The turning of the year is an opportunity to glance back at 2019
before eagerly stepping into 2020
At two years old, CAM4animals has witnessed some significant changes in the world of veterinary medicine and has come of age. Despite the detractors, complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is becoming ever more popular as evidenced by the upsurge of enquiries to vets and practitioners along with the growth of casework demonstrating its effectiveness. We celebrated this progress on the two year anniversary of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) position statement on holistic modalities back in November. This is great news, but we need more people training and practicing in the many regulated and effective CAM therapies that are available if practitioners are to meet this increasing demand.
Of fundamental importance to CAM4animals is the belief in an integrated approach to veterinary care that combines the best of complementary, alternative and conventional medicine and therapies. This ensures there is an increased capacity to prevent and treat disease that would not be possible using one system of medicine alone. We underlined this cornerstone of our work here.
Over the year, CAM4animals has:
Fire Dog Kai, a gorgeous Belgian Shepherd Malinois and one of only 15 fire investigation dogs in the UK, launched our blog back in April where we saw how Galen Myotherapy (a form of bodywork) is helping this heroic dog to keep super fit for duty. This marked the start of a regular series of informative blogs and case studies.
A major milestone in the fight to protect the use of homeopathy was highlighted in a blog outlining the exposure of the inherent weaknesses and questionable tactics employed in the so called "Australian Report". This is one of the three main reports that are typically used in the case against the use and effectiveness of homeopathy by its detractors. It's also being examined for serious fraud by the Commonwealth Ombudsman.
Another key blog dealt with the various ways of enabling pets and other animals to cope with fireworks .
This can be a very stressful time for pets, horses and farm animals, not to mention local wildlife and some humans. It's well worth a read in light of the current New Year festivities.
Among a range of things to try, reading calmly to your pet may help reduce their stress and yours!
CAM4animals has participated in various celebrations and awareness campaigns on social media such as World Homeopathy Awareness Week and National Tree Week. Trees and woodlands provide us with various herbal medicines, homeopathic remedies and flower essences as well as being uplifting places to walk and enjoy. We have also supported other organisations in their work such as the wonderful Dogs on the Streets who go above and beyond to help homeless people and their dogs. They too are advocates of integrated veterinary care and are about to build a much-needed sanctuary for dogs complete with a permanent vet station and a hydrotherapy pool.
Giving Voice is a collection of poems illustrating our love of animals
and some of the complementary therapies used to keep them well.
The book was inspired by Ilse Pedler, a homeopathic vet and
Thanks must go to Ilse and the impressive range of contributors as well as BAHVS for funding the production of the book and selling it along
with Helios Homeopathy.
And so, to the future
CAM4animals has evolved into the only consumer-led organisation safeguarding complementary and alternative medicine for animals as part of integrated veterinary care.
Our website is currently being transformed into the go to place for all things veterinary CAM. It will highlight the benefits of CAM, explain how treatments work and help make them more accessible to everyone. It will enable people to find a CAM practitioner and be packed full of case studies along with vet and owner insights. We are currently working with various registered CAM bodies to develop and update this resource for animal owners, farmers, vets, vet nurses and CAM practitioners alike. Look out for the launch of our Newsletter early next year too. Any suggestions for articles are most welcome.
We see ourselves as part of a bigger picture where we promote care for our animals, wildlife, the environment and ourselves. Open-mindedness, kindness, compassion, professionalism, discussion and knowledge will continue to underpin all our work.
CAM4animals would like to thank everyone for their support during 2019 and a happy, safe and healthy 2020 to you all
The mouse had heard a few beasts flump down on the straw in his time, but this was the quietest, the weariest. The donkey’s long ears flopped either side of his face as he landed, framing enormous brown eyes that drooped with tiredness. He peered at the mouse. “Is everything ready?” he sighed, his eyes almost closing with the effort of speaking.
“Ready?” asked the mouse, a little confused.
