials of homoeopathy and allopathy Lancet 2005; 366: 726–32

They took 110 placebo-controlled studies of homeopathy, and concluded that homeopathy has no more effect than placebo, based on eight of them. But they did not—and will not—reveal which eight, making a mockery of the research principles of transparency and reproducibility. That and other flaws made this “research” an utter failure. But it was widely publicized in the media—causing bitter consequences for homeopaths and their patients, especially in the UK.

There is a lot more research proving the efficacy of homeopathy. Read Extraordinary Medicine to view their entire list.

“AVMA discourages the use of therapies identified as unsafe or ineffective”

This isn’t entirely true. The preeminent veterinary researcher, Dr Ronald Schultz states that Kennel Cough is “not a vaccinatable disease.” Yet it’s highly likely that the members of the AVMA and CVMA routinely vaccinate for kennel cough.

In the first eight years after the release of veterinary NSAIDs, Food and Drug (FDA) records show 3,200 dogs died or had been put down after taking the drugs. Almost 19,000 dogs had bad reactions to them.

Through November 2004, the FDA received almost 13,000 adverse-event reports for the NSAID Rimadyl, far more than for any other dog pain reliever. Yet, vets prescribe these drugs on a regular basis.

Is the risk of adverse events worth the benefit that NSAIDS provide your dog? Well, it seems that it’s been scientifically proven that NSAIDS actually impair bone and ligament healing! And, it’s been scientifically proven that the homeopathic product ZEEL is just as effective as Carprofen in the treatment of arthritis in animals.

Finally, the veterinary association gives the impression that if somebody brought forth scientific evidence that homeopathy was an effective treatment modality, they would endorse it. Well, the veterinary associations were presented with valid scientific studies showing that the core vaccines last for at least 7 years in dogs in the early 1980’s. For over 30 years, they have been fully aware of this research and Dr Shultz has repeated it over and over again. Read more about vaccine DOI here.

Dr Bob Rogers hired a Chicago based law firm and initiated a class action suit for pet owners who were not given informed consent and full disclosure prior to vaccination administration. His article entitled “The Courage to Embrace the Truth”, states “While attending conferences like WSVMA and NAVMC I have asked over 400 DVMs from various parts of the country if they attended the seminars on New Vaccination Protocols. I was told by all but one, “I don’t care what the data says, I am not changing.”

Therein lies the real problem. The evidence is there but nobody is listening.

“Homeopathy has been conclusively demonstrated to be ineffective”

“Those who would attack homeopathy state clearly that it has been proven not to work. However, all science and philosophy tells us that you cannot prove a negative” says Dr Christopher Day VMD. “Furthermore, why ignore the scientific work that has been published, just because it doesn’t fit the paradigm? Plenty of work is published to show that homeopathy is different from placebo. If more scientific published work is required, those who clamour for the proof should abandon their total trust in and dependence on the sacred cow of randomised double-blind, cross-over trials, that currently hold pride of place. That form of trial is arguably a good tool to examine the efficacy of medicines that are designed simply to suppress symptoms (as long as you trust their veracity*); they are a hopeless tool for examining the capability of a medicine to heal a patient and which has no intention of suppressing symptoms.”

Scientific evidence has been corrupted into a buzzword used to discredit homeopathy and other so-called alternative health care methods.  ”Evidence based” means that data from randomized controlled studies provides certainty about whether a treatment will work and is safe.  The reality is 66% of the treatment procedures and drugs that are commonly used in conventional medicine have no or little evidence to recommend them either. (British Medical Journal, 2007)  Many procedures have serious complications and many drugs create difficult and unwanted effects.  It is these issues that drive pet owners toward less harmful and health promoting approaches in the first place.

Below is the breakdown of clinical evidence for 2,500 common medical treatments from the study in the British Medical Journal.*

Graph showing breakdown of clinical evidence for 2,500 common medical treatments from the study in the British Medical Journal.

That’s a big grey area on the left, isn’t it?  Add “unlikely,” “likely to be ineffective or harmful,” and “trade-off,” and that’s two-thirds of conventional medical treatments with dubious benefit.

What You Can Do

Dogs Naturally Magazine, in cooperation with the Canadian Consumers Centre for Homeopathy needs your support to fight back against these unsubstantiated claims. Please sign our petition against this resolution and we will present it to the AVMA. Protect your right to protect your pet from harmful and ineffective treatment options.

Please sign our petition and tell us your stories about how Veterinary Homeopathy helped your pet, especially after conventional medicine failed. You could get your story published in Dogs Naturally Magazine and we’re giving out a free print subscription to 10 lucky pet owners who send us their stories.

Comment or send your emails to

We can change the world, one dog at a time!

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