Homeopathic First Aid: Medications and their Indications

The ideal use of homeopathy is to repertorise and classically prescribe for every case. This gives the best results for the whole animal. Homeopathic remedies (medicines) can be used as a symptomatic treatment on a short-term basis, however, and in first-aid situations can be very effective. Homeopathic remedies are normally free of side effects, and the wrong remedy will usually have very little effect. However, it is possible to worsen the situation if you use higher potencies (above C30 or D30/30X) and you repeat these often. If you do not see response in a timely manner, check with a homeopathically trained veterinarian, or a more complete resource such as a home care book (see the literature section of the IAVH website). The remedy you select should have as many of the patient’s symptoms as possible for the best result. Ideally, give homeopathic remedies before allopathic (conventional) treatments. Always use common sense; if an animal is seriously ill, or she is worsening, seek veterinary advice immediately.

Keep the remedies clean and in a dark cabinet or drawer, away from strong odours and spices, and especially away from mobile phones. Additionally, don’t let them become contaminated. Tip 4 to 10 granules (poppy seed size) or 2 pillules (about 4 mm diameter) out into a clean spoon and re-cap the bottle immediately. Give the remedy to the animal right away by pouring it into the cheek pouch or mouth. They taste good so most animals don’t mind this a bit; many dogs will lick them off of a spoon. It is also good to dissolve the granules or pillules in a small amount of water and administer this with a clean spoon, syringe, or medicine dropper. This is especially helpful for cats. Put the bottle back in its dark box. Assess the case and re-dose or change the remedy as needed.

1. Soft tissue injury and after surgery

ARNICA - falls, road traffic accidents, bruising from blunt trauma or bites, post-partum animal is sore/painful, may be restless and resist handling give during recovery from soft-tissue surgery, after joint reduction use for all bruising including those of eye area, eye bruises may require Symphytum or Ledum later Aconite - trauma (especially eye trauma) with a panicky response use when there is a history of shock, abuse or fear coupled with trauma

BELLIS PERENNIS - deep soft tissue injury, especially in the pelvis and abdomen use after prolonged surgeries or where tissue has been over stretched

CALENDULA - torn or wide open wounds, exhaustion from blood loss, severe pain useful to stop haemorrhage, prevent infection don’t use for punctures, they’ll heal too rapidly

HYPERICUM - crushing or puncture injuries involving nerves use when paws, tails, toes crushed and after dentals useful for pets with neck or back pain due to injuries or disc problems useful for early puncture wounds to prevent infection

LEDUM - puncture wounds, insect bites punctures, especially when skin seems bluish and area feels better with cold; or for bruising that doesn’t resolve completely with Arnica swelling of injured carpal/tarsal joints

2) Overexertion, fibrous tissue injuries, bone fractures

RHUS TOXICODENDRON - muscle soreness from overexertion, sprains, strains, ligaments and tendon strain use this with patients that start out stiff and improve as they move around

RUTA - torn or wrenched ligaments use after initial swelling and pain has decreased often useful if Rhus tox didn’t help or if stiffness doesn’t improve with motion

SYMPHYTUM - speeds bone healing after realignment of fractured bones

3) Infections and abscesses

ARNICA - useful as first aid for bite wounds and can often prevent abscesses, especially with bruising, more traumatic bites with deeper trauma

GUNPOWDER - especially effective for bite wounds, cat bites (in humans), and painful, swollen, purulent, inflamed wounds

HEPAR SULPH - abscess with swelling, heat, redness, pus use for purulent abscesses; patient is generally irritable and seeks warmth low potency will increase drainage, high potency will stop pus

LEDUM - Very good first aid for bites/punctures and insect bites and stings. The sting or bite often is dark colored and feels cold. Cold applications ameliorate (with deep, muscular bites or penetrating to the bone, especially from cats, gunpowder seems to be more effective).

MYRISTICA – infected wounds from foreign bodies, helps “avoid the surgeon’s knife.”

SILICEA - splinters, less painful or “cold” abscesses useful to complete abscess healing when less painful/inflamed helps body expel foreign bodies patient is often shy, sweet; may be chilly, thirsty, although mental/emotional symptoms need not be present in acute cases

4) Bleeding

ACONITE - bright red haemorrhage and fear/anxiety

ARNICA - seeping, oozing bleeding; especially under the skin, usually from trauma

CARBO VEGETABILIS - very dark oozing blood, cold body, needs air, possible collapse

CROTALUS HORRIDUS – darkish, oozing blood, does not clot well Ipecac - bright red profuse haemorrhage with heavy breathing, nausea

MILLEFOLIUM - bright red, fluid haemorrhage, easy bleeding, wounds which bleed freely, nosebleeds or bleeding from orifices

PHOSPHORUS - use after injury/surgery/dental extractions, especially when there is more blood than expected patient bleeds easily and blood clots slowly

5) Vomiting and diarrhoea

ARSENICUM ALBUM - often simultaneous v/d, freq. bloody or dark coloured v/d intestinal problems may alternate with skin, respiratory problems patient usually seeks warm places, thirsty for frequent small drinks typical patient is timid, restless, hides, yet may company; even restless when lethargic often tidy, clean looking animals

COCCULUS - for motion induced vomiting (carsickness)

GELSEMIUM - anticipatory stress/diarrhoea especially useful in nervous animals that break with diarrhoea associated with stress of showing, moving, boarding, fearful situations Ipecac - profuse vomiting (also with blood), nausea, dry heaves/gagging patient usually acts chilly, not too sick

MERCURIUS - mucousy diarrhoea usually with increased salivation, usually worse at night

NUX VOMICA - vomiting after dietary indiscretion use for bloat, gassiness; may have history of constipation, drug treatment patient usually seeks warmth, usually irritable/grumpy, may be affectionate & irritable

PETROLEUM - nausea riding in a car or on a ship with profuse salivation

PHOSPHORUS - friendly pet with vomiting usually vomits 15-30 minutes after eating/drinking generally thirsty for cold food/water; may eat indigestibles, lethargy, collapse patient is friendly, loves attention/ strangers, may have red gum line

PULSATILLA - changeable diarrhoea for diarrhoeas aggravated by rich/fatty foods which the pet craves stools may be inconsistent in consistency- firm, watery, mucousy, etc diarrhoea may often start during owner’s absence or after their return patient is usually very affectionate, clingy; generally prefers cold and open air, thirstless

SULPHUR - scruffy pet with diarrhoea diarrhoea worse in the AM, can’t get out in time patient has red orifices, perianal area irritated from diarrhoea patient generally thirsty, prefers cold and open air; often worse in Spring common to have history of skin problems

TABACUM - nausea riding in a car/ship, but much worse than Cocculus – they think they might die from it.