People have been turning to homeopothy and holistic health care for centuries and many are choosing to raise their pets in the same manner. Holistic pet care can be confusing for those of us not familiar with it. I thought I would give a brief intro and define a few key terms. Keep in mind that holistic health does not mean the same thing to everyone. Feel free to leave your comments and experiences below.
“Homeopathy is a holistic discipline and the principles of good health such as diet, exercise and removal of stresses are also part of the process of restoring health. Veterinarians who practice homeopathy have found it to be a gentle, safe and effective medical system which offers a true cure to many patients.” ~ The Academy of Veterinarian Homeopathy
Crude/Simplistic Definition of Homeopathy (home-ee-AH-puh-thee):
Homeopothy focuses on treating the whole body and recognizes that the body has an innate ability to heal itself (or that diseases can be cured by strengthening the body’s natural defense mechanism). Many factors influence our pet’s physical well being, such as diet, emotions, environmental toxins, or exercise. Most holistic approaches focus on preventative treatments. The keystone to holistic pet health is a natural, well balanced diet free of by-products and additives. The holistic health care plan focuses on finding alternatives to drugs whenever possible. This includes steering clear of vaccines, except when absolutely necessary. Some holistic vets recognize that specific diseases do require drug treatments, but the general rule is to find natural solutions if possible. Vets have found that pet many ailments respond well to herbs, homeopathic treatment and even acupuncture.
Physical and emotional problems can be treated with homeopathy. Typical emotional ailments include depression, anxiety and behavioral problems. Common physical ailments include kidney and liver diseases, skin disorders, obesity, thyroid dysfunction, chronic fatigue, arthritis, diabetes, cystitis, and digestive disorders. If you are interested in visiting a homeopathic vet, the Academy of Veterinarian Homeopathy has a list of questions you should ask the vet. It is important to be inquisitive and do your research whenever you see a new vet. Herbal Supplements The American Animal Hospital Association has information about Herbal Supplements. They do advice speaking with your doctor to discuss which herbs are safe for your pet. Some of the examples listed are:
Milk Thistle –Pets with liver problems such as hepatitis may be given this supplement. It is supposed to protect the cells of the liver from toxins.
Slippery Elm – The bark of this tree is used as an aid to the digestive system for pets that suffer from constipation and upset stomach. It has also been used as a cough suppressant and a poultice (an herb that is boiled down into a paste, cooled, and applied to the skin).
Saint John’s Wort Though it has gained fame in human medicine as a treatment for depression, this herb is used as a treatment for viral infections and neural disorders in alternative veterinary medicine.