Hello, my name is Margarida and I’m from Portugal. I know this is made for owners questions but I am a veterinarian too (hope you don’t mind).
I am taking this opportunity to speak to you because here in Portugal there are still very few holistic veterinarians and maybe none that practice homeopathy. But since I discovered Dogs Naturally and started researching, I’ve changed a lot my practice and started getting very interested in homeopathy. I’ve seen it work a lot with myself and even with animals that I have been treating with the help of colleagues in Brazil. So I read the book: “Homeopathic Care for Cats and Dogs” from Don Hamilton and I loved it but I realized it is not enough for veterinarian practice so I want to ask you if you can give me some advices about which book I should purchase including a repertory and “materia medica” so I can learn and practice more of homeopathy in Portugal. Thank you very much.
Welcome to Dogs Naturally, Dr Margarida,
It is fantastic that you discovered veterinary homeopathy. Homeopathic healing can absolutely transform your practice. A small, affordable, and reliable homeopathic Materia Medica *and* repertory is the one from Dr. William Boericke. It is readily available both online and in some bookstores (in the US). Naturereveals.com is a good source for homeopathic books. Other wonderful (and reliable) books such as Kent’s Repertory and Hering’s Guiding Symptoms of our Materia Medica and Allen’s Encyclopedia are available online at homeoint.org.
As a budding veterinary homeopath, you could also join the AVH. We would love to help you learn this fantastic modality. AVH will offer you educational support, both one on one as well as through our active email forum, at our monthly webinars and annual conferences. Feel free to contact one of us through Dogs Naturally or theavh.org.
Dear Dr Margarida,
Let me join with Dr Jeff in extending a warm welcome to you, and inviting your participation in the AVH.
You also have resources in Europe, such as the International Association for Veterinary Homeopathy,
the British Association of Homeopathic Veterinary Surgeons, and the Faculty of Homeopathy
All three organizations sponsor and advertise training sessions in homeopathy. All three have regular meetings in Europe.
In addition, I would strongly recommend Saxton and Gregory’s “Textbook of Homeopathy” as an excellent resource. It is available from Freeman’s Homeopathic Pharmacy in the UK. Freeman’s stocks many of
their books and homeopathic remedies.
Good luck to you, and thank you for reaching out!
S.F. Chapman DVM, MRCVS, VetMFHom
Good luck with your studies.
Can you explain the difference between classical homeopathy and homotoxicology, besides the use of multiple remedies in a dose for homotoxicology and single remedies in classical usage? Are these combinations that contain sometimes dozens of remedies safe and/or effective? Seems like it is throwing the entire box of remedies at a problem hoping one will work!
Great question Sam,
As you aptly pointed out, the main difference between the two is the way that homeopathically prepared remedies are used. Hahnemannian or “classical” homeopaths use only one remedy of known (via proving and/or clinically) effects at a time. Homotoxicologists however use combinations (mixtures) of homeopathically prepared remedies. Since the pure effects of these mixtures are usually not known, they may or may not be truly homeopathic to the patient. It is important to understand this distinction.
I personally have no experience with homotoxicology but understand that when used by trained homotoxicologists, these remedy complexes can be both safe and effective. In fact, last year one of the main vet journals published a clinical study using homotoxicology and yet another about classical homeopathy (coauthored by an AVH veterinarian!).
Swollen Foot Pads
My dog has a sore hind foot. It has some swelling between the pads. I don’t see any cuts or objects stuck in his foot and he is now walking on it after one day of not walking on it. I think he may have stepped on a bee or wasp. I gave him OTC allergy meds per vet. Any home remedies for swollen foot pads? ~ Karen
When an animal has an injury which appears minor, you can often treat it very effectively at home. If there is profuse bleeding, intense pain, or the problem persists, then you will need to seek veterinary advice. Many of the same principles of first aid care apply for animals and people.
First, be safe. Even the gentlest animal can swing around and cause serious damage with those teeth if they are surprised; more difficult animals can be downright dangerous. Take precautions, and don’t get in a wrestling match.
Next, clean injured areas gently with warm water and a mild soap, and rinse them thoroughly. This will both clean off any debris, and in long haired animals, make it easier to see beyond the fluffy hair.
Examine the injury. As we are talking specifically about foot injuries, be sure to look between the pads on the bottom of the foot and between the toes on the top to make sure that nothing is stuck in the foot webbing or pads.
Common foot injuries causing swelling include:
Lacerations and punctures – Deep injuries, or those which fail to improve with first aid care, should be examined by a vet, as sutures may be required, or there could be foreign material lodged in a deep puncture. Minor lacerations or punctures from which a small piece of material such as a thorn is removed can be treated at home. Gently clean the affected area, and rinse with a cup of distilled water to which has been added a pinch of salt and 10 drops of Hypericum mother tincture and ten drops of Calendula mother tincture. Use this rinse once or twice daily, until the area is healed. Give dogs who have had puncture wounds one to three doses of Ledum 30C, twelve hours apart.
Bruises – Bruises can cause minor swelling of the toes. Soaking the foot in warm Epsom salt solution is quite soothing (just don’t let the dog drink the Epsom salts and gently rinse the foot afterwards). Arnica 30C, one to three times daily for a few days will help resolve most bruises.
Insect stings – Stings can cause dramatic swelling. As long as the dog is not showing extra pain, more general swelling or signs of shock, you can treat these at home. Remove the stinger if it has not already come out. Apis 30C every 4 to 6 hours (as needed) will help most bee stings which have a lot of swelling and feel better with cold applications. Intensely red and itchy stings are more likely to respond to Urtica 30C.
