Teaching, Learning, Improving

Lecturer vintage pictureThis week I’m in the throws of polishing a couple of case presentations that I’ll be delivering at a meeting of homeopathic veterinarians in a few weeks. Each year Dr. Richard Pitcairn, who trained most of us who seriously practice homeopathy for the animals, hosts his Annual Meeting in Veterinary Homeopathy. When he asked if I’d like to present this year, I decided it was time to get back on the podium.

A chance to share cases and learn from other colleagues always makes one a better doctor. That’s even more true in homeopathy, which is a field of continuous study, as each animal case coming for help must be approached with open eyes and an open mind.

Treating Your Animal or The Diagnostic Label?

You see, unlike conventional medicine where the diagnosis is the thing (and everyone with that diagnosis gets the same treatment), in homeopathy, the individual’s response to her illness is the focus. How your particular animal is mounting her symptoms in her struggle to get over her health challenge, that’s what leads us to finding the best remedies to assist her and get her cured.

When you do this long enough (hard to believe it’s been over 20 years for me!), you start to see remedies shining through when the animal’s story is told. But the beauty of hearing how others approached a case is that it helps each of us to get a broader perspective. We all have different faculties, awareness, perceptions, and fallacies — that’s part of being human.

Seeing someone else’s view enhances our own. True in life as well as doctoring!

Made Ill by The System2 (squared!)

The work of curing chronic disease is hard enough in itself. Unfortunately, many of those patients coming to us have been very damaged by conventional medicine and we are often the D.V.M., D.L.R on the job. That’s Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, and Doctor of Last Resort! These poor beasts have been vaccinated repeatedly and then, after getting sick, they’ve been given powerful drugs to suppress their symptoms.

Not only does this treatment not move them any closer to cure, it actually makes them more difficult to cure! Suppression of one’s attempts to heal their illness adds to that illness. Symptoms are mistakenly viewed as the disease itself, while the reality is symptoms are merely the signs of how the individual’s “fight” is taking shape against that disease. When watched carefully and matched with a very similar remedy, these symptoms will surely lead us to cure.

Cure is decidedly different than making symptoms go away, another point missed by a wide margin in conventional medicine. We homeopaths expect the symptoms to go away, but we also expect the whole patient to get well. Homeopathy’s founder, Dr. Samuel Hahnemann says it best:

“The highest ideal of therapy is to restore health rapidly, gently, permanently; to remove and destroy the whole disease in the shortest, surest, least harmful way, according to clearly comprehendible principles.”[1. Organon of Medicine, Samuel Hahnemann, Sixth Edition, translated by Jost Kunzli, MD]

When this “whole disease” is removed and destroyed, the animal not only loses her symptoms, but becomes healthier in every way:

  • more energetic, happier
  • better behaved
  • improved digestion and elimination
  • brighter eyes and fresher breath
  • shinier, softer coats that smell fresh and clean (without bathing!)

In short, she becomes a Vital Animal.

Further Your Own Learning: You Can Do This!

When acute illness strikes, homeopathy can be very useful at home with a kit of remedies and some basic understanding of how to use them. “Acute” means those things like injury, accidents, intoxication, belly ache, vomiting, diarrhea, cuts, bites and stings. I made a course in this topic called Miracles in Healing that was hosted by Dogs Naturally Magazine last Fall. I’m presently adding to it with some additional remedies, and it will be relaunched in the near future.

To learn when this becomes available, head over to Dogs Naturally at the link above and bookmark the page. Even better, subscribe to this thought provoking magazine that doesn’t pull punches. We share a common philosophy: animals are being damaged in the name of “prevention” today. And it’s up to you to make wise choices in rearing your animals. Everything coming from Dr. WhiteCoat needs to be carefully evaluated before being accepted.

Don’t Try This At Home, Kids!

If it’s chronic disease your animal suffers from, the long lasting sorts of illness so common today, you’ll need help in getting this cured. That’s where a veterinary homeopath on your team comes in most handy. We who practice this art and science are trained to steer the chronically ill patient towards cure, and it takes both knowledge and experience to do this well.

