Part of the "Become Informed" Series, by WHP
Figuring out a remedy for animals
Note: For the most part, these techniques apply to treating children &/or people where there is a communication barrier.
- How can they tell you about the situation
- What to do with the information
- How do you know if it helps
This will not turn you into a Veterinarian, it will help you understand the process homeopaths go through in selecting what is called a single remedy - one that matches the complaint.
I'll use a dog as the model for this discussion.
Observation it's a BIG clue in figuring out a remedy for an animal. In fact, short of a lab test observations are going to be about the only clue.
Homeopaths look up symptoms in a Repertory which suggest all possible remedies for the symptom. They then look for which remedy(s) are frequently and well indicated for the symptom. These are weighted, and often one of the top two or three leading remedies is the answer. Sometimes an odd symptom with only 1 or 2 remedies will be the remedy, especially if the remedy is otherwise well indicated.
An easy typical situation follows:
The homeopath has noticed something is wrong - That first impression gets written down -- e.g., the dog can't go up and down steps like he used to.
The next thing they might do is to look for other clues re mobility. For instance they noticed the dog having difficulty getting up for the first walk in the morning, or during cold or hot weather, etc.
Then they will try to find when mobility issues came up - Did it follow an accident - If there is a clear cause, like accident, an injury remedy (typically Arnica) may be all that's needed -- Even if the accident occurred a while back.
Homeopaths will find out if there has been any changes in food or water preferences or volume. Temperature preferences are often noted. The animal looks for a cool (or hot) place to hang out.
The homeopath then has to decide which strength and when to repeat the remedy - I typically start low and go higher as needed and wait for reaction to the remedy before repeating it. There are a number of valid ways.
People who aren't trained in these methods typically go for help. www.acadvethom.org for veterinarians trained in homeopathy and the National Center for Homeopathy www.homeopathic.org for people doctors. Some will buy one of the many books available -- The modern books are written in layman's language and describe common situations and common remedies. For instance, if you (or a veterinarian) thought the dog had arthritis the reader would look up arthritis and find the remedy that matched the dog's symptoms.
For instance, if the dog appeared to have difficulty rising for that first AM walk, was more able to get up those stairs after being out for a walk, and was better in hot weather, the remedy Rhus Tox. would be well indicated. The opposite conditions might call for Bryonia -- especially if the dog was very thirsty.
Others will buy one of the many combination remedies available for the general condition. They are typically made up for the most common problems using the most common remedies in the combination.
Typically healing follows a pattern. Often the last symptom which arose is the first symptom to go away (unless something more vital needs healing). Healing will often start at the top and work down (head to foot). If the problem is internal and there are also external problems (skin itch) the internal problem almost always is resolved first then the skin problem. It follows that if there are several things going wrong the right remedy stimulates the body and the body picks out what is critical to heal first.