Ralph’s colitis remained unsettled however and a year later Honey’s founder, Jonathan Self, recommended trying a local holistic vet, Sue Armstrong, and we never looked back. Ralph was put on an elimination diet and treated with homeopathy, and his colitis came under control. He had a thrush infection in his throat, which was treated with homeopathy, and also salmonella and campylobacter infections that were treated with antibiotics conventionally. Ralph had cruciate ligament issues as well. Rather than taking the traditional surgical route, these were treated conservatively with homeopathy, chiropractic and blood platelet therapy (to stimulate natural healing).
Five years later I’m so grateful we were given the advice to see a holistic vet and use homeopathy. I’ve always been naturally minded and although I had zero knowledge of homeopathy I was willing to try. Ralph has had his fair share of medical challenges and without an integrated approach to his care I believe he would have had to take many drugs with all their potential side effects. Thanks to complementary and alternative medicine, Ralph now leads a relatively healthy life.
The British Association of Veterinary Veterinary Surgeons
The Raw Feeding Veterinary Society
The Cavapoo Club
“Everyone thinks they have the best dog in the world and none of them are wrong”
In celebration of dogs everywhere, here is a gallery of a tiny handful of our supporters' canines. They have all been helped by Complementary and Alternative Medicine – some of it life-saving (look out for the interloper!)
Our perfect pooches have benefited from the modalities below either as complementary to conventional treatment or as an alternative (before drugs or surgery).
Herbal Medicine and Supplements
Most are raw fed
And don’t forget our Dog Blog Stars Fire Dog Kai, Lizzie and Ralphie
Lizzie was found in an overcrowded pound in Cyprus. She was very thin weighing just 8.5kg, half her current body weight, and was dirty and terrified. She had a horrific infected leg injury – probably caused by being tied up too tightly by a rope. She was on strong antibiotics for Ehrlichia canis, a serious bacterial infection that is transmitted through tick bites.
For the first year her leg scar was not troublesome and although the skin was like tissue paper and split easily it usually healed. However, a year later, the split had grown considerably and antibiotics failed to get the infection under control. The wound increased in size and covered the scar tissue area, and became heavily granulated. After discussing the options and prognosis with a homeopathic vet (with the full backing of our conventional vet), we decided on surgery to cover the scar with skin from her abdomen.
Unfortunately two years later, the original scar tissue (not covered by the skin graft) started to split and would not heal. It became red raw, weepy and inflamed, and Lizzie developed stiffness and limited mobility in the joint. After repeated trips to the vet and many courses of antibiotics (which had no effect despite a swab to establish the most appropriate ones), we agreed that continuous antibiotics were not an effective long-term treatment plan. We had run out of conventional options except for one - surgical amputation.
We turned to our homeopathic vet, again with full backing of our conventional vet who gladly sent off Lizzie's full medical record in the hope that amputation could be avoided. He thought that amputation was extreme and there were alternatives we should try first. We provided a full history of Lizzie’s life, lifestyle, personality, habits, and answered questions about what she liked and disliked. Afterwards Lizzie was given two remedies, one to be taken each morning, the other in the evening, for a month to stimulate tissue healing, regeneration and repair. We were also given a third combination remedy should any sign of wound infection appear (to avoid using antibiotics). We didn't need to use this.
Within two weeks, the wound had scabbed over, the infection, hotness and weeping had disappeared and Lizzie had full mobility again. And best of all, she kept her leg! Galen myotherapy helped to break down the scar tissue and release the muscles and, along with proprioception work, Lizzie gained full use of her leg. Lizzie has needed no antibiotics since she took the homeopathic remedies. You can read more about Galen myotherapy in our Fire Dog Kai blog.
Lizzie’s recovery was supported by raw feeding, blood titre tests rather than vaccinations (that showed strong antibodies despite having only had one course of injections in Cyprus), and faecal worm tests rather than chemical wormers.
Sceptics of course say that it is mere coincidence that the wound healed as soon as homeopathy was prescribed and that the collective residual antibiotics finally, several months after not working and the courses had finished, removed the stubborn infection.
But we know which treatment worked: the one that gave almost instant and long-lasting results – and kept Lizzie on all four legs!
The scandal of the unpublished Australian Report which showed homeopathy IS effective
CAM4animals congratulates the Homeopathy Research Institute (HRI) and welcomes Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council’s (NHMRC) decision to publish their original report into the effectiveness of homeopathy. The first draft produced in 2012 was suppressed by the NHMRC in favour of one published in March 2015.
It is significant that the 2012 draft report, The Effectiveness of Homeopathy: an overview review of secondary evidence, concluded that there is “encouraging evidence for the effectiveness of homeopathy” in five medical conditions.
Its existence was only established through freedom of information requests. The Commonwealth Ombudsman is currently considering charges of scientific misconduct, bias and conflict of interest against NHMRC. The Australian Senate concluded that “This is a serious research scandal of the highest degree, revealing the extent to which the review team secretly manipulated the methods well after the contractor had already collated and assessed the evidence, with none of the changes disclosed in the final report released to the public.”
Releasing the first report is a major step forward in the acceptance of homeopathic medicine and its role in integrative health care in both human and animal health.
It is of particular significance in the UK where the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) has effectively banned the alternative use of homeopathy and other holistic treatments such as acupuncture, osteopathy and chiropractic care since they changed their position on the Veterinary Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicines (CAM) in 2017. These treatments can only be used alongside or after conventional treatment, NOT as stand alone, first line, alternative options.
CAM4animals undertook a detailed audit delivered to the RCVS in November 2018, which highlighted that the RCVS based its position on three fundamentally flawed and inaccurate reports, one of which was the 2015 (second) Australian Report. We consider the use of these reports to have been an inappropriate basis on which to change the RCVS position. Our analysis is now validated by the words of NHMRC CEO, Professor Anne Kelso, who clarified that NHMRC’s second Homeopathy Review published in 2015 “did not conclude that homeopathy was ineffective”, despite claims to that effect in media reports and by anti-homeopathy campaigners.
In essence, the RCVS used the 2015 Australian Report to restrict certain veterinary treatments legally available in the UK and the practices of those vets who use them, unaware that the original report had found positive evidence for the use of homeopathy.
CAM4animals welcomes the honesty and transparency shown by the NHMRC and echoes Rachel Roberts, HRI Chief Executive, who said of the release:
“For over three years NHMRC have refused to release their 2012 draft report on homeopathy, despite Freedom of Information requests and even requests by members of the Australian Senate. To see this document finally seeing the light of day is a major win for transparency and public accountability in research.”
Given that the RCVS has always said it would consider evidence for the successful use of homeopathy, CAM4animals calls on it to reconsider and amend its position on homeopathy and other CAM in light of this significant development.
CAM4animals will follow the progress of this report and update with further blogs. Click here for information on the Release the First Report Campaign - and the HRI view can be found here .
The following is HRI’s assessment of the Australian report and was used as a basis to fight for the release of the original report.
These are interesting times on Facebook and Twitter. Those of us running our social media profiles watch as our supporters push back against some pretty vitriolic views of a small group of known homeopathy denialists including some vets resistant to considering other options to drugs.
One thing needs to be made clear about where CAM4animals stands. We are NOT anti-vet. Quite the opposite. We are also NOT "anti-vax". Many of us have to vaccinate in order to compete, but we are mostly anti over-vaccination (in line with WSAVA guidelines). We are devoted and sensible pet owners and farmers who want to work closely with our vets to achieve the best possible health for our animals with the minimal amount of chemical intervention.
In order to do this, we all understand that sometimes pharmaceutical products are necessary BUT, some animals may not respond to this option or have shown severe adverse effects. It is therefore useful to know that there are other options available either after you’ve tried drugs or before you go down that route because you have knowledge of your animal’s history. Responsible pet owners want to have a conversation with their vet about this and we are confident that any vet worth their salt will also want to have this conversation.
All of our supporters know that various holistic modalities can work for their animals and sometimes they don’t, just as drugs can work and sometimes, they don’t. Our supporters also know that there is a time and a place for pharmaceutical intervention; emergency care is an obvious example. But, following emergency care, and even before the vet gets there, a modality such as homeopathy can be very useful. You can address the shock of an accident while waiting for the vet and remedies are well known by homeopaths to speed up healing following surgery. This is integrated care at its best. It can also empower the vet nurse who is handling the situation either till the vet arrives or during surgery after-care. (Look out for our blogs on this topic.)