Find a homeopathic vet at the Academy of Veterinary Homeopathy list. You’ll find that  link on my Recommended Resources page.

Back to work now. I’ve got slides to prepare and rehearsal time to put in, as I want my colleagues to gain something valuable from my case experience. And I look forward to learning from them as well!

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  1. L on March 5, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    “Vanectyl-P is the brand name medication combining trimeprazine and prednisolone. Trimeprazine offers anti-itching and cough-suppressant properties while prednisolone works as an anti-inflammatory”.
    Not good long term (imo), prednisone is a steroid.
    My dog receives immunotherapy (allergy shots), she sees a dermatologist about once a year and has responded well after about 7 months. I now only have to give her the shot every 3 weeks. Frequent (twice a week) bathing with Malaseb or Sulfadene or a gentle oatmeal shampoo helps too.
    I also have been leaning toward a home-made, semi raw diet, gave up the kibble as I noticed a decrease in itching when I did so. I just ordered a meat grinder as I am going to take it to the next level and start grinding up chicken necks, gizzards and such.
    I will not give this dog any more vaccines.
    Just my 2 cents

  2. Lisa on March 5, 2014 at 11:36 am

    Dear Will’
    I have a 18 month, neutered Boston-terrier who has also had all his vaccines. He has been itching like crazy and lost quite a bit of his hair on belly, under his arms and behind his hair. The vet said it was a protein allergy and put him on special kibble from him and Vanectyl pills. The pills did work but it is not something I want him to take. I am now feeding him raw, using coconut oil, bone broth, queritin pills and colostrum pills. He is also being washed in an organic soap. Is there anything else you can suggest?
    Thanks Lisa

    • Will Falconer, DVM on March 5, 2014 at 3:00 pm

      Hi Lisa, and welcome to the discussions.
      Allergies can be cured, and that’s the highest goal. Conventional medicines like the steroid/anti-histamine you describe make symptoms go away but make cure more difficult to achieve.
      A raw diet may help, but the final improvements will likely take some professional help from a vet homeopath. See my Resources page for the AVH listing to find someone who can help you reach the goal of cure. And distance is no impediment, you’ll be able to see who works by telephone and how much of the practice is dedicated to homeopathy.
      And, as L says, absolutely no more shots, if you want to reverse the allergic state.
      All the best with your youngster.

  3. L on February 28, 2014 at 2:37 pm

    @KN, just wanted to add my 2 cents. I have a dog with a medical condition, common sense tells me that she should not get the rabies or any other vaccine again.
    However, I went to 3 vets and they all agreed with me but did not want to sign the rabies vaccine waiver….they tell me that whenever they sign a waiver they are interrogated by the board or registration in veterinary medicine as to why and held accountable for liability issues if the dog bites someone and the worst case scenario happens.
    Therefore, no veterinarian will condone not giving the rabies vaccine to a pet that appears healthy if the law requires it.
    So, there you have it. Read through the blogs and you will find a way to do what is right to keep your pets healthy.

    • Will Falconer, DVM on March 5, 2014 at 2:54 pm

      Hi L,
      First I’ve heard of this big stick approach to vets who would sign a waiver. What part of the world are you in that this happens? Really sounds like a pressure tactic to maintain the status quo with fear.
      How would a vet be liable for a bite injury? This doesn’t make any sense what so ever! Is the assumption that the bite likelihood would be lessened by getting a rabies vaccination repeatedly? Quite the opposite would likely be the case!

      • L on March 6, 2014 at 2:39 pm

        The specialist that treats my poodle for allergies told me she would most likely need the desensitization shots for the rest of her life, won’t sign the waiver! He says allergies are not a reason to withhold the rabies vaccine.
        He told me a sad story about a stray puppy that bit a kid and had to be euthanized because it’s history was unknown.
        The specialist I saw before him (from another country) said to me “Why are spending money going from vet to vet, you know she’s okay, just don’t give it (rabies vaccine) but he wouldn’t sign the waiver!
        The regular vet I saw told me that IF the titer came back high, then MAYBE he would sign the waiver.
        My only concern is that if they need medical attention; my dogs will be denied treatment unless I comply with the rabies vaccine.
        I am doing everything I can to keep them healthy, so I will cross that bridge when I come to it.

