Welcome to the exciting possibilities of homeopathic treatment for your pets!!
Homeopathy is a system of medicine that was pioneered by Dr. Samuel Hahnemann in Europe in the 19th century. Based on the principle “Similimum similibus curantur” or “Like cures like”, homeopathic practitioners have found that substances that produce symptoms similar to the symptoms of disease can be used to cure that disease. These substances are specially prepared so that they have no toxic “side effects”. They have the additional advantage of being very easy to administer.
The homeopathic practitioner acknowledges that everyone is genetically unique and that even individuals with the same diagnosis can have symptoms that are different from each other. The treatment is based upon the physiologic response of the individual patient and not on a generalized diagnosis that lumps patients together into a more general disease category. As an example, two puppies might have been diagnosed with parvo. One, in addition to the typical vomiting and diarrhea, is not drinking and wants to be outside in the cool grass with air on her face, responds well to being coddled and fussed over and has a yellow nasal discharge. The other has no discharge, is very thirsty, wants to be inside near the heater, is incredibly weak yet can’t stay still in one place for very long. Even though both have parvo, each is responding to it differently and each would get a different homeopathic remedy.
When treating with any system of medicine, it is important to understand the difference between palliation, suppression and cure. The symptoms you see during an illness are not the disease itself, but the body responding to the disease. Forcing the symptoms to disappear with medication is not the same as curing the disease.
If a disease is truly cured, the symptoms will go away and stay away permanently without further treatment. Once cured, the patient will return to his or her former level of health and vitality. This process can take time and often the body must produce discharges or other symptoms as it works its way back to health.
If a disease is being palliated, the symptom or symptoms disappear, usually very quickly, but if the medication is stopped, the symptoms eventually come back. Over time with palliation you often need to use more and more medication to stop the symptoms and many times other problems arise because the underlying imbalance that produced the symptoms in the first place is still present.
Suppression occurs when a symptom goes away, perhaps permanently, but a deeper, more serious problem emerges. An example would be a dog that is treated for an inflammatory skin condition with anti-inflammatory medications and shampoos. The skin condition clears up, but later the dog has symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease or inflammation in the liver. Traditional western medicine may treat these as unrelated diseases, but a homeopath would see the same disease being driven deeper into the body by a treatment that suppressed symptoms but did not cure the problem.