Should I Resort to Veterinary Homeopathy?

The safest thing for pets is traditional medicine, because at least it’s based on science. Most professionals are against veterinary homeopathy, so get a second opinion if a vet recommends it.
Should I Resort to Veterinary Homeopathy?
Eugenio Fernández Suárez

Written and verified by the vet Eugenio Fernández Suárez.

Last update: 27 December, 2022

Homeopathy is an alternative medical treatment for various ailments. Veterinary homeopathy is becoming increasingly popular. Analyzing the possible benefits or detriments of veterinary homeopathy will help you make the best possible decision for your pet.

What’s veterinary homeopathy?

Veterinary homeopathy is a therapeutic method for the prevention, cure, or relief of diseases in animals, through homeopathic medical products.

However, these products have a supposed advantage over the rest. They’re believed to be able to produce beneficial changes to cure a disease, but they never cause adverse effects or interactions with other drugs.

What are veterinary homeopathic medicinal products based on?

Hahnemann was the main promoter of homeopathy. He based its use on the belief that we should treat diseases with elements that caused the symptoms themselves. For example, according to classical homeopathy, a snake bite must be treated with venom.

However, this was dangerous, so Hahnemann diluted the elements in distilled water, to the point where the amount was minuscule and harmless. Of course, they didn’t cause adverse reactions nor were they dangerous.

Their harmful effects were the same as those of drinking water, so it might come as a surprise that veterinary homeopathy has beneficial effects.

The problem is that, sometimes, the elements people use to make veterinary homeopathic medical products are surreal. It might surprise you to discover that there are homeopathic medicines made out of light bulbs, dinosaurs, rheum, light from Saturn, or from the Berlin Wall, which, apparently, is effective against the feeling of isolation. These are all “verified” by science popularizers.

A sick dog with pills.

Is veterinary homeopathy water?

As we explained above, veterinary homeopathy is based on dilutions, as no scientific device has been able to detect even a hint of a healing agent in veterinary homeopathy medicinal products.

To get a better understanding, 1CH is the basic unit of homeopathic dilution, in which 99% of the product is water. However, homeopathic medicinal products use dilutions of more than 7CH.

Imagine that you take a tablespoon of soda, and you add it to a liter of water. Then, you stir it. From that liter, you take another tablespoon and repeat the process in another liter of water. You do this seven times, until not even the most advanced molecular measurement system is able to detect anything. That’s why, for practical purposes and according to current science, homeopathy is very expensive water.

Is veterinary homeopathy dangerous?

Many wonder how it’s possible that veterinary homeopathy and human homeopathy medicines lack any sort of medication. It’s surprising in cases such as homeopathic sleeping pills, which don’t cause impaired driving, as traditional sleeping pills do. In fact, some adverse effects are linked to the effectiveness of the drug itself.

But it’s also surprising to discover that there are cases of adverse effects in homeopathy, mainly caused by excipients. These elements aren’t curative. For example, the elements that make tablets or pills solid can cause adverse reactions or allergies.

Some claim that homeopathy is dangerous, both due to the allergic reactions it can cause and because veterinary homeopathy replaces treatments that have proven to be more reliable.

A dog looking at pills.

Does veterinary homeopathy work?

This is a good question, as even homeopaths agree that non-water substances can’t be found in homeopathic dilutions. However, the mere absence of any element may not mean that it won’t work.

Nevertheless, there are many cases of people who claim that homeopathy cured them, as well as of happy owners that claim that veterinary homeopathy saved their pet.

In this regard, we must clarify that diseases have several causes, and that a drug won’t be enough in many cases. For example, veterinarians won’t only prescribe drugs for urinary problems. They’ll also recommend a special diet to a dog with kidney failure that should accompany the use of drugs.

That’s why, when your vet recommends a veterinary homeopathy treatment, you must see if they also recommend other treatments. We can’t say that veterinary homeopathy works if a professional medicated a dog against obesity with homeopathy but then its owner started taking it on daily walks and changed and limited its diet.

One of the main arguments against homeopathy is the placebo effect, which experts have widely described in scientific literature. Basically, the placebo effect is when a patient who’s given something they think is a drug improves, even though it has no effect.

Is there a placebo effect in veterinary homeopathy?

Although experts don’t yet know how this effect works, every drug study takes it into account. They also conduct tests with placebos to differentiate them from real effects. Experts believe that our brain is tricked into thinking that it’ll heal, which makes our body secrete substances that can reduce pain and mask symptoms.

A dog taking a pill.

Several studies have shown that the effects of homeopathy are placebo. However, they’ve also documented improvement in animals who don’t understand what drugs are. Is this conclusive evidence that homeopathy works?

The truth is that most of the reports that tried to prove that veterinary homeopathy work are based on the veterinarian’s or the pet owner’s opinions. These are biased, as their belief in homeopathy can lead them to see unreal improvements. This is because we all know that, when you ask someone if their pet is better, they answer with their feelings and sensations, not with science.

On the other hand, the immune system changes and also fights conditions. Even so, all the documented cases of veterinary homeopathy not working suggest that it may not be a great tool to cure pets.

Should you resort to veterinary homeopathy?

After analyzing the available evidence, the most responsible and safest thing for your pet is to trust traditional medicine. Although it may have drawbacks, at least it’s based on science.

We always recommend veterinary advice, as some of these professionals may recommend it. Most of them are against it. If your pet’s vet recommends homeopathy, we suggest you seek a second opinion and find out what other professionals would recommend.

Some veterinary journals or college courses sponsor multi-million dollar companies and homeopathics are allowed for multiple reasons. Thus, we recommend caution when it comes to your pet’s health.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.