We are all familiar with the dog with arthritis who does well on Green Lipped Mussel or Omega 3. These sort of products are available on many vet surgery shelves. They are often used successfully before conventional treatment is needed, staving off the day when Metacam or similar has to be used to prolong quality of life. Similarly, homeopathy, acupuncture, herbs, hydrotherapy or the bodywork therapies can be invaluable in these situations. This demonstrates well how alternative, conventional and complementary care would be used in treating one animal at different stages of the disease.
What if this drive to ridicule holistic veterinary practitioners eventually gets a hold? The result is that young vets might be turned against CAM particularly by being fed inaccurate information about the effectiveness of the Big Five - acupuncture, homeopathy, herbs, chiropractic and osteopathic care. As a result, not only have our new vets lost a whole tool-kit of options available to them to achieve the best possible outcome for their patients, but we lose the skill pool of veterinary CAM knowledge used to develop popular and commonly used products. We also stand to lose the understanding of raw feeding and the usefulness of the Big Five in integrated veterinary healthcare. This leaves the responsible animal owner not only with just pharma options, but also a complete absence of knowledge on alternatives. This is a future CAM4animals will fight hard to resist.
So, to be very clear…. CAM4animals recognises the need for pharmaceutical intervention. We also support the use of alternative healthcare, particularly because it protects the veterinary skill pool able to provide the knowledge and research needed to ensure a future for complementary and integrated healthcare.
Can we please have a halt to the ridiculing of the responsible animal owner by anti-CAM vets and their sceptic supporters. This is not helping to engender a good relationship between vets and their paying customers. We also call for a halt to the aggressive demands by anti-CAM vets for their customers to provide information and evidence of alternative medicines. There is a large body of evidence available and there are also fully trained colleagues for specialist help. Ideally, CAM should be comprehensively covered in vet and vet nurse courses. In the meantime, here are some good places for both vet and animal owner to start finding out accurate information.
Our blog here! – we are working to provide accurate and well-informed information on all forms of CAM.
AO The Association of Animal Osteopaths
ABVA The Association of British Veterinary Acupuncturists
BAHVS The British Association of Homeopathic Veterinary Surgeons
BAVH The British Association of Veterinary Herbalists
BVCA The British Veterinary Chiropractic Association
CMG The Canine Massage Guild
HRI The Homeopathy Research Institute HRI
MCA The McTimony Chiropractic Association
It wasn’t until I had the opportunity to fulfill a lifelong dream and keep a few cattle and sheep that I started to think a bit harder about nutrition. Simplistically, I believed that cattle and sheep lived in fields and ate grass – let’s face it, a three-year-old child could tell you that! My livestock had the good fortune to be kept in this way, but not the cattle at the nearby dairy farm, where the poor creatures were on very nearly a zero grazing system (not at all uncommon). I felt strongly that this was wrong and was chatting to the herd manager one day when he asked me why I fed my dogs biscuits. Well, to say this was a lightbulb moment would be putting it mildly!
It was also interesting that my large animal vets were telling me NOT to worm my sheep and cattle, but rather to look at faecal samples for parasite eggs. On the other hand, my dog vets were telling me to deworm and flea treat them monthly. How did this make sense?
Another turning point was the opportunity to attend the Homeopathy at Wellie Level course, introducing farmers to using homeopathy as part of their stock management. This course absolutely blew my mind. I’d been interested in homeopathy for ages, largely due to hearing vets talking about what rubbish it was ~ I am rather contrary! It made so much sense to work WITH the body rather than against it, wherever possible, and I have seen astonishing results with my livestock, my dogs and myself.
I have been incredibly fortunate to have had my eyes opened in these ways. It makes me very sad that my professional governing body, the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, is so un-supportive of vets who are open minded enough to explore the whole gamut of ways to help keep animals well – that’s all their guardians want, and surely the animals themselves too. I am lucky to work closely with vets who focus on the importance of real, species appropriate foods and to have my own animals treated by vets offering acupuncture, homeopathy and many of the other treatment modalities frowned upon by the RCVS.
