Homeopathic Medicines for Animals

Imagine that you could start a pharmaceutical business selling nothing but pure water.  OK, sometimes maybe you have to put one or two parts per billion of some substance in it, but how much could that cost?  You can sell your medicine under just about any name that you want for several dollars for just a few ounces and claim that it “supports the treatment of” any given condition.  Since your product has no real active ingredients, you can honestly claim that it is 100% safe and won’t interact with other medications.  Now what if you aim it at a market where those using it couldn’t verbalize whether it was working or not?  Welcome to the world of veterinary homeopathy.

For those unfamiliar with the regular old human form of homeopathy, you might want to read this first.  While researching this piece I came upon the writings of Gloria Dodd, DVM and her Everglo-Natural website.  Nothing I’m saying here is meant to be taken as an ad hominem attack.  I’m sure she is a nice lady who loves animals.  But, wow, I’m bowled over by the sheer volume of woo in one place.  There are homeopathic medications; there is Kirlian photography for diagnosis, there are acupressure charts, quartz crystals, quack medical devices and magnets.  Did I mention the anti-radiation devices and detoxing agents?  She’s got those too.

And then there is the woo-speak.  She can speak woo with the best of them.  Here is an example describing Kirlian photographs on her site:

Dog with distemper before treatment.

Kirlian Photographs of energy field of acupuncture meridians on the toes (footprints) of dogs and cats. Normal healthy animals as compared to the various sick animals before and after wearing the Healing

Same dog after treatment.

Halter™. Please note the breaks in the aura and the low amplitude of energy of the sick animals’ footprints before wearing the halter, and how the halter increased the amplitude (The width or thickness of the EMF halo) and filled in the breaks of the auric fields in the kirlian photos. This proves the energyzing affect of the halter on the body’s electromagnetic field, normalizing the energy flow, which has been found to stimulate the body’s healing mechanisms.

Wow.  You just can’t make stuff like that up. And it’s not just one lone nut out there, there is an entire American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association with members in every US state and Canada.  They advocate such practices as acupuncture, chiropractic, homeopathy, Chinese herbs, Bach flowers, ozone therapy and many others.  A quick google search will unearth numerous holistic healthcare sites for animals.




OK, you might be saying.  Where it the harm in all of this other than a few (thousand) gullible people being separated from their money?  I would argue that it is the animals who are paying the real price when they are not being treated with real medicine.  I am an animal lover and I’d never give my beloved dogs a BS homeopathic “preventative” for heartworms, just as one example.  In my humble opinion, and I’m sure you’ll let me know if you feel differently, this kind of nonsense is tantamount to animal abuse.

Animals, of course, don’t have to ability to chose their own treatments or to say, “hey that crap isn’t working, give me some real medicine”.  For that matter, either do small children or incapacitated people.  As responsible adults and animal owners, we owe it to them to do the right thing and eschew the woo. Let’s treat real ailments with real medicine.


Pet Alive Website

American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association Website

Shirley’s Wellness Cafe – Holistic Healthcare for People and Animals

Everglo-Natural Veterinary Services, Inc.– Holistic Petcare

Casewatch – FDA Warning Letter to Dr. Gloria Dodd, DVM

About Guy McCardle

Guy McCardle is an American science writer and skeptic. He is a certified Infection Prevention Specialist and served proudly as a Captain in the Army Medical Corps during Operation Iraqi Freedom. A devoted father and husband, he offers his unique viewpoints regarding science and the public interest.
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17 Responses to Homeopathic Medicines for Animals

  1. Henk v says:

    Various organic codes have published related guff for animal husbandry in the past. People love claims. A black box that is useless is generally an economic boon for frauds.

    Homeopathy is one such black box.

    Mind you, have you ever noticed the lack of quality in the claims? People are incredibly quick to quote and repeat standards information but when it comes to being gullible, quality goes down the gurgler (so to speak).

    As a homeopath of 53 years standing, I like mine from the tap. Its a cure all! Homeopathically that is.

    I wish I could spell panacea!

  2. Jennifer P. says:

    Wow, I just noticed this and what timing. I was just posting on my G+ account about the frustrations of working in a petstore and discovering that we sell homeopathic products (I won’t call them treatments) for pets. I am disgusted that a company thinks its okay to pretend to rid pets of parasites (homeopathic dewormers sell fast). I wonder how long it will be before a pet dies of the infestation the owner thought was cured?

  3. Guy McCardle says:

    Hello Jennifer,

    Thanks for reading the blog. Unfortunately, I’ll bet that some pets have already died because their owners treated them with homeopathic products instead of real medicine. Some pet owners honestly don’t know any better and think they are helping their pets by giving them something “natural”. The real crime is with the people who sell the homeopathic products that they know don’t work just to make a quick buck off of gullible people.

