Frequent Homeopathy Questions
For what illnesses or problems can I use homeopathy?
Homeopathy is most often successful or at least worth a
try in the following situations:
- Behavioral problems with no tissue damage (insomnia,
anxiety, thunder phobia, breeding/nursing problems, etc)
- Conditions with no good treatment (wounds, viral diseases,
emphysema, etc.) where much relief and little harm are
possible if using remedies.
- Instead of surgery for fibroids, gallstones, skin masses,
etc. when immediate action is not required.
- To prevent drug dependence (for allergies, asthma, colitis,
hypertension, hyper-thyroidism, chronic diarrhea and vomiting,
ear infections, hip dysplasia, lameness, etc.) when drugs
must be taken long-term.
- If conventional treatments fail, or patients cannot
take traditional medications, and in incurable or terminal
cases when significant relief is often possible.
Homeopathy should not be used instead of emergency
surgery for serious lacerations, fractures, gastric
torsions, etc. but can be used to help with the shock
and pain involved and to speed healing.
What is used to make a homeopathic remedy?
A remedy is a natural substance (plant, animal product,
mineral, etc.) which in its raw form produces consistent
symptoms when taken orally by a healthy individual (this
is called “proving the substance”). Many healthy volunteers
are used and all symptoms from each individual are carefully
recorded. Each substance is then diluted many times to
produce solutions containing minute amounts of the original
material. This solution is then poured over milk sugar
How can such a small amount of a substance be effective?
Dr. Hahnemann found in his lifetime of treating patients
that the more times a solution was shaken (succussed)
and diluted, the more strongly it stimulated the body.
He called this process of succussion and dilution the
“potentization” of a substance. The more dilute the remedy,
the greater the potency.
Remedies are wonderfully effective when properly chosen
and are economical, safe and gentle in their actions.
Rare is the patient who is overly sensitive to remedies.
Can I give the same remedy to my cat which helped my friend’s
cat with the same disease?
Animals, like people, are individuals. A disease will
present with slightly different symptoms in each animal
which makes each animal unique. The remedy must match
all of a patient’s symptoms to be effective.
How do I choose between conventional and homeopathic treatments?
Let’s use an example of two itchy dogs. In a conventional
practice, both dogs likely will be given a similar antibiotic
and steroid. One dog may get worse after a warm bath but
be soothed by a cool one or he may be itchy mostly at
night. The other dog may have the opposite symptoms. These
dogs would require different homeopathic remedies to stop
There are two major points of difference between using
conventional and homeopathic medicine for these two dogs.
The first is that following conventional medicine, the
itchy condition will likely recur and again be treated
with medication and some pets will need constant medication
of some type. In homeopathic medicine, the underlying
reason for why the dog is getting skin infections in the
first place is treated so that repeated medicating or
lifelong medicating are not necessary. The second is that
homeopathy avoids any negative side effects which can
occur with conventional medications.
Why does the homeopath need my pet’s past medical history?
The symptoms a very young animal shows are more reliable
than symptoms he will show as he gets older because most
animals are treated with conventional medications which
slowly change how the symptoms appear. Also, seasonality
and periodicity (how often a problem occurs) will be important
in selecting remedies. Laboratory tests and radiographs
are helpful to determine how advanced is an animal’s chronic
How long before I see a change in my pet’s health?
If the problem is an acute one (for example a fever)
a change can occur within 1-12 hours after an effective
remedy. If it is a chronic disease, changes can start
to occur within the first month. Acute conditions may
require only one remedy. Chronic disease in older animals
or pets with many serious symptoms or who have been taking
conventional medication for a long time will often need
a series of remedies over months to years to achieve good
health. The immediate goal is to reduce the need for conventional
medication and improve the energy and quality of life
for the pet and the long range goal is to achieve good
health so no further medication is required and the disease
does not recur.
What change will I see first?
The first change is usually increased energy and improved
mental attitude. For example, you may see improved sleeping
at night and more energy during the daytime and the appetite
begins to normalize. Sometimes there is a temporary need
for more sleep as though the body needs time out for repairs.
How often do I need to have my pet checked?
Most chronic disease patients are reevaluated every 3-6
weeks at first. If an acute problem arises, reports may
be needed daily. Cancer and chronic critical patients
often need daily assessments or at least a few times a
week in the early stages of treatment.
It is important to call your homeopath when advised to
do so. Changes in remedy potency or the type of remedy
will likely be needed as the body heals and can handle
the increased stimulation of the higher potency remedies.
Knowing when to increase the potency and when to repeat
the remedy takes training and experience. Repeating the
remedy too soon or in the wrong potency can delay or stop
healing. If you just keep giving the same remedy the medicine
can begin to cause symptoms in the patient. This is not
usually dangerous - simply stopping the remedy will halt
Do homeopathic medicines need special care?
Homeopathic medicines are remarkably stable if properly
cared for. They should be kept in sealed containers away
from strong odors (perfumes, potpourri, eucalyptus or
camphor-containing products like Vicks, BenGay, Tiger
Balm for example), direct sunlight, excessive heat and
microwaves or electromagnetic fields and xrays.
How do I administer the remedy to my pet?
Typically for dogs, the remedy tablets are crushed in
an envelope (a hammer works for this) then the resulting
powder is poured into the dog’s mouth. When this is not
possible, the powder is poured into a small amount of
milk or water which the dog can drink.
For cats, after crushing the pellets the powder is poured
into a 1-2 teaspoons of milk and allowed to dissolve then
let the cat drink it. Or after dissolving the powder into
a teaspoon of milk or water, the liquid can be fed to
the cat with an eye dropper or syringe.
Remedies should be given 30 minutes before or 30 minutes
after eating and some remedies are best given in the morning
and some best given at night before bed.
Do not touch the pellets or the powder with your fingers
as you can absorb some of the remedy through your skin.
Should I vaccinate my pet while he is receiving homeopathic
No. If you wish to update your pet’s vaccinations, do
so before you start homeopathic treatment. Vaccines act
as medications and interfere with remedies’ actions in
the body. There is mounting concern that vaccinations
are not needed every year and may be harmful if given
more often than necessary. If you are unsure about whether
vaccines are necessary for your pet, ask about this during
your first homeopathic consultation appointment for further
What role does nutrition play in my animal’s healing?
A body cannot heal well without the important nutritional
building blocks for healthy bone and tissue repair. Commercial
processed pet foods do not contain optimal nutrition needs
for healing and to maintain peak body health over time.
It is sort of like a human eating dried foods (beef jerky,
dried cooked vegetables) for the rest of his life. He
would feel okay at first, but illness would eventually
occur because processing destroys some nutritious ingredients.
With proper nutritional support, the body can respond
much better to homeopathic medicines.
Are there other treatments which can be used at the same
time as homeopathy?
Your homeopath may decide to have you continue some conventional
medicines if your pet has been receiving them already.
Then a program to reduce or discontinue these would be
instituted as your pet improved with homeopathic treatment.
You need to talk with your homeopath before starting any
herbs or other conventional treatments after a remedy
has been given.
Acupuncture and magnetic therapies affect the vital force
(energy) of the body as does homeopathy. If one of these
treatments is used concurrently with homeopathy, your
homeopath will not be able to interpret your pet’s response
to a remedy. If you wish to try acupuncture, try it before
you begin homeopathy. If it works for your pet, great.
If your pet does not improve or if problems keep recurring,
stop the acupuncture or magnetic treatment before starting
Chiropracty and massage therapy are fine to use along
with homeopathic remedies. Your homeopath may suggest
some Bach flower tinctures to use in some patients while
in the early stages of homeopathic treatment.