Toe fractures – Toe fractures can be intensely painful, so you will probably be going to the vet for X-rays to show that the toe is fractured. If the fracture is not open or displaced, it is better not to apply a bandage, as the other toes support the broken toe. Symphytum 30C once daily for a few days, then once weekly for three weeks will speed healing of the fracture.
S.F. Chapman DVM, MRCVS, VetMFHom
My 10 month old Cardigan Corgi just finished her first heat. I want to sterilize her but not before her growth plates are closed. When is that in a Cardi? If I have her uterus removed but leave the ovaries, will she still have bleeding heats?
The growth plates of most medium sized dogs, such as corgis, are closed by one year of age. Large and giant breeds take longer, up to two or even three years of age. I would urge all people to read the results of the Golden Retriever study.
This study indicates that the presence of sex hormones can decrease the incidence of some diseases, particularly cancers and joint problems. Other studies have clearly shown the dramatically increased incidence of spay incontinence in spayed female dogs. It is important to sterilize dogs to prevent unwanted pregnancies, and to prevent the high incidence of pyometra (infected uterus) in bitches older than six. Vasectomies and ovary sparing spays retain the beneficial effects of the sex hormones, while sterilizing the animal.
There is some controversy about the ovary sparing spay procedure. Many conventional vets oppose it on the ground that a female dog with ovaries is more likely to get mammary cancer. This is true, but that is an increased incidence of one kind of cancer; the ovaries appear to have a protective effect on the incidence of many more cancers.
Another argument is that if any little piece of the uterus is left in place, the female dog could develop a pyometra (infected uterus), a very dangerous situation. The uterus, including the cervix, must be removed in its entirety. This does mean that the incision will be a bit longer, and the vet will have to be careful to identify and remove the entire uterus and cervix. This should not be an argument against the procedure – as someone in my dog club said when I talked about the ovary sparing spay: “Vets doing surgery should know what part is what, right?” Yes, we should!
The Parsemus Foundation website has a video of the procedure, as well as a list of vets in the US and Canada performing the ovary sparing spay. I do not perform surgery, but the practice owner where I consult does this surgery. She performed this procedure on my own bitch, and it was pretty straightforward. Bitches sterilised in this manner will still show behavioural signs of heat – they will be attractive to males, urine mark, mount, act ‘lovey’ – but there will be no bleeding as the entire uterus and cervix are removed.
S.F. Chapman DVM, MRCVS, VetMFHom
Insecurity, Aggression and Sound Sensitivity
I have a 10 year old Brussels griffon who has been extremely nervous, insecure, a chronic barker and very sound sensitive since she was a puppy. Are there remedies to help calm and balance a dog that are not drug related?
I have been trying to treat aggressive behavior in my dog for the past four years using 3 different homeopaths. There has been no improvement in the aggressive behavior. The behavior started after he had neutering surgery. Is this typical? What can you suggest?
I have a foster dog (Belgian Malinois) that has aggression trigger issues, I have her on Volhard nutrition food in hopes that good food will balance any chemical imbalances. She is slowly getting happier, but it seems that certain sounds or smells trigger her reactiveness (barking and biting out of nowhere). She will be relaxed and happy, then hear or smell a perfume spray and instantly goes crazy and bites. Basically, I am doing everything that I know to do – diet, exercise, attention – and didn’t know if there is anything else that can help this dog.
I have a year old female rescue dog who is afraid of a lot of things, like something different in the room, people, wind, etc. I have tried numerous things for fear and anxiety, which only work for a little while. Any suggestions for her being almost normal and enjoying life? She is always breathing rapidly, has whale eye and a lot of runs. Thanks.
Hi Amber, Alina, Jessica and Gail,
Since you are all asking about treating behavioral problems with homeopathy, this response should apply to all of you. The short answer to whether homeopathic treatment, in my experience, can help your dogs is an emphatic yes!
Aggression, fears, phobias, lack of focus in training, etc., can often be helped with appropriate training and behavioral modification alone. Lifestyle alterations, such as increased mental and physical stimulation, diet upgrade (as mentioned by Jessica) and some supplements can also help. Melatonin, Harmonease, theanine, 5-HTP, and Rescue Remedy (which is a Bach Flower essence and not really a homeopathic remedy), all can be useful in taking the edge off anxious and aggressive dogs.
Some dogs however will not respond to these natural (or even heavy duty drug) treatments. Emotional, mental and behavioral problems often result primarily from an underlying energetic imbalance and will only partially improve with training or supplementation. These are the patients whose lives can be transformed by classical homeopathic treatment.
All of the thousands of homeopathic remedies can cause (and cure) mental and emotional symptoms. I do not advise trying different homeopathic remedies on your own in most behavior cases. Trying many different remedies can “muddy the waters” and make constitutional treatment more difficult. Unfortunately, our patients can’t tell us what they are feeling. Homeopathic testament of behavioral and emotional problems, though rewarding, is therefore often a process of exploring the meaning of different symptoms in order to find the most useful remedies.
So Alina, please continue to persevere on your path towards a homeopathic cure. It may seem circuitous and be difficult, but it is very worthwhile.
Good luck to you all.
Finding A Homeopathic Vet
I am trying to find a homeopathic vet in Oklahoma. I haven’t had any luck so far. Please help. I would even consider driving to Texas or Kansas.
~ Rhonda G.
The AVH veterinary homeopath referral database can be found both on Dogs Naturally and at the AVH. Unfortunately we have no OK members in our database, but you can find some members in TX. In addition, some of us can consult with you by telephone and Skype.
Regardless of who you choose, I’d advise working with someone who has a strong educational background in pure homeopathy. Mastering homeopathic practice while using multiple holistic modalities is very, very difficult.
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