    • linda epstein says:

      And there are many who have lived due to homeopathic treatment. Every animal is unique. It doesn’t matter what modality you use, if the life force is too low to recover, nothing is going to help, and that includes the allopathic methods everyone swears by. But my friend, you do not know anything about homeopathy. You have closed your mind. If you can’t see it, you cannot believe it, you still adhere to Newtonian physics. We are in the age of quantum physics and more.

      • Linda, I’m afraid there are several things wrong with your comment. First, classical physics and quantum physics are not “either/or”; both exist and are not mutually exclusive. They govern different things. We all live with both.

        You state that Guy is closed minded for accepting what we’ve learned through testing and experimentation, which has revealed that homeopathy does not have any value. I would argue instead that a willingness to change your mind based on what we can learn is what characterizes an open mind, and an insistence on adhering to that which has been disproven is more characteristic of a closed mind.

        Finally, your mention of quantum physics suggests that you believe it has some connection to homeopathy. I do not believe you understand what quantum physics is, but if I’m wrong about that, I would like to know specifically what branch you’re invoking and what its relevance is.

  4. Henk v says:

    Try dealing with health food stores as a supplier..

    What wold you ke sir

    I’ll look around myself, I am just after some chemicals for my cooking and beer.

    We dont sell chemicals

    Yes you do..whats this?

    Thats natural

    Its all natural sweetheart

    Gullibility extends far higher up the food chain than you can ever imagine..

    Oh, our organic probiotics!
    Yeah, multi strain yoghurt bugs!
    yeah but they’re organic
    Sure are, genetically manipulated lactobacilli. Have been since 2005 from this companies source.
    thats 2.75 change please

  5. Henk v says:

    I m going to have to wear the spectacles soon… vanity, thy name is Muddie!

    Sorry about all the missed characters above..

  6. Guy McCardle says:

    It makes me scratch my head when people try to argue that something is “natural” and therefore contains no “chemicals”. Part of the blame goes to our educational system (at least here in the US). The science curriculum is so poor that many people just don’t learn the basics. Very sad.

  7. Chad H says:

    Standard Homeopathic disclaimer: In event of Overdose; consult a lifeguard.

  8. Henk v on the road! says:

    I’ll admit I am the dinosaur from hell.. Once a year I’d take a 2lb mallet to a calculator so students would record results rather than digitally estimating them.

    That and its totally satisfying to smash what I consider the most culpable item for laziness in a students arsenal.

    Now if honours and last year students should be taught how to simple things in their heads, what hope does a student starting high school have in avoiding grass roots bone idleness when it comes to thinking and processing.

    If you ever wonder where “thats too hard for me” attitudes come from, I’d give Hewlett Packard a call..

    Look, that is not hard flour.. Its a mix of flour and weevils!
    Its organic!
    I dont care if its organic, those weevils are going to ruin some of your stock.
    Thats how it comes!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Dear Guy McCardle, I invite you to explore and talk to the very people whose animals I have treated and saved in some cases, with my energy medicine including my own FDA registered and approved combination homeopathics-please read them by clicking on the Testimonial link on my website cover at http://www.holisticvetpetcare.net IF there is one particular recent website testimoial you wish to speak to, call me first so I can ask their permission (707-785-9171). You know I practiced orthodox medicine for 16 years graduated from UC Davis but became so frustrated at the lack of response and some made sicker than what they had that I almost quit the profession. But as Divine Direction would have it ( and I do beleive in Divine Direction in one’s life) I was invited to Germany to study with a medical naturopathic physician, Dr. Rheinhold Voll, who completely changed my whole life. I’ve been investigated by my California Vet Med Board ( they didn’t have the education in homeopathy to know what I was doing), I had many clients who supported me, even one client came from Canada to testify personally . The Board found me innocent of any wrong doing.This is old, old stuff (2004) Please call me 707-785-9171 Sincerely, Gloria Dodd DVM

    • Gloria, scientific conclusions are not determined by personal anecdotes nor by bureaucracy. Talking to the people whose pets you believed you have helped is not scientifically useful. It is subject to personal biases, preconceived notions, expectations, perceptual errors, and all manner of weaknesses. Blinded studies with statistically meaningful sample sizes and good experimental design is how we find things out — removing the personal element is crucial.

  10. Anonymous says:

    It seems that most who are commenting have an ax to grind – some preconceived notion or closemindedness that prevents them from seeing the potential benefit of homeopathy to an animal.

    So I’ll speak from literal and personal example. My aging dog was recently diagnosed with hip dysplasia and advanced arthritis and given a lifetime prescription for doggie NSAIDs. After researching the pros/cons of NSAIDs, I decided to go alternative and discovered Dr. Dodd’s website. My dog has been on homeopathic remedies for about 5 weeks now. She is a different dog – and I’ve made no other changes to her lifestyle or environment. She runs in the pasture again. She plays with her best friend again. She has WAY more energy than she had prior to starting the remedies.

    It means the world to me that she’s obviously physically better as a result of Dr. Dodd’s remedies. My dog has been healed – and isn’t that really what it’s all about?

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