“Surely everyone knows,” thought the donkey to himself. In his exhaustion he’d almost forgotten it was the very meekness of their journey that was going to make it so remarkable. “You must’ve seen the Star.” The mouse looked blank. “Oh well, not to worry. I’m sure He’s got a plan for this bit.”
“Oh, I never worry about much,’’ squeaked the mouse. “Apart from getting squashed, of course. That’s the downside of living in a cosy stable. But it’s worth it for the free food and a mattress. As long as you keep your wits about you. Though Uncle Lazarus did come to a sticky end when that cow….” The donkey’s exasperated face loomed worryingly large in front of him.
“Ooh! That Star. I did wonder, now you come to mention it. Anyway. What plan? And who’s He?”
“Never mind all the questions, mouse. We need...”
“Oh, but you must call me Simeon,” the mouse interrupted. “What’s your name by the way? And who are these people? Most unusual in a stable. But I suppose the town is a bit busy at the moment.” Simeon muttered to himself as he skittered about in the straw by the donkey’s hooves.
“Stop! Now!” Simeon froze. The donkey sounded serious. “Right. I am Joshua and I have travelled a very long way with this man and his wife. Mary and Joseph? Mean anything to you?”
“Er, no. Sorry Joshua. We mice don’t hear of much beyond the stables, let alone the rest of Bethlehem or The Great Desert Beyond.”
“Well, if you think this is unusual, wait until the other visitors turn up,” said the donkey, his tired old face breaking into a grin.
“There’s more?” Simeon’s eyes widened.
“Oh yes. Only a few sheep and their shepherds to start with. But then there’ll be three very important Kings and their camels.”
“Camels! But they’re stinky and rude! And thinking about it, it was one of them that rolled on poor Uncle Lazarus, not a cow.” This was all too much for the mouse who was by now dashing back and forth in a blind panic.
Joshua opened his mouth to shout stop again but was interrupted by a cry of anguish from Mary. The baby must be on its way. “I can’t find my ring Joseph. I can’t do this without it. I need to hold it, feel it in my hands……”
“There, there, Mary.” Joseph tried to be soothing, but Mary was having none of it.
“Oh, good God, help us.” Joshua clambered to his feet as Joseph began rummaging around in the straw.
‘You can’t say that,” squeaked the mouse. “It’s not allowed!”
“Oh yes I can, believe me, Simeon. Today of all days I most certainly can. Mary’s mother gave her that ring. It means everything to her. She’ll panic without it. What are we to do? It’ll be like looking for a needle in a haystack.” Even wise old Joshua looked as though he was about to join in the commotion.
Suddenly Simeon felt a great sense of calm flow through him making his whiskers quiver with unexpected delight. “I’ll find the ring,” he shouted up to the donkey. “I’ll find it. Needles in haystacks are my speciality.” And with that he disappeared into the straw.
“Well I’ll be blowed,” thought Joshua. “That’s what he’s here for. I wondered where he fitted in. He tried to nuzzle Mary, tell her that it would be alright. But she was too frantic for comfort.
Sure enough, Simeon reappeared in a matter of moments with a band of silver in his mouth. He dropped the ring in front of Joseph who was still frantically pulling at clumps of straw. “Mary, look. It’s here. It seems to have appeared from thin air.”
Mary beamed with relief as Joseph placed the ring in her outstretched hands, light from the Star pouring through the stable door. “It’s a miracle,” she said.
Once again, Joshua flumped down on the straw. He turned to Simeon whose little heart was beating with joy. “It certainly is that,” he whispered to the mouse. “Thank you.”
CAM4animals would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, health and happiness.
If you would like to help one of the wonderful donkey and other equine charities, here are a few suggestions:
The Donkey Sanctuary
Brooke Action for Working Horses and Donkeys
Prince Fluffy Kareem
World Horse Welfare
Bransby Home of Rest for Horses
Hillside Animal Sanctuary