My own experience certainly isn’t statistically significant, but losing my first dog aged nine who was absolutely riddled with cancer and having been fed on kibble, compared to losing my second dog aged just short of 17 and having been raw fed, not vaccinated (but regularly titre and worm tested) and rarely having any pharmaceutical medicines, convinces me that I have followed the right path, and I am determined to do what I can to encourage others to do likewise.
I am looking forward to popping in here from time to time to give you more Vet Nurse stories and information. Meanwhile, you can find more information here:
Morag Sutherland RVN, APDT, ABTC
Morag is a Registered Veterinary Nurse and a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (UK) and the Association of INTO Dogs. Morag has a special interest in nutrition for dogs and horses, particularly in how it affects their behaviour. She is co-owner of Gelert Behaviour Training, which offers dog and other pet training services, as well as regular workshops, talks and events across the Midlands, including Worcestershire, Warwickshire, Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire.
The British Association of Homeopathic Veterinary Surgeons, BAHVS, 2019 Annual Conference was an inspiring conference held in the stimulating setting of Stirling University and huge thanks must go to vet Dr Wendy McGrandles for organising and chairing it. It was appropriately titled Alive and Kicking as everyone’s enthusiasm for homeopathy is clearly undiminished and vets are reporting an upsurge in enquiries from owners keen to access holistic veterinary care for their animals. As ever, the conference was multinational with attendees from Japan, USA, Germany, France and The Netherlands as well as the UK. It was a great opportunity to take stock, discuss the latest techniques and principles, and strengthen our resolve to remain at the cutting edge of veterinary medicine. Homeopathic vets are, indeed, alive and kicking and will continue to contribute to the best in animal care that vets across the country provide.
As with all fields of veterinary science, it’s important to keep up to date with evolving techniques and developments. Delegates enjoyed a diverse programme including new insights in the following areas:
Some of these lectures and discussions will appear in more detail in the CAM4animals blog later in
the year, but here are some of the highlights:
Dr Lise Hansen described one of many successful case studies highlighted over the weekend. This involved a white German Shepherd Dog with such severe skin issues and extensive whole-body hair loss that euthanasia seemed to have been the only reasonable option. However, four weeks after single dose of the appropriate constitutional remedy, which was prescribed according to the dog’s temperament and physical symptoms, she returned to the clinic unrecognisable with a rapidly growing full coat of luxuriant white hair. Homeopathy used like this is so much more than an acute remedy for a particular condition. It should be noted that no external preparations were used in this case study since these are often contraindicated as they can suppress symptoms rather than cure.
Dr Shelley Epstein covered the Vijayaker Principles. These incorporate the understanding of the principles of embryology, genetics and immunology. They consider the role of suppression in illness and how deep this suppression goes within the body. They can also inform the way we approach diagnosis and prescribing in order to enable a cure.
Dr Nick Thompson gave a presentation on food and homeopathy – would Hahnemann (the founder of homeopathy) have supported raw feeding? On balance, Nick concluded that he would.
On a more sombre, but serious note, Dr David Reilly gave a thought-provoking lecture as a reminder that vets have a suicide rate of four times that of the general public and two times that of any other healthcare professional, reflecting the current concern for health and wellbeing within the veterinary sector as a whole. He covered the need to grow through challenge and to find ways of
accessing hope and positive action to stave off the negativity which can lead to depression. These considerations are useful for anyone under stress of course, and it’s important that people are generally nurtured and mutually supported.
A big thanks must also go to our corporate sponsors:
These companies all produce top quality holistic animal care products, and each gave very informative presentations.
Lee Kane, a qualified pharmacist from Freemans Homeopathic Pharmacy, long time sponsors of the BAHVS Conferences, has developed a harmonious relationship with both the Veterinary Medicines
Directorate and the US Food and Drug Administration by approaching them in a spirit of cooperation. I would suggest that he would be an excellent ambassador to give the RCVS a balanced view of homeopathy given that he successfully runs a conventional and homeopathic pharmacy side by side.
