We’re back with part 3 of the homeopathy series – the last half of my interview with animal homeopath Shirley where she gives us tips on how to give our pets homeopathic remedies, shares lots more great information, her favorite remedies to keep on hand, ways you can learn if you want to study homeopathy more in-depth, and two amazing case studies.
The first part of the series can be found here: Homeopathy Part 1, and if you missed the first part of the interview with Shirley, I would suggest reading that first, because this picks up right where we left off.
Shirley, why is it that the most diluted versions of the remedies are the strongest? How does that work?
It’s weird how that works, but the more dilutions and succussions (putting energy into the remedy) the more powerful the remedy can be.
How do you put energy into the remedy?
You release the energy of the remedy by activating it in rhythmic movements. This is called succussing.
Do certain types of animal health / behavioral issues respond better than others?
In general, chronic disease can be mental/emotional as well as physical and you should expect a reversal of symptoms if you prescribe correctly. Homeopathy is wonderful for treating chronic disease whereas conventional (allopathic) medicine fails. Allopathic medicine is about suppressing symptoms whereas homeopathy prescribes on the symptoms and its goal is to bring about a cure. I love Hering’s Law of Cure: the body heals from the inside out thus throwing the disease away from the vital organs. Most conventional medicines will drive the disease deeper into the body, which ends up pushing the patient in a downward spiral of illness. Look at the springer spaniels and how they have seizures and brain tumors. You have to wonder if it started with the antibiotic, suppressive eardrops – the next vital organ is the brain!
That is interesting, and I had never heard of Hering’s Law of Cure. So the idea is that you bring the vital organs in balance and that makes the illness move towards the surface (and ideally out of) the body?
Well, I wouldn’t phrase it like that. Hering’s Law of Cure has several principles and one is that the body heals from the inside out, so it throws the disease away from the vital organs.
Are there any animal issues that homeopathy can’t help? Allergies? Cancer?
Certainly if it’s a life emergency like a dog hit by a car, you should get to a vet hospital ASAP. But there are remedies you can give along the way. In the case of severe auto-immune disease such as leaky gut, it is hard to have success with homeopathy or any medicine. Those are the very tough cases. I have such a case I’m working with now and it’s frustrating. Some cases are “incurable” and it’s usually because of some extreme toxin that has worked its way deep into the body.
So say my dog was in an accident and I’m on my way to the emergency room – what do I give him?
The most commonly used remedy for trauma is Arnica. I usually keep it in a spray bottle at home to spray on a bird that might have flown into the window.
Homeopathy can work with even serious illness, right? Your book talks about natural ways to work with Lyme disease – is it actually possible to treat (or even cure?) that homeopathically?
Yes, absolutely. Dr. Steven Tobin, a vet in CT, has treated thousands of animals using homeopathic Ledum. I’ve used ledum on dozens of dogs as well as the homeopathic nosode B. Bordorferi to treat lyme.
For more on how to treat Lyme disease with Ledum, see Homeopathy’s Answer to Tick Diseases.
I do have some ledum at home; my acupuncturist recommended it to take the itch out of mosquito bites, or taking it before going hiking to keep the bugs away – do you agree with that? Does it work for all types of bug bites?
Yes, ledum is a great remedy for insect bites. It’s also great for black eyes. Each remedy has many uses and that is why you might be a description on the Boiron remedies that doesn’t quite match the symptom you’re going to use it for. Every remedy has multiple symptoms that it covers. Ledum was greatly used in the days before the tetanus shot because it cleanses the blood. I believe that’s why it’s so effective against lyme disease.
You also say Frontline isn’t very effective when it comes to ticks?
That is correct. In laboratory tests the tick takes 48 hours to infect the dog. The premise is that the tick will die before it has a chance to infect the dog. More proof is coming out that the ticks deliver the spirochete faster; hence “Frontlined” dogs are contracting Lyme disease. It makes perfect sense that wildlife is more robust in its natural environment than in a laboratory. Historically, we’ve seen many dogs with Lyme disease who have been dosed with the spot-on products, both with the Save A Dog volunteer’s dogs as well as our adopter’s dogs. It’s frustrating that veterinarian offices are still promoting these products that have proven to be ineffective. See Lyme Prevention FAQ Sheet
What about Rabies? Does homeopathy work for that too?
I haven’t tried it. We don’t see a lot of rabies here. We see cancer caused by the rabies vaccine.
Really? Is it the vaccine itself that causes it? What can you do to prevent that, since it’s required by law?
The rabies vaccine is required by law but it contains aluminum hydroxide as an adjuvant. Aluminum hydroxide is documented by the WHO as being a 3 out of 4 carcinogen. Dr. Ronald Schultz and Dr. Jean Dodds are conducting a Rabies Challenge study to prove that the rabies vaccine lasts at least 7 years. Once that study is complete, I hope the laws will change so that dogs are only inoculated every 7 years.
Can you use homeopathic remedies as a preventative, or do they only work when you are sick or injured?
Yes, during an epidemic they used belladonna to prevent scarlet fever. I use prophylactic nosodes to prevent lyme and lepto. We use remedies to prevent flu bugs and other ailments.
Do homeopathic remedies ever have side effects?
I haven’t seen side effects really. You can have a “crisis of healing” which is a mild aggravation before the cure. The only remedy I tell people to be careful with is sulphur because if there’s an underlying serious disease it can cause an outbreak.
Are there any situations where using homeopathy can do more harm than good?
Not that I know of.
I understand the remedies are usually taken only for a short time. So many times, pets (and people) are on “chronic medication” – is it possible to replace some of these “lifetime drugs” with a short course of homeopathy?
