How to give Homeopathic Medicines to Dogs, Cats and Horses
It doesn't have to be a battle!
I am often asked how to administer homeopathic medicines. This 'how-to' lens is designed to make the possible techniques clear and to highlight special precautions needed when handling and storing the medicines.
There are videos and pictures, to illustrate possible methodology.
Homeopathic medicines work with the body, not against it. They are gentle medicines and the administration of them should not cause stress to the patient or to the carer.
Always try to avoid a confrontation, since that will set the pattern for years to come.
Horses and Ponies
- Homeopathic medicines are very delicate, therefore avoid touching the medicine with your hand.
- Do not return accidentally handled medicine to the bottle. Dispense just the required dose from the bottle at each dosage time. Keep the container tightly sealed at all times, except when actually dispensing. Do not open two containers of medicine at once.
- Store medicines away from sunlight, in a cool dark place and keep away from strong-smelling substances, especially camphor, embrocations, perfume etc. Do not refrigerate or freeze. If correctly stored, homeopathic medicines can survive for very long periods, so do not discard unused supplies; they could be useful to your animal (or for yourself) in the future. Those stored in glass bottles survive better.
- Pillules may conveniently be dispensed into the bottle cap, prior to dosing. It is not necessary to give an exact number of pillules. If the patient allows, the pills may then be tossed from the cap directly into the mouth (avoiding contamination of the cap with saliva etc), to avoid handling of the pillules altogether.
- Drops may be given in water or directly onto the tongue. One to three drops is a usual dose. Drops should be aqueous, rather than alcoholic.
- Powders can be poured directly into the mouth from the paper.
- Pillules, powders or tablets may be dissolved in a little boiled, cooled water in a syringe and this provides a means of liquid dosing. This can work very well for cats, for whom a drop or two of liquid can be placed onto the front of the nose/upper lip of onto a front paw, for the cat to lick the dose promptly.
- Injections are available and, for farm use, in-water medication is commonly used.
- Lotions are for external use only. These should usually be diluted prior to use (please check if not given clear instructions).
- For oral medicines, ensure that the dose is either swallowed or retained in the mouth for 30 seconds. Thereafter it may be ejected without diminishing the effect.
- When more than one medicine has been prescribed, please do not give them at the same time. If possible, allow a five-minute interval between different prescriptions. If possible, do not give doses within 15 minutes of food. For farm species and horses this is, of course, not possible, but try to avoid contact with 'compound' feeds for at least five minutes. Medicines can be given to horses in a very little bland food (e.g. grated organic carrot or apple or a very small piece of bread).
- In-water medication can be very useful for farm animals or groups of animals. In the case of cage birds and other small pets pillules may be added to the drinking water, freshly prepared each day. Be careful to avoid blockage of the nozzle.
- Avoid giving strong-smelling sweets or treats, e.g. peppermints, to animals while they are on medication.
- Adhere carefully to the prescribed dosage regimen and, if questions arise, please do not hesitate to raise them with the prescriber. If in doubt at any time, it does no harm to stop the homeopathic prescription, pending further advice.
Homeopathy is used to treat all manner of conditions in all species. It is 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.
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