What is Homeopathy?

Arlene F. Betker

Homeopathy is a natural system of medicine that is safe and effective for most disorders of the body.

It is based on an organized, well proven system of medicine that was established in Germany some 200 years ago and is used in nearly every country/culture in the world today. Countries such as England and France embrace homeopathy throughout their health care and India with about 1 billion people has found it to be a most reasonable and effective form of therapy. Homeopathy is regulated under the "Food and Drugs Act" in most countries and has been accepted for many years.

As in all holistic methods, homeopathy is concerned with the treatment of the complete or whole individual, rather than just treating the symptoms of the disease. As a result, when a homeopathic veterinarian recommends a homeopathic treatment, different ingredients might be suggested in different dogs with the same illness.

Traditionally homeopathic single remedies have been very specific in particular symptoms, and therefore it has been difficult for a lay person to know which single substance should be used for an illness without the intervention of a homeopath. As a result, when it comes to consumer choice of product, more broadly defined COMBINATIONS of ingredients are employed so that the various possibilities are addressed. This technique is becoming the method of choice, even amongst homeopathic veterinarians in view of the complexities of pinpointing each and every possible diagnostic sign in a dog.


It works through a well accepted and time tested pharmacological law, known internationally as the "Law of Simulars" or "like cures like".

When Samuel Hahnemann a brilliant German physician, presented his findings in the 1790's he was considered to be an "extremist", even though the basis of his findings dates back to the ancient Greeks. By 1810, he published his "Organon Of Natural Medicine" which encompassed his new system of medicine which he called homeopathy. Over the years, his concepts have been proven again and again and have been embraced by naturopaths and by holistic medical doctors/veterinarians worldwide, and have become the sole method of treatment of physicians known as "Homeopaths".

Dr, Hahnemann's findings clearly proved that the same substance which, in large amounts could cause a disorder within the body, in minute doses could curethe same disorder

Examples of this are:

* Coffee, consumed before bedtime often causes insomnia and yet in homeopathic doses, induces sleep.

* An ingredient such as nitroglycerin will cause throbbing headaches, but in minute doses ( homeopathic doses) will cure that type of headache.

The general thinking of western style (allopathic) medicine is that the symptoms are caused by the illness. By using strong drugs, the patient should be cured and if a positive outcome does not occur (which can be an artificial result) increasing the dose should achieve the desired result. This approach has caused side effects or even dependency, all to often. The symptoms are also often masked.

Homeopathy views the symptoms as signs of the body attempting to fight the illness and it is, in part, those symptoms that tell the homeopath which substances will solicit actions by the body's own natural healing forces of recovery  to achieve the desired result, without the "heavy" assaults of


Absolutely not! The amounts of substance used in homeopathic medicine are so small they are certainly safe and do not cause toxicity. However, contrary to western thinking, substances in such small quantities can do a lot of healing. They can be used along with other medications without concern of interaction. 


1/ The traditional method of taking homeopathic remedies is in "granule" form. Granules are tiny balls or pellets on which the medication is impregnated. These are NOT to be touched but should be dispensed into the cap of the package or into a clean spoon and then placed directly under the tongue. By not handling the granule, you are assuring the purity of the medicine. This is important in doses as minuscule as those used in homeopathy.

2/ The mouth should be clear of food. It is best not to administer homeopathics directly before or after food or liquid. The general rule is to administer them at least 1 hour after eating (anything) and not to feed anything for 1/2 hour after administering them.

3/ The granules are to be dissolved in the mouth, not swallowed or chewed. This avoids much of the neutralization that could take place in the digestive tract.

**Having to administer homeopathics "sublingually" to a dog can present a few problems. Granules are easier as they dissolve rather quickly, I will put them in the side pocket of the dogs mouth and gently hold their mouth shut for a few seconds. With tablets I cut the corner off of a clean envelope and place the tablet in the corner and "smash" it with a small hammer until it is powder. Then I pour the powder into the side pocket of  the dogs mouth and it dissolves instantly. You can also dissolve a tablet in a sterile container using a small amount of spring water and administer by syringe under the tongue**

4/ Once the desired results are obtained, immediately stop administering the homeopathic. It is not necessary to take the medication until the bottle is empty. To continue can aggravate the condition.

5/ Dosages are as follows, please remember this is ONLY a guide as each dogis an individual.

CRISIS: 1 tablet or 3-4 granules, every 3-30 minutes.
ACUTE: 1 tablet or 3-4 granules, every 30 minutes to hourly, decreasing to 3-4 times a day.
CHRONIC: 1 tablet or 3-4 granules, 1-3 times a day.

The dosages are the same if you are treating a Chihuahua or a Great Dane.


The majority are made from extracts of botanical sources, but some are also made from minerals and extracts of animals. The substances of each of these classifications contain an essence or energy that is the force behind homeopathy. Homeopathic substances have varying strengths which are indicated by the number of times they are diluted. A 1 dilution (1X) is weaker than a 5 dilution (5X). The higher the number, the stronger the medication.

Homeopathics can be produced into a variety of forms such as granules, tablets, liquids, ointments, nasal sprays, suppositories, etc.