Rowan Sanderson from raw food company Bella and Duke, spoke about ‘The Role of Lectins in Leaky Gut’ which left me wondering what on earth is safe to eat! He explained that lectins are sticky plant proteins which herbivores can digest but humans and dogs cannot. Zonulin is the gatekeeper of intestinal permeability and is implicated in coeliac disease and type 1 diabetes. Grains and lectins cause zonulin to be released which interferes with the “tight junctions” between cells that line the intestine and leads to a torrent of gut bacteria coated with lipopolysaccharides entering the bloodstream. The body then floods the bloodstream with cytokines which regulate immunity and inflammation and may eventually lead to auto immune disease if this reaction is continually repeated. Auto immune disease is the result of three key factors - genetic predisposition, intestinal permeability and sufficient stressors including grains and lectin-rich plants. Pea lectin, often found in dog food, for example, can bind to taurine which may be a factor in the development of cardiomyopathy in certain dogs. Bella and Duke is an example of grain free, low lectin food.
On a different note, Dr Ilse Pedlar talked about the recently published Poetry Anthology, Giving Voice. This is a fund-raising collaboration between BAHVS and CAM4animals with contributions from vets, doctors and supporters of complementary medicine. It’s available to buy for £10 from BAHVS and Helios Pharmacy. All profits go to CAM4animals.
Finally, all delegates were delighted that Dr Sue Armstrong is seeing animal patients once again and being part of a strong homeopathic veterinary community treating patients on the ground with a range of modalities and professional expertise at their fingertips. An update from CAM4animals was delivered as only Sue can to a receptive and appreciative audience.
Everyone went away feeling energised and enthusiastic about the future of veterinary homeopathy and CAM in general. Informed choice is crucial in healthcare and there is increasing support from a wide range of animal owners and farmers who would like access to a full range of veterinary healthcare options. CAM vets, like any other specialists, can also play a significant role in the referral sector – providing back up to primary care vets in certain circumstances.
I would love to see another conference where mainstream vets can gain more information and see the potential of CAM that would enable their individual practices to widen the service they can offer clients.
Dogs can go through life coping with underlying physical conditions and many of these go undiscovered for many years. Many of my canine physiotherapy patients originally come for behavioural therapy where we discover the behaviour problems are a result of hidden pain.
In part one we looked at behavioural signs of hidden musculoskeletal problems and how they can be misunderstood. In part two we will be looking at postural signs that can indicate an underlying problem which may be causing your dog difficulty. Most people assume that if their dog can run and jump they do not have any musculoskeletal problems. Surely if they were in pain they wouldnt do that would they?
Well yes, they would, and they do. As we discussed in part one, dogs are amazing creatures with four legs, which means they can shift weight off the bad limb/area and carry on. This is how they manage to go on for many years without anyone realising. They can do this until the other limbs suffer from the extra strain, which is when they become obviously lame. However, there are signs much earlier on, if you know what to look for.
Watch your dog in different situations and notice whether they are pointing one or more feet out to the side or in towards the opposite leg. Are their feet very close together or far apart when they stand still? Do they seem to be leaning to one side slightly and leaning more on one limb at the front or back? Do they keep their hind limbs forward under their body rather than slightly behind them when they stand? Are the nails scuffed or excessively worn or long on any of the toes? Are any of the pads worn to one side? Look at your dogs footprints when they are wet, walking in snow or sand. Are they even?
These things can all indicate under or over-use of a limb and can indicate increased or reduced weight bearing. It can also tell you if they are not picking certain feet up cleanly or if they have altered they way they stand on a particular limb.
Look at them at different times or in different positions as sometimes things are more obvious than others, for example, when they are tired.
Jake before and after a walk
Look closely at your dog from in front, behind and above. Do they have bigger muscles on one side than the other? Use your hands to feel both sides at the same time. Do they feel bigger on one side than the other? Common places to notice this are over the hindquarters and the shoulders.
Again, these observations can tell you that they are using one side more than the other. look for subtle differences to catch the early signs. See if you can feel the bony areas around and between the muscles slightly on one side more than the other.
Muscle wastage on the right limb, which is the side of the weaker hip.
Notice coat changes. These can creep in very gradually or be dramatic changes that come in quite fast. taking regular photographs of your dog can help you see if something is new or not.
Does the coat feels brittle, dry or scurfy in specific areas and different in others? Are there areas of fur that constantly stick up or out? Are there swirls or partings where the hair changes direction or lies flat or raised? Is it harder to run your fingers through the coat in certain places?