        • L on March 6, 2014 at 3:26 pm

          It was a vet that I spoke to on the phone that told me about the Board of Registration in Veterinary Medicine… he mentioned New York State.
          I think he meant that if your pet ends up rabid and bites someone, the vet that signed the waiver would have a lot of explaining to do.
          He wasn’t interested in signing the waiver for my pet either.

        • Will Falconer, DVM on March 6, 2014 at 4:59 pm

          The “unknown history” euthanasia for a bite is expected and normal. That’s why everyone with a history of rabies vaccines should keep the records. I speak to this in my rabies page.
          “Ending up with rabies” is rather ludicrous. Why do we push vaccines as a profession if we don’t think they protect? Really some misunderstanding all around, vets included.

  4. Karen Newman on February 28, 2014 at 7:39 am

    My 2 vital dogs and 2 vital cats are moving from the UK to live in Chicago with me. My concern is ‘rabies’ The UK is considered a rabies free zone so we do not have to have the vaccinations when bringing the animals over however will my animals then be at risk and will I be allowed to walk my animals around Chicago as it looks to me as if you have to have a verification certificate to take your dogs to most dog parks and woods in Chicago? What would you suggest is the best way of keeping them all vital in this pending situation? Many thanks….Karen

    • Will Falconer, DVM on March 1, 2014 at 6:03 am

      Hi Karen,
      Every municipality varies quite a bit in what they require of the animals who live in and around them. I don’t personally know Chicago, but I’d just guess that there’s a large community of naturally raised animals who visit parks and woods on a regular basis without risk of either rabies or repeated vaccinations.
      Rabies is a reportable disease, and the incidence is quite low. It usually makes the newspapers, in fact, if it appears. But each state in the US has a public health department that tracks rabies, and their data is online, in quite deep detail: the species that was found rabid, which county it was found in, etc.
      So, while you’re coming from a rabies free country, don’t assume that rabies is a rampant disease in the states. It’s not. I live in Texas, the very large state bordering Mexico, where rabies is quite common. I’m not seeing the rabies incidence being alarming by any means, being in the veterinary field for 20 years here.
      The main thing is to focus on those preventative things you’ve learned here and elsewhere, and find some like minded animal owners to “get the lay of the land” where you are moving. Natural health food stores, bulletin boards, online chat communities, etc. I have a client in Chicago who’s raising very healthy vital dogs who charge around in the woods and parks on a regular basis, and she’s not seeing rabies.
      All the best in your upcoming move!

  5. Mary on February 26, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    Great news! Congratulations.
    Looking forward to the next Miracles in Healing webinar.

    • Will Falconer, DVM on February 26, 2014 at 3:58 pm

      Thanks Mary. I’ll be adding some injury remedies to the mix, and you’ll have more tools to turn to in traumatic situations.

  6. Paula on February 26, 2014 at 10:05 am

    Dear Will,
    I have an 8 month old labradoodle named Bella. She came from a breeder who did not vaccinate and kept everything spotlessly clean. She never had a flee or worm until I came to Florida from Michigan (my winter home). She is a very active dog, so I brought her to the local dog park in Florida. I began to notice evidence of tapeworm segments in her stool. Trying to be holistic, I have tried everything to eradicate the tapeworm. I have put ground up pumpkin seeds in her food every morning. I put Diatomaceous Earth in her food at night. Every time I think the worms are gone, I see evidence of tapeworm again. Do you have any advise for me? I really don’t want to use a toxic dewormer.
    Thanks, Paula

    • Will Falconer, DVM on February 26, 2014 at 3:57 pm

      Hi Paula,
      No short answers, except one: tapes are the most benign worm on the planet, i.e. rarely cause disease. They rob a bit of nutrients but that’s about it. When I treat an animal with them, I’m looking for a constitutional remedy (fitting the whole patient), and it builds the dog’s resistance so the worms no longer have a home.
      As with all of homeopathy in chronic disease, there’s never a “one size fits all” in doing this.
      p.s. the dewormer is likely more risky than the worm.

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