***Here is a list of excellent books available on Veterinary Homeopathy.

Homeopathic First-Aid Treatment For Pets, by Francis Hunter
Homeopathy In Veterinary Practice, by Dr. K. J. Biddis
Homeopathic Treatment Of Small Animals, by Christopher Day
Homeopathic Treatment For Birds, by Beryl M. Chapman
The Treatment Of Horses By Homeopathy, by Dr George MacLeod
DOGS-Homeopathic Remedies, by Dr George MacLeod
CATS-Homeopathic Remedies, by Dr. George MacLeod
A Veterinary Materia Medica and Clinical Repertory, by Dr. George MacLeod 

*PLEASE! remember that it is very important to consult with you Veterinarian whenever you dog is ill.


 Homeopathy is a system of medical treatment brought to light almost 200 years ago by a German physician named Samuel Hahnemann. The basic tenets of homeopathy, however, have been in use since ancient times and are best summarized by the basic homeopathic law of similars: "like cures like." Hahnemann was revolted by the medical treatments of the day, including arsenic and mercury treatments and bloodletting, and did not believe the prevailing theory that quinine cured malaria because it was a bitter substance, since other bitter substances had no effect on the disease. In his first experiments, he discovered that quinine actually caused signs of malaria in higher than therapeutic doses. He developed the theory of "similibus similia curentur," which states that like cures like, and over the next six years set out to test this hypothesis using other substances to "cause disease," then using the diluted, potentised substance to treat people with symptoms that matched the "symptom picture" of the drug. He published his findings in 1796, and the science of homeopathy has grown into world wide use since that time. His system of treatment, as it stands today, utilizes very low doses of substances to resolve syndromes which they might actually cause, in higher doses. A very simple example is in the use of homeopathic ipecac to treat (yes, treat!) vomiting. 

Homeopathic "remedies", as they are called, are prepared in a very specific manner. The original substance is usually from a natural source, such as plants or minerals, and is progressively diluted and potentized by violent shaking at each step, until the final remedy often theoretically contains none of the original substance! Theories for the mechanism of action include some form of electromagnetic "memory" on the water used to dilute the substance. Homeopathic researchers have discussed everything from fractal geometrics involving molecules of water and magnetite, to stress responses to the remedy, where heat shock proteins are used as an example. Although homeopathic research is in its infancy regarding mechanism of action, clinical trials have indicated that the remedies do work, despite the fact that the mechanism is

Because homeopathy seems to work at the subatomic and, potentially, molecular genetic levels, rather than the pharmacologic level, the methods for diagnosing and treating disease are entirely foreign to traditional medical thought. Homeopaths view disease as a manifestation of a disturbance in the "vital force," and symptoms of the disease are absolutely unique to each patient. For instance, 2 dogs with parvoviral enteritis may look a little different initially-one may have started with vomiting and increasing depression, while the other broke with hemorrhagic diarrhea. The homeopath views these different manifestations as individual differences in the state of the patients' vital force; therefore, they would receive different prescriptions. Homeopathy is said to treat the patient, not the disease. Since the remedies work to assist the vital force in healing the body, one Indian homeopath described the system as "teaching the body to heal itself". 

There are between one and two thousand homeopathic remedies from which to choose when a prescription is made, and the trained homeopath must be familiar with them to find the one that best matches a patient's symptoms. This is the reason that the initial visit for the first-time patient may take some time, and why a homeopathic consultation may be expensive-a homeopath may spend hours on one animal after the patient
has left the hospital! 
Homeopathic remedies are very inexpensive and virtually free of side effects. The biggest advantage of homeopathic treatment, though, is that the remedies stimulate the vital force; in other words, treating a disease actually increases the health of the animal and increases the capacity of the body to fight insults to health. In conventional medicine, the medications often suppress signs of the disease without actually ridding the body of the susceptibility that caused the problem in the first place. Perhaps this is one of the reasons for the increasing popularity of homeopathy. 

Homeopathy is a well accepted and popular form of therapy in most parts of the world, for all species. (Queen Elizabeth's family physician is a homeopath, and she allows her horses to be treated solely by homeopathy). People are beginning to look for nontoxic, tonifying medications because they have seen the failure of conventional medicine in treating chronic, crippling diseases such as allergies, migraines, back pain, and depression. In using homeopathic and other holistic treatment options in addition to any required conventional therapies for a sick pet, you are providing additional, complementary aids that will help an animal become strong again. 

(C) 2000
Arlene F. Betker

Back to the Health section
Click here to bring up the site if you're stuck in someone's frames or you just see a single page.
HomeNews Around The World  |  Store | Dachshund Clubs | Breeders | DORG Forum
 Resources | Events Coming Up | Interactive Events Calendar | Reading Room | Gallery
  Memorials | Grooming | Health Care | Food & Recipes | Behavior  | Dachshund Sports
 Magazines | Search | Contributor Info | Advertising Info | Contact & Information Page
Kennel Clubs Around the World | Adopt/Rescue | Send a Card | DORG Chat | A Look at the Past