A homeopathic veterinarian treats animals using natural medicine meant to cure the underlying cause of a disease or ailment, as opposed to treating only the symptoms. Homeopathic medicine typically denounces the use of Western, or allopathic, pharmaceutical treatments. Each patient is also treated as an individual, and several factors that could be contributing to an ailment are considered before any treatment is chosen. A homeopathic veterinarian uses principles similar to that of a holistic vet, but there are some key differences between the two.
While a vet using typical Western philosophies will prescribe treatment to improve the symptoms of a disease, a homeopathic vet will try to rid the patient of the disease forever. For example, a dog that visits a vet practicing Western-style medicine for treatment of a thyroid condition will be given long-term medication to keep its thyroid in balance. If that same dog with the same thyroid issue visited a homeopathic veterinarian, its environment, stressors, and diet would be assessed and possibly changed. The goal would be to find and correct the cause of the thyroid imbalance, which would ultimately rid the animal of the negative symptoms of its thyroid disease.
In homeopathic medicine, veterinarians try to treat each patient individually. Treatment plans are based on the symptoms themselves as opposed to the disease the symptoms indicate. It is believed in the homeopathic community that allopathic medicine often focuses too much on the typical symptoms and treatment of a diagnosed disease instead of the individual experience of the patient. A patient's history and all contributing factors must be considered before a homeopathic veterinarian will assign a treatment plan.
In addition to approaching diagnosis differently, homeopathic veterinarians also use natural treatments that are different from those of Western vets. Mild herb use and adjustment of diet and activity to fulfill an animal's natural needs are commonly used. These vets also believe that an illness can be overcome by simply strengthening the body's own natural defenses and that traditional allopathic medications interfere with this curative treatment. Homeopathic veterinarians are similar to holistic veterinarians in that the goal of both is to treat the entire animal using natural remedies; however, holistic vets are typically open to more types of treatment, such as traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture, which very strict homeopathic veterinarians will not use.
Homeopathic medicine, which was first developed by Hippocrates in 400 B.C., has endured as a valid practice for centuries. Despite the introduction of new and more advanced practices, some medical professionals still find validity in the basic theories of homeopathic medicine. A homeopathic veterinarian is a unique part of this community who offers the use of these principles to animals and their owners.