For Your Pets

Words: Dr Barbara ETCOVITCH

We are not the only ones affected by insecurity, fear, grief, sadness and anger that can be experienced by a life-changing event. Our four-legged friends can equally suffer when the familiarity of a daily routine, or the loss of, or change in a home they have come to know, is shattered.

Animals are an integral part of the family that has been established and one needs to recognise that they can suffer dearly when that structure is disrupted in a small, or significant, way.

In a divorce, for example, dogs and cats may be moved to new homes, split between residences, or completely abandoned. They may be caught in the crossfire of powerful emotions they don’t understand. And, they will react. Animals can be deeply affected when someone leaves home, or when a child, or another animal, is born and enters it. If the animal has been lost and rescued, it will be frightened and confused.

No matter what the change in circumstances are, our sensitive friends will act out their fear, jealousy, anger, grief and loss of security in different ways. Animals may mope, cling to guardians, pace restlessly, whine and/or change their eating habits. Cats may refuse to use litter boxes and dogs eliminate indoors. Their behaviour may become aggressive. All these behaviours are symptomatic of the animal’s confusion and inability to understand what is happening to their familiar world.

As much as possible, guardians should attempt to re-establish a sense of security, no matter how difficult it may be. In the process, several homeopathic remedies will be of help and the successful prescription will always depend on how closely and effectively the guardian observes the symptoms their four-legged companion is exhibiting.

Homeopathy is useful in addressing fear, fright, jealousy and panic; and, equally successful in dealing with short- or long-term grief and sadness.

The following are some remedies that can be prescribed for such situations.

Fear, Fright, Panic, Aggression

For the first stages when the animal is jittery, restless, and does not want to be touched Aconite napellus 30C or Rescue Remedy [a Bach Remedy] is the best choice.

In cases where the dog, or cat, is in a state of anguish, restless, afraid to be alone and drinks frequently in small sips, Arsenicum album 30C is a remedy to be considered.

If your companion becomes exhausted, listless, and exhibits the ‘5-Ds’ [dizzy, drowsy, dopy, droopy and dull] Gelsemium sempervirens 30C is the best choice to begin.

For companions who are quite clingy, in need of more attention, and whiny, Pulsatilla nigricans 30C is a good choice.

Aggressive behaviour responds well to Belladonna 30C and Stramonium 30C. In the Belladonna state the animal will be furious with raging and biting and a desire to escape, or hide. The Stramonium state is also one of violence and rage with a tremendous fear of the dark. It is to be thought of in cases of post-traumatic stress

Grief, Sadness, Jealousy

A wonderful remedy for the grief and conflicted feelings that may arise when an animal is caught in a change in its life is Ignatia amara 200C. In the Ignatia profile we will see sadness and moping. The remedy will not negate the feeling of grief, but will lighten it and allow our companion to integrate the changes.

Ignatia is also a good remedy to prescribe when the animal is caught in a divorce, may appear to be confused as to which spouse to align with, and show the signs of depression outlined above.

If the animal has been lost, or has lost its guardian, Ignatia similarly works well.

If the grief becomes unresolved and chronic Natrum muriaticum 30C and Phosphoric acid 30C are to be considered and prescribed by an experienced homeopath.

For feelings of jealousy when there is a new edition to family and the attention paid to the animal goes to the new arrival, Pulsatilla and Hyoscyamus niger 30C should be considered and expertly prescribed.

Remedies can’t rebuild the home, or life, or negate the changes that have come to them — only the guardians can do that — but homeopathy will provide great support as our companions learn to find a balance in their new situation.

Administration, Dosage & Repetition

Homeopathic remedies can be administered to the animal by crushing 4-5 pills and placing the powder on plastic spoon for administration on the tongue. The pills may also be dissolved in distilled water and the solution placed in the mouth.

The remedy dose may be repeated according to the severity of the case at 15-minute intervals to begin with, if the animal is extremely distressed. Once a calmer state has been achieved, the dose may be repeated hourly, or every two hours, for a 30C potency, or at 3-4 hourly intervals for a 200C potency.

Dr BARBARA ETCOVITCH is a Classical Homeopath, Interfaith Minister, freelance writer, and lecturer. She has a BA from Sir George Williams University, a MA in Literature from the University of Ottawa, Canada, and a Diploma in Classical Homeopathy from the School of Homeopathy, Devon, England. She was ordained by the All Faiths Seminary International in New York City in 2004. She has been in homeopathic practice for 30+ years treating human and animals alike, from her office in Montreal, Canada, and worldwide