Based on the principle that “like cures like”, homeopathic remedies are effective healing methods that go deep to the root of a problem.
Here are ten leading homeopathic remedies for some of the most common acute conditions in dogs.
1. Aconitum Nepellus
The primary state we see when we reach for Aconite is fear and suddenness. It can be used as a fear remedy in a variety of situations. For example, dogs fearful of fireworks or being left alone can benefit from Aconite. It’s also helpful for fear arising from traumas such as an accident, dogfight, or fire alarm.
Aconite is also helpful for the sudden onset of fever, or at the very beginning of disease when there are few symptoms. You may find yourself thinking something like: “He was fine ten minutes ago and suddenly he is lethargic, or his eyes are red.” Giving Aconite at the very beginning stages may help derail the process of inflammation.
Aconite is extremely helpful for preventing shock in an emergency and can be life-supporting to give your dog on the way to vet.
When you think Aconite, think fear and suddenness.
2. Apis Mellifica
This remedy is made from honeybee venom. It may be used for anything resembling a bee sting. Clinical uses include bee and insect bites, hot spots, vaccine reactions, conjunctivitis and allergic reactions.
When you think Apis, think swelling, shiny, burning, stinging.
3. Arnica Montana
Arnica is a very well known remedy and can be used at the beginning of almost any injury, but is particularly useful for blunt trauma. Along with limping or yelping, your dog may act as though he cannot find a comfortable place to lie down. It is also useful for older dogs, those that have chronic injuries or have over-exercised. It can be given as soon as you get the dog home and then two hours later to try to prevent stiffness.
When you think Arnica, think pain, bruising and trauma.
4. Arsenicum Album
This remedy is used for many conditions but mainly for vomiting and diarrhea. The dog is most often restless or very weak and may want to be covered or lie in a warm place. Arsenicum is often used for food poisoning; for example, if your dog has been into the garbage or eaten something disgusting on a walk. When he is ill with this sort of condition, he is usually thirstless and worse in the evening. Arsenicum is also commonly used for nasal discharge when the discharge can be irritating to the skin.
When you think Arsenicum, think vomiting, diarrhea, restlessness, chilliness, worse at night.
5. Hepar Sulphur
This remedy is mostly used for skin or gum infections. The patient will cry, scream, growl, snap or try to hide if the affected area is touched. Most of these conditions look inflamed and infected, although the wound may be more painful than you would expect compared to how it looks.
Hepar is also wonderful for preventing abscesses from bite wounds; if an abscess has already formed, it is famous for fighting the infection.
When you think Hepar Sulph, think extremely painful inflammation and skin, ear and gum infections.
6. Nux Vomica
Dogs in need of this remedy can be looked at as “touchy”. They can appear aggressive with other dogs or people and can be extremely competitive. Nux Vomica is very often used to combat negative reactions from medication, or its overuse. It can treat vomiting that is often followed by retching or colic. We can also see diarrhea or constipation but in either case the dog will be straining. It’s often caused by food changes, or ingestion of fatty or rich foods.
This remedy can also be life supporting if your dog has eaten a toxic substance; it can be given immediately and administered on your way to the vet.
When you think Nux Vomica, think sensitive, irritable, nausea, vomiting, overuse of medication, constipation, diarrhea and toxins.
The Phosphorus dog is usually Mister Social yet is often fearful of loud noises or simply has a high startle reflex. He will commonly vomit after drinking water; the vomit will often be yellow bile. These dogs can also vomit food soon after they’ve eaten. The diarrhea is usually watery and may be streaked with blood. The dog is often weak from the diarrhea and vomiting. Blood is a striking symptom: it may be in your dog’s vomit, stool, phlegm, or any other discharge.
Phosphorus can also be used for aural hematomas, nosebleeds, coughs, bronchitis, post partum hemorrhages, post surgical nausea and pancreatitis. Phosphorus can also be life-saving when used for severe cuts and hemorrhaging on your way to the vet.
When you think Phosphorus, think vomiting, diarrhea, coughing and blood.
8. Rhus Toxicodendron
This is a well known arthritis remedy for dogs that are very stiff on initial movement but better once they get moving. It can look like a case for Arnica, as the dog can be very restless from the pain, moving from place to place to try and get comfortable. Rhus Tox is also used for allergic reactions that cause great itching and restlessness. Joint and skin issues are usually always made better by warmth and movement. More clinical uses are for hotspots, conjunctivitis, arthritis, sprains and allergic reactions.
When you think Rhus Tox, think restlessness, joint pain, allergic reactions, better by moving, worse in damp weather.
9. Ruta Graveolens
This is a wonderful little remedy for ligament injury and sprains. If your dog has injured his knee, elbow or shoulder joint, it can be used after Arnica and before Rhus Tox. It is extremely useful after Arnica when a bone has been bruised.
When you think Ruta, think injured ligament and sprains.
Many homeopaths use Silicea as an anti-vaccinosin remedy, especially if a lump or swelling occurs at the injection site. It treats many skin issues and works very well with dogs whose skin does not heal easily. It’s also good for dogs with delicate skin that easily scrapes or festers in some way. It is wonderful for any kind of abscess or cyst, such as inter-digital cysts, as well as impacted anal glands, foreign bodies like a sliver, gum and tooth root abscesses, corneal ulcers and blocked tear ducts.
These animals are often very sweet and yielding. For abscesses, Silicea is often used after Hepar Sulph as it helps the body push out remaining debris or reabsorb in order to completely heal.
When you think Silicea, think abscesses, cysts, foreign bodies and vaccine reactions.
Homeopathy is a complex subject, so it’s important to work with an experienced veterinary homeopath before giving your dog any remedies. But these top ten will give you a good overview of just what this valuable modality can do for your dog.