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Are homeopathic treatments beneficial for my pets?

Article ID: 458
Last updated: 12 Nov, 2014
Revision: 5
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Homeopathy is defined as: 'a system for treating disease based on the administration of minute doses of a drug that in very large amounts produces symptoms in healthy persons similar to those of the disease'. It is a system of therapeutics based on the theory that 'like cures like'. Homeopathy is one of several types of non-conventional therapies collectively known as alternative or complementary medicines.

When any animal in your care is unwell then they should be assessed by a veterinarian in order to establish a diagnosis. Evidence-based treatment options, ie treatments that have been reliably demonstrated to be effective, should then be offered where appropriate.

Unless and until there is clear evidence that homeopathic treatments work, the RSPCA does not advocate their use in place of, or in combination with, conventional treatments. Conventional treatments must not be withheld from animals that are unwell and in need of treatment.

The RSPCA's view is that any vet practising complementary and alternative medicines should have achieved competency through accredited postgraduate or similar training programs in the relevant subjects. Where non-vets use these alternative treatments on animals, this must be carried out under the supervision of a registered and suitably qualified veterinarian. We also advocate that the use of complementary and alternative veterinary medicines should be nationally regulated, including a compulsory registration and licensing system for all practitioners using alternative medicine.

The following websites provide further information regarding the use of homeopathy and other complementary and alternative veterinary medicines:

Australian Veterinary Association

College of Integrative Veterinary Therapies

Australian Holistic Veterinarians

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