Do Homeopathic Treatments for Distemper Work?
There is currently no known cure for Canine Distemper, so supportive care is crucial for dogs to make a full recovery. Normally, pet parents go for conventional treatment options, which involve a series of medications that help control the symptoms of Distemper until dogs become better. However, homeopathic remedies for the disease are also available, and they’re starting to become more and more popular among dog owners. The question is, do homeopathic treatments for Distemper actually work? Read on to find out!
What Is Homeopathy?
A homeopathy is an alternative form of medicine that uses a more holistic, or natural, approach to curing diseases. It works under the principle of allowing the body to mend itself from the inside out, and focuses more on healing the body as a whole, rather than just treating the diseased part. Those who practice homeopathy use natural substances derived from plants, minerals, or animal products to treat their patients.
Homeopathic treatments for Distemper are formulated using animal products, specifically, fluids or blood from a sick animal. These remedies are called homeopathic nosodes. According to Dr. Charles Loops in an interview with Dr. Karen Becker of Healthy Pets, homeopathic nosodes can be from a “material in a disease process” or “made from vaccines”. He said that “in essence, they’re made from an organism that causes a disease”. So similar to vaccines, homeopathic nosodes work by prompting the immune system to respond to the disease and heal itself.
How Does It Differ from Conventional Medicine?
Like we mentioned earlier, homeopathic treatments focus more on strengthening the immune system so it can fight the disease itself, healing the body as a whole in the process. Conventional medicine, on the other hand, is more about using drugs to suppress the symptoms that come with the illness. That’s why supportive care for dogs with Distemper involves plenty of “anti” medications, such as antidiarrheals, anti-emetics, and anti-seizures.
In contrast to homeopathic remedies that mostly just allow nature to take its course, conventional treatments work by suppressing immune responses to make the patient more comfortable as they undergo recovery.
Homeopathic Treatments for Distemper
In addition to Distemper nosodes, homeopathic treatments for Distemper may also involve vitamins and herbal supplements to aid in making the immune system stronger. Here are a few examples:
1. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is known for its powerful antioxidant and immune-boosting properties, making it incredibly useful in treating Canine Distemper. It prevents the development of secondary infections by helping the immune system fight off harmful microorganisms, making it easier for the body to heal and recover.
2. Oregon Grape
Oregon grape is also beneficial in homeopathic treatments for Distemper. It’s used for its ability to stimulate digestion and help with gastrointestinal issues, such as stomach upset and diarrhea, which are common symptoms of Distemper.
Oatstraw is a known nervous system optimizer and can stimulate the nervous system in pets, helping to manage the muscle tics, tremors, and seizures that may come with Distemper.
4. American Ginseng
American ginseng is another commonly prescribed herb in homeopathy. It’s known to increase resistance to infections, and improve cognitive function in animals. However, it’s not advised to give your dog American Ginseng if they’re suffering from bleeding disorders, high blood pressure, hyper-excitability, acute infections, fever, or diabetes.
So, Do They Work?
Like with any other form of medication, the outcome of homeopathic treatments can differ from one individual to another. It may work for some, while for others, it may not. For now, there are no provings, or homeopathic pathogenic trials (HPTs), for nosodes. That means that the effects of these substances have not yet been proven through a series of recorded trials. However, homeopathic nosodes are already being used to prevent Distemper, as well as treat it, in combination with conventional medicine. And so far, the nosodes for Distemper is found to be very effective.