These signs can all indicate signs of strain in nearby or underlying soft tissues where circulation may be compromised or there is muscle tension. The patterns may not be where the problem is but they could tell you your dog is using their body in a way that is putting it under strain. Combined with the other observations we are looking at, they can give you extra information and clues.
Note the swirls and partings in the coat along the length of the spine.
Lying and sitting
Does your dog always lie on one side? Do they always sit on one side? Do they always get up using the same leg first? If you are training your dog do they seem ‘stubborn’ or ‘slow’ when you ask them to sit, lie or stand? Do you have difficulty getting a tidy, even sit? Do they take their time getting up or down? Do they fidget?
Maybe they cant use one or more of their limbs properly. Perhaps there is a joint problem preventing them from flexing and extending their limbs to the extent needed to sit or lie correctly or get up efficiently.
Lying with one hind limb positioned to make getting up easier. Just the paw pads are in contact with the floor for easy push off whilst sparing the more worn hip on the right side.
Filming your dog can tell you a lot. If you have a slow motion function on your phone you can use that. If not you can run normal film through one of the many slow motion apps available. Slowing it right down can help you see small signs as your dog moves. It can also be really useful to show your vet to illustrate what you are seeing as these things are rarely picked up in a vet consult room,especially if the signs are subtle.
Can your dog turn both ways easily? You can use widely spaced weave poles to check if your dog can do this. if you do agility does your dog tend to go wide one way on weaves, or both ways? Do they struggle to come round for jumps or obstacles from the right or left? Do they always turn one way during everyday activities? Look closely.
Can your dog get in and out of the car or on and off the sofa easily and cleanly or do they catch their hind limbs or pull up with their front limbs? Can they climb the stairs slowly? Many dogs run up and down to minimise the discomfort and may ‘bunny hop’ through most running and jumping exercises (using both hind limbs together to push off).
Does your dog pull on the lead? This may be because its uncomfortable to load the hindlimbs, causing them to lean forward and be unbalanced
Leaning on the forelimbs causing pulling on the lead.
Does your dog not want to do things they used to? Have they changed their patterns? Maybe they are choosing to lie in unusual places or on unusual surfaces? Do they seem more nervous or afraid than they used to? Have they always been nervous or afraid? Have they stopped interacting with other dogs or have they always been reluctant to do so? Are they growling at the groomer now? Have they always growled at the groomer? Do they seem afraid to go for a walk or stop and refuse to walk part way through? Many so called ‘stubborn’ dogs actually are having problems doing what you want them to do.
As I said at the beginning, dogs can go for many years of their lives with a hidden condition. So if they have always struggled with handling or interactions with others then it is worth getting them checked over thoroughly. Even if they ‘have always been like that’. If there are sudden changes we tend to suspect a problem easier than if the problems have always been there but vary in degrees of severity. Remember dogs can be struggling with these issues from a very young age, even as a very young puppy. As they grow up, people then think its just how they are, as musculoskeletal issues are not considered unless dogs are older. So, its possible that a dogs life and happiness could be completely changed if a condition was discovered at a very young age, the pain was managed and the dog could feel comfortable and capable of everyday activities without painful repercussions.
I hope this gives you some pointers as to signs of hidden problems in your own dogs.
Julie Moss BSc. Hons., AdvCertVPhys, Dip.APhys.
Julie is a canine behaviourist, veterinary physiotherapist and TTouch Practitioner. She started Best Behaviour in 2005, which has since become part of her new venture, Canine Mind and Body Balance. She has a special interest in integrative veterinary care, where CAM therapies play an important role in truly holistic animal care. Her passion is working with older animals to give them back the best quality of life possible and she is committed to education and enabling people to recognise early signs of lameness in our dogs.
Where on earth do I start to summarise a weekend with the Homeopathy Research Institute (HRI) conference in London?
The breadth and calibre of speakers was exceptional. There were over eighty speakers, all scientists with sound academic credentials, showcasing the high calibre cutting-edge research taking place globally. As Prof Vladimir Voeikov (Faculty of Biology, Moscow State University) said “Homeopathy does not contradict modern physics or chemistry … it has a very solid, scientific foundation.” I so wished that the President of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) had been able to find the time to be there.
