From tiny mouse to huge elephant and all shapes, sizes and species in between …
if you look after animals, sooner or later they may be in need of some first aid.
You might be waiting for the vet to arrive, or on the way to the vets. It may be a simple minor bump or bruise. Either way, a first aid kit of homeopathic remedies at home or in the yard could be invaluable in helping your animal.
Please remember that if your animal has had an accident or is seriously ill, first aid remedies may benefit them while you are waiting for help, but you MUST seek immediate advice from a veterinary surgeon. Before going any further, it is also essential to quote advice from the British Association of Homeopathic Veterinary Surgeons, BAHVS. BAHVS members are all conventionally trained vets who have gone on to gain further qualifications in homeopathy which are credited by the Faculty of Homeopathy.
“Homeopathy is a powerful and effective form of treatment, providing the possibility of cure for many serious and chronic conditions. Treatment of such conditions requires a level of skill and experience. Apart from this capability, however, it also offers extremely effective and wide-ranging first-aid applications, which are amenable to use by the caring animal owner.
Specialist knowledge is not required, unless the chosen remedy appears not to work within a reasonable period. In that case, the BAHVS recommends attention from a qualified veterinary surgeon.”
And, with regard to the law:
“The Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966 restricts the treatment of animals (other than your own) by anyone other than a fully qualified vet.”
Most people will be familiar with using Arnica pills or cream to help with bruising. However, a wide range of other remedies can also be used in first aid circumstances (in addition to their deeper uses when advised by a qualified practitioner to help with other conditions). This blog features an A to Z of the more commonly used remedies from Aconite to Urtica. Week by week we’ll add information to the following list and publish a series of slides illustrating their uses. We’ll give the name you’ll most likely see on the remedy bottle as well as their Latin and common English names.
Where to find a homeopathic vet
A list of homeopathic vets is found on the BAHVS website
Where to buy the remedies
Several homeopathic pharmacies sell handy pet remedy kits including Helios, Ainsworths and Freemans. You may also be able to purchase remedies if you are using a homeopathic vet who may have their own supplies.
Aconite – Aconitum napellus – Monkshood or Wolfsbane is excellent for helping to treat acute, sudden or violent illness or shock – both mental and physical.
It is a good winter remedy for complaints which come on after cold, dry conditions. It will also assist in the treatment of acute febrile conditions, such as viral or bacterial diseases
Apis – Apis mellifca* – Honey Bee
Excellent for hot, puffy, pinky/red swelling such as from insect bites.
Urticarial swellings, oedema and fluid in joints will often respond to this remedy. It may also help urine retention, if this is physiological.
* Zoological nomenclature later changed to Apis mellifera
Arnica – Arnica montana – Leopard’s Bane
This is homeopathy’s great injury remedy. It is a very versatile remedy which can minimise bruising and speed healing. It is great for pain after dental work, particularly if there is profuse bleeding.
It also has ‘antiseptic’ properties.
It is also good for mental trauma, over-exertion and when you are feeling ‘up against it all’.
Belladonna – Atropa belladonna
High fevers with head, ear, throat or eye pain are especially helped by this remedy.
Very painful abscesses may also respond. Also for headaches and neuralgic pain.
Bryonia – Bryonia alba* – White Bryony
A remedy for arthritis or rheumatism (hot, swollen joints).
Also for coughs and pneumonia and peritonitis or mastitis, when the animal refuses to move.
* Nomenclature later changed to Bryonia dioica
Calendula – Calendula officinalis – Marigold
Used as a lotion, this remedy speeds healing of cuts, grazes or open wounds, in addition to helping the animal to fight septic infection of such injuries.
Cantharis ~ Cantharis vesicatoria
This medicine is helpful in most cases of cystitis.
Ledum palustre or Marsh or Labrador Tea. This is a low-growing, perennial evergreen shrub in the Rhododendron genus of the heath family, Ericaceae. It isn’t native to the UK but has naturalised in places.
Ledum can be used whenever puncture wounds occur, from whatever injury, including tick and other insect bites. It also has reputed anti-tetanus properties in addition to its ability to help such wounds heal from the depths outwards.
Pulsatilla pratensis or Pasqueflower is a member of the buttercup or Ranunculaceae family. A related Pasqueflower species, Pulsatilla vulgaris, is a rarity of just a few chalk and limestone grasslands in southern England. Legend has it that Pasqueflowers sprang up in places that had been soaked by the blood of Romans or Danes!
Called the ‘Queen of Remedies’ by Helios Homeopathy, Pulsatilla is a big female, hormonal remedy often characterised by bland discharges. It’s also useful for skin and eye allergies which is why Diesel benefitted from taking it. Pulsatilla animals are cuddly and affectionate, but anxious and upset while alone. They are likely to want to lie in a cool place and are not very thirsty.
In his book, The Homeopathic Treatment of Small Animals: Principles and Practice, vet Chris Day describes the remedy as:
“One of homeopathy’s great female remedies, suiting best the patient of shy, yielding disposition. Disorders of the female hormone system respond well when the type fits. Discharges whether from nose, eyes, vulva, etc. are creamy.”
Vet George Macleod says in his book, A Veterinary Materia Medica and Clinical Repertory:
“It’s a useful remedy for the bitch showing a tendency to pyometra and false pregnancy. Has been used successfully in treating retained placenta in cattle.”
Indeed, Whole health Agriculture (WHAg) trains farmers to use homeopathy safely and effectively on their livestock. Pulsatilla is in the farmer’s kit for treating youngstock and mothers following separation and weaning; during and post birthing; pneumonia in youngstock; mastitis; and other infections.
Watch this space
– we will be adding more information on the following remedies over the next few weeks: