By: Mary Lou Gerace
Back in the early 80’s I had a beagle.
His name was Opie. He was my
first dog. He had a lot of medical
problems and behavioral issues. I
hate to admit it, but early on I was pretty clueless concerning both. However,
throughout his life, I learned and became more educated with regard to overall
canine health and well-being. I
started doing research into alternative ways to get him back to a healthier
state of being. I incorporated some
things into his daily life that helped him, but unfortunately, the prolonged use
of “steroids” had taken it toll and after 13 years of protecting Opie from
the world and the world from Opie, he died of liver failure.
I don’t mean to imply that “steroids” don’t have their place in
traditional medicine. Not at all.
They are extremely beneficial when used over short periods of time for
various ailments. However, after
Opie was gone, I was even more determined that with my next dog, while I would
still rely on traditional medicine (i.e., vaccinations, etc), I would also look
into Homeopathic healing alternatives.
WHAT IS HOMEPATHY?
Homeopathy was discovered in the late 1700’s by Dr. Samuel Hahnemann.
Dr. Hahnemann was a German physician who became dissatisfied with
traditional medicine. He turned his
knowledge to translating medical texts. While
translating the text of a Scottish physician by the name of Cullen, he disagreed
with Cullen’s description of a certain “Peruvian bark” used to treat
malaria and how it acted on the body. He
explained his theory with regard to the action of the bark by ingesting it
himself. By doing this, he then
developed the symptoms of malaria. After
a period of time, the symptoms disappeared and he was again “normal.”
Being the scientist that he was, he tried it again and experienced the
same results. Thereafter, was born
what he called the “Natural Law of “Similia
Similibus Curentur” which translates to “let like be cured by like.”
For the next 20 years, he did approximately 70 tests using natural
substances on himself, his family, his friends and medical school volunteers.
Each and every symptom was logged. This
record became known as the Materia Medica.
The log kept track of the symptoms each substance produced in a healthy
person. That substance was then used
as a remedy when someone was ill.
For a long period of time, Hahnemann could not convince other physicians
that what he was doing was working. However,
during the War of 1812, when typhus emerged as a fatal, infectious disease and
only 2 patients out of 180 died when treated by Hahnemann, his fellow physicians
started to take notice. Later in
1831, it is reported that conventional physicians treated approximately 1500
cases of Cholera and lost 821 patients (55%) whereas a medical student of Dr.
Hahnemann treated 154 and only lost 6 patients (just less than 4%).
Conventional (traditional) medicine employs the use of drugs.
The drugs are said to target the part of the body where the disease has
taken hold. Homeopathy, on the other
hand, looks at the whole person in the present and in the past.
It takes in consideration how he or she behaves, looks, prior illnesses
and, of course, the present ailment. The
Homeopathic physician will take all of that into consideration when looking in
his Materia Medica for the remedy.
He will look until he finds an exact match and he will then prescribe.
Although the practice of Homeopathy became somewhat “lost” when
antibiotics became popular, it is once again coming to the forefront as an
alternative medical treatment for both humans and our animal friends.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Think in terms of “energy.” The
“dilutions” contain the energy of the original product.
Hahnemann experimented with a new method whereby after each dilution he
would shake the substance vigorously. This
he called "succussion"
thus developing the energetic aspect of homeopathy. It is unknown how
Hahnemann reasoned this (still scientifically unexplainable) method of "potentization".
Scientists further believe
that the alcohol or water contained in the dilutions carry memory at an
TREATING OUR DOGS
When a dog is treated, the “whole” animal is considered before any
remedy is prescribed. Everything
from the personality of the animal, to the time of the year, to the time of the
day when symptoms are at their peak, to past illnesses are reviewed, as is the
relationship with its owner. A
“drug picture” is taken. Another
term for this is “repetoirizing.” When
Homeopathic healing is used, the owner of the animal becomes a part of the
As mentioned above, conventional/traditional medicine targets specific
ailments, organs or diseases with drugs specifically manufactured to
“suppress” symptoms. Sooner or
later, the disease will return. This
brings me back to my first dog, Opie. He
had chronic skin allergies. Through
antibiotics and steroids, his itching was suppressed.
As long as he was on the drug, he was allergy free and he was
comfortable. When the drugs were
withdrawn or when they wore off, his itching, scratching and biting returned.
It was not cured. When the
correct Homeopathic remedy is used, it is said the disease will not return.
Next month, in Part
Two of this series, I will discuss the proper use of Homeopathy, Potencies, the
Use of the Remedies & also Dosing.
Holistic Guide for a
Health Dog, Wendy Volhard & Kerry Brown, DVM
As always, I can be
reached at: Goodheart@telstar-online.net
GOOD Luck to all of
you attending the National this month in
Mary Lou Gerace
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