Presentations ran from 9am to 7pm either formally via 15 minute presentations or casually where we could speak to scientists, vets and doctors running specific research programmes advertised on their own poster stand. These poster talks were perhaps the best for me, since I could speak to the presenter about their trials and how this may be relevant to our CAM4animals followers. We hope
to have some blogs on this research in the next few months as studies are published.
Veterinary homeopathy research around the world is getting exciting. Take the Instituto Argonauta in Brazil who find that they can control liver enzymes (which increase as a result of anti-fungal medication used to solve fungal problems typical of the region) in Magellanic penguins through the use of ultra-diluted medicine. The veterinary surgeon at the Instituto’s aquatic centre used standard liver enzyme tests and showed clear and beneficial liver enzyme changes following treatment with Carduus marianus 6c. The conclusion was that the response to homeopathic treatment was similar to the allopathic treatment BUT without any of the unpleasant adverse effects. Homeopathy was easy to administer and cheaper.
There was a talk from Dr Oskan Tasinov, a microbiologist from the Medical University of Varna, Bulgaria. He showed that Ferrum phos tissue salts affects cell proliferation and gene expression. This reminded me not to underestimate these little gems. Tissue Salts were originally devised by Wilhelm Henrich Schussler in the late 1800s as a nutritional therapy. Rather than treating “like with like” (as is the case with orthodox homeopathic medicine) Schuessler Tissue Remedies treat ailments by correcting imbalances or deficiencies in the body’s cell nutrition. Tissue Salts still maintain
physical quantities of the original substances, although in minute form (6x).
Professor Leoni Bonamin, who works at the Graduation Program in Environmental and Experimental
Pathology - Universidade Paulista (UNIP), spoke about her research in homeopathy and high dilutions. She uses in vitro and physicochemical methods and her main project is the "Study of the biological effects of homeopathic remedies in vitro and correlation with their physicochemical
properties. Leoni showed how homeopathy can have a beneficial effect on resolving environmental pollution. Her research found that by using Glyphosate in 6c potency, there was a positive effect upon a Glyphosate damaged microcrustacean called Artemia salina. These brine shrimps are hugely important in economic and ecological terms. Not only does this demonstrate the efficacy of homeopathy, but has astounding potential for redressing the effects of environmental damage and furthering conservation objectives. In another field trial treating monkeys during a Yellow Fever outbreak, Prof Bonamin was able to show that Phosphorus 30c added to a natural water source can still be measured 72 hours later indicating that the remedy is still evident. She did this by using a process where Phosphorus 30c and water samples were filtered twice, diluted 1:100, succussed and added to methylene violet for spectrophotometry.
There was a strong Brazilian contingent who showed the effectiveness of homeopathy in cattle. In large extensive breeding programmes, they used various remedies in mineral salts and in the water. Talita Nader and her team used a combination of Staphysagria, Cina, Sulphur and Tick in isotherapeutic form in order to treat ticks in Brazilian cattle achieving an 80% reduction in tick infestation as a result. Other research showed lower somatic cell counts in the milk of antibiotic resistant dairy cattle in Spain when treated with remedies, indicating the potential of homeopathy to help in the fight against AMR, anti-microbial resistance.
There is no doubt that homeopathy continues to show great promise around the world. Whilst the lab-based trials were interesting, it was exciting to see actual case studies of both animals and humans. Dr Ana Valle reported on the successful use of Viscum album in the treatment of a melanoma in a dog and Dr Cideli Coelho reported on the benefits of Arnica montana and Papaver somniferum to assist in anaesthesia recovery, and as an analgesia for dogs that underwent an ovariohysterectomy. It’s this kind of information that is useful for us pet owners to know. CAM4animals will share links to the research highlighted once it is published.
Suffice to say, there were scores of impeccable research studies in both Randomised Controlled
Trials and in vitro studies delivered by the elite of scientific research and homeopathy. The energy
ran high with people meeting face to face after years of on-line friendships, new collaborations built
and new ideas for studies. Best of all for me is the sense of utter hilarity I now experience when I
see our detractors demand we show them the evidence. What a shame a representative from the
RCVS couldn’t make it.