I don’t tell people to stop using the pharmaceuticals if they’ve been on them for a while, it’s best to come along beside them with a low potency homoeopathic remedy and then eventually they won’t need the prescription drugs or they will not need to take them as much or in as high of a dose. That would be left up to the patient’s physician to decide.
What is the best way to give your pet a homeopathic remedy? What is important to think about when working with homeopathic remedies?
Tap 2-3 pellets of the homeopathic remedy you’re going to use into a bottle or glass containing 4 oz. of spring or distilled water. Let the pellets dissolve for about 5 minutes, then shake vigorously and give the bottle a couple of thwacks on your open hand or if you’re using a glass, stir briskly. Give 1cc or whatever you can draw up on an eye dropper (all it takes is a couple of drops, as the remedy is not administered by volume) directly into your pet’s mouth, preferably on the tongue.
You can always pour a little in an empty cup or bowl for him to drink (after shaking or stirring the mixture) or put a capful into your dog’s water bowl, but not for a cat as cats tend not to drink from the bowl. You can also put it into a small sterilized spay bottle and spray it onto the dog or cat’s anus. Any mucous membrane will absorb a remedy.
Other things to keep in mind:
- Give the remedy on a clean palate, i.e., no food should be in his mouth. You don’t have to give it on an empty stomach, but just no food in his mouth so that it will absorb more quickly. Do not mix homeopathic remedies in their food as it will not be effective
- Store them in a cool dark place, away from strong-smelling substances such as eucalyptus, camphor, oil of cloves, Vick’s vapor rub and aromatherapy oils. It is not a good idea, therefore, to keep them in the bathroom
- Do not store remedies adjacent to mobile phones, televisions, microwave ovens or computers. The fridge is okay
- Ensure the lid is well secured after use
- Do not store where there is direct sunlight, or excessive heat or cold
- Don’t transfer remedies from one container to another
Can homeopathy be used in conjunction with other complementary therapies?
Yes, absolutely. Good nutritional supplements are key so we do both.
Here is a list of helpful web sites to learn more about each of these remedies:
I looked Homeopathy up on NIH’s website, and they are pretty much dismissing it as useless, even hinting at the potential danger of using some remedies. And in spite of being covered by the national health services in several European countries, many MDs overseas are saying it’s nothing more than a placebo effect, and what actually makes you better is the time spent talking to the practitioner. What is your response to those claims? Is there such a thing as a placebo effect with animals?
I’ve never seen an animal fake a placebo, LOL. It’s best to go to the web sites that are legitimately describing homeopathy. The NIH has close ties with the pharmaceutical industry.
How do you feel about Resolution 3 and do you know what brought that on?
I think it shows that the industry is running scared. They really don’t want to use anything they don’t understand and they don’t understand homeopathy. I believe the Pharm industry is and always has been behind the efforts to thwart homeopathy. If what they’re saying is true, that it is a placebo, then what are they worried about? The truth is that they know it’s not a placebo and they are worried because homeopathy is much more effective at combatting chronic disease than allopathic (mainstream medicine).
What kind of consequences does this have for us? Do you think that they ultimately will be able to prevent people from using homeopathy?
I think there could be a day when we would lose the freedom to use homeopathy. It seems we’re losing a lot of freedoms, but we won’t go there in this interview, LOL.
I agree – let’s go back to homeopathy. Did you study veterinary homeopathy or homeopathy for humans?
I studied humans (and animals) at Teleosis and now am finishing my clinical work at the British Institute of Homeopathy. I have always mainly practiced on animals and mostly on dogs.
Do you teach courses / workshops in animal homeopathy?
Yes, I offer workshops in the spring and summer.
Are there any other homeopathy courses you can recommend for those who just want to learn more to be able to use it with their own animals?
Yes, you can find out more at
- http://www.wholehealthnow.com/homeopathy_info/ and
For those who are interested in becoming veterinary homeopaths, what are the requirements and rules (in MA)? And can you call yourself a veterinary homeopath if you are not a veterinarian?
You have to be a vet to be a veterinary homeopath, but a certified homeopath may treat humans and animals. Most people don’t need this type of certification, however.
So if I am an animal massage therapist who would like to add homeopathy to my services and be able to “prescribe” remedies to my clients, I should study to be come a certified homeopath, is that correct? Do you start with “human homeopathy” and then learn it for animals?
Good question. I don’t think you have to be “certified” to prescribe remedies. The study to become certified takes a long time and is quite involved. You are only certified for humans, but you can treat animals too. I don’t think a massage therapist would have to go that far to suggest remedies. A safe way would be to have the clients purchase their own products, so that you’re not ‘doling out’ remedies.
Last, with the terrible flu season we just went through: Are there any homeopathic remedies for the flu? And what about the animals – any specific remedies we should keep on hand for them this time of year?
I usually keep Aconite 30c on hand for humans and 200c for the animals. At first sign of illness, take it. After 24 hours, it’s too late. This is your “nip it in the bud” remedy. I also use the Oscillococcinum, which is a trademark name of the remedy Anas Barbarie. It works to prevent the flu (you can take a few pellets every morning) or if you take it when you’re first coming down with the flu. Take 2-3 pellets every hour and it tends to keep anything from developing. I have taken it when I had the full blown flu and was able to shorten it down to a 24 hour duration.
Cattie: 24 hours certainly beats being bedridden for a week or more! Shirley, thank you SO much for sharing all this invaluable information! I have added several more remedies to my “homeopathic shelf”, and a few books as well, and can’t wait to give them a try.
See all articles by and with Shirley