More than 1,000 veterinarians have signed a petition calling on their colleagues to stop treating livestock and pets with homeopathic medicine. Their argument is that animals cannot benefit from the placebo effect. In effect they are saying that homeopathy depends upon the placebo effect and animals are unable to comprehend or process this sort of psychological influence.
They say that it is unethical to practice homeopathy in veterinary clinics. An equine vet, Danny Chambers, brought the petition to the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. It is claimed that one reason why homeopathy for vets is unethical is because it holds out false hope to owners. In addition, it is dangerous when homeopathy is suggested as an alternative to conventional medicine because it means that conventional medicine is not administered which may lead to health problems for the patient. Conventional medicine is evidence-based. Homeopathy is, arguably, not evidence-based.
Homeopathy is a system in which tiny doses of various compounds, highly diluted in water, are said to retain the “memory” of the active ingredient. The Prince of Wales in the UK is an advocate as are a number of celebrities and even some Members of Parliament.
It is said that clinical trials demonstrate that there is no medical benefit beyond the placebo effect for homeopathy. And there is no evidence that it works for animals. Some homeopaths in the veterinary field claim that there is a “caregiver” placebo which makes companion animals feel better when they are looked after.
Jenny Chambers has called on the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons to prevent its members from practising homeopathy on animals.
“The danger is not only due to the remedies being ineffective, but the belief held by some that such therapies can be a substitute for orthodox treatment. This is at best misleading, and at worse may lead to unnecessary suffering or death. It would be devastating for a dairy farm that went out of business because homeopathic treatments failed to control an outbreak of mastitis.”
In defence, Peter Gregory, the veterinary dean of the Facility of Homeopathy and a member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons wrote in 2015 of the “offensive and vindictive attacks” on veterinary homeopathy. No doubt he considers Danny Chamber’s petition to be an attack.
I don’t know whether homeopathy works or not. Therefore I don’t really have a comment to make on this. It is a simple bit of cat news. However, am very open to alternatives to conventional medicine because drugs in conventional medicine, although often effective, are essentially poisons to a cat’s body. All conventional medicines are and therefore I feel that alternatives should be considered. Conventional medicine does not provide wonder drugs. It is not that simple. We should be open to alternative treatments.
Source: The Times June 25th 2016.