Homeopathy for Horses and Ponies
Veterinary homeopathy offers an alternative and generally more positive outlook for horses and ponies suffering chronic and intractable disease. It is also very capable in the fields of first-aid, injury and acute disease. It is a safe and gentle therapy.
Homeopathy for horses and ponies follows similar principles to those of human homeopathy. The principles are the same. The medicines are the same. The methodology is the same. However, animals cannot speak so the homeopathic veterinarian (veterinary surgeon - vet) must use sharpened observational powers and deductive skills, to identify the patient's ideal medicine or remedy.
The principles of homeopathic medicine were worked out and laid down in the early nineteenth century, by a physician from Saxony - Samuel Hahnemann (1755 - 1843).
In c1813, Hahnemann gave the first known lecture on homeopathy for animals, in Leipzig.
History and Principles
Hahnemann's original work in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries has stood the test of time. There have been later developments but the basic work had been done in his lifetime.
He discovered the principle: "similia similibus curentur" - "let likes be cured by likes", which is a natural 'law'. Medicines are selected for the treatment of a diseased patient according to their ability to provoke similar symptoms in a healthy body.
Hahnemann refined the method by employing methodical but extreme dilutions for his medicines, called 'potencies', since the process involved serial dilution and succussion, rendering them extremely safe and paradoxically more medicinally powerful in their use.
Some of the diseases and conditions we treat
In horses and ponies, the most common calls on our homeopathic services are allergy, arthritis, auto-immune disease (autoimmune), bone cysts, colic, COPD, DJD, degenerative joint disease, ERU, grass sickness, itch, lameness, laminitis, ligament injury, moonblindness, navicular, OCD, osteochondritis, periodic ophthalmia, photosensitisation (photosensitivity), proud flesh, RAO, recurrent uveitis, sarcoids, sinusitis, spavin, sweet itch, tendon injury, ulcers, urticaria, uveitis, vaccination problems (vaccinosis), wind sucking, wobbler syndrome and wounds.
In some cases, diseases are better treated with an integrated combination of homeopathy with other therapies (e.g. Acupuncture and/or Herbal medicine - Herbs, Chiropractic).
A homeopathic vet should be able to explain the possibilities for you.
Common First-Aid Homeopathic Medicines
Many of these are available 'over-the-counter'
Aconitum - This remedy treats shock, both mental and physical and will also assist in the treatment of acute febrile conditions, such as viral or bacterial diseases. Any sudden-onset disturbance of equilibrium may be helped by Aconitum.
Apis - Urticarial swellings, oedema and fluid in joints will often respond to this remedy, apart from its benefits for burns and scalds or for insect bites and stings.
Arnica - Arnica is homeopathy's great injury remedy. Its use will minimise pain and bruising and will speed healing.
Belladonna - High fevers with head, ear, throat or eye pain are especially helped by this remedy. Very painful abscesses may also respond.
Bryonia - Arthritis, rheumatism, pneumonia or mastitis, when the animal refuses to move, are the main areas of use of Bryonia.
Calendula - Used as a lotion, this remedy speeds healing of cuts, grazes or open wounds, in addition to helping the animal to fight septic infection of such injuries.
Cantharis - This medicine helps most cases of cystitis.
Carbo veg. - This is nick-named the 'corpse reviver', on account of its ability to help patients in collapse. It is also used in cases of incarcerated flatus, such as equine colic.
Caulophyllum - The birth process, at all stages whether before, during or after, is helped by Caulophyllum.
Chamomilla - Teething in young animals and trouble from teething in any species will benefit from use of this remedy.
Colocynthis - Colic in horses would be the most common first-aid use of Colocynthis.
Euphrasia - With the folk-name 'eyebright', this remedy helps many eye conditions, including conjunctivitis from cold winds. It also helps in cases of sneezing and nasal allergy. It is also useful as a first-aid treatment for eye ulcers.
Glonoinium - First-aid remedy for heat stroke or heat distress (the AVMC uses a selected combination of remedies, for ill-effects of heat and heat stroke. Client reports are very satisfactory).
Hamamelis - Bleeding from wounds and orifices would indicate Hamamelis, in many cases.
Hepar sulph. - This is nick-named the 'homeopathic antibiotic', so effective is it in helping patients to fight septic, purulent infections and infected wounds.
Hypericum - Use this remedy whenever there is a painful graze or damage to tissues rich in nerve endings (e.g. hooves and tail). It is also used in cases of photosensitisation in horses and ponies.
Ledum - Use this whenever puncture wounds occur, from whatever injury. There are reputed anti-tetanus properties in addition to its ability to help such wounds heal correctly, from the depths outwards.
Nosodes - These are remedies made from diseases or disease material (e.g. discharges, tissues, secretions, excretions) and are used to help in treatment and prevention of specific infectious diseases.
Nux vomica - If an animal has stolen too much rich food or has had access to poisons, Nux vomica should help recovery from the resultant intoxication. It may also help cases of constipation and is a useful first-aid treatment in cases of equine colic.
Rhus tox. - This suits most cases of rheumatism and arthritis, that are worse for first movement but limber up.
Ruta - Ligaments, tendons and other fibrous tissues are the main areas of benefit of this remedy.
Silica - Helps the body to drive out foreign bodies, e.g. grass seeds and thorns.
Symphytum - Symphytum treats bone injuries of any type, speeding healing. In cases of bone fracture, Symphytum will speed healing and stimulate a better repair. Non-union fractures will also generally respond.
Urtica - This remedy treats nettle rash (urticaria) and helps the flow of milk from the mammary gland.
Homeopathy is safe for all ages and safe during pregnancy and lactation. Homeopathy cannot provoke antibiotic resistance in bacteria. Homeopathy provokes no side effects (adverse effects).
Antagonism to Homeopathy
There is a significant body of self-confessed enemies of homeopathy. They wrongly claim there is no science to support homeopathy. They refuse to spend their time observing the results of homeopathy (observation is the first requirement of good science). It is difficult to explain the hostility and aggression, unless fear is involved. What we don't understand, we fear. What we fear we destroy.
One day, they will wake up to real science. Until then, we must put up with their rantings and get on with the all-important job of helping sick and injured animals.
Homeopathy is able to treat all manner of conditions in all species. It can be used to treat serious disease, life-threatening conditions, first-aid conditions minor ailments, viral diseases (virus, viruses), bacterial diseases, acute disease and chronic disease.
The only known bar to success is if the body has no healing capability for a certain disease process, since homeopathy works via the body's own healing mechanisms.
Homeopathy can be carefully integrated with and used alongside herbal medicine (herbs, herbalism) and acupuncture.
Homeopathy is a holistic discipline and it behoves us to ensure that the diet is as healthy as possible, ideally a fresh, organic, species-suitable diet.
The author is independent of commercial interest or sponsorship and cannot endorse any products or advertising material attached to this lens.
For more information on holistic therapies, visit: AVMC's information website (over 600 pages).
Chris Day - holistic vet - runs the Alternative Veterinary Medicine Centre (AVMC) in Oxfordshire, UK.
The physician treats - the body heals
Hippocrates is credited with this saying. It applies beautifully to the basic homeopathic concept of applying a stimulus to the body's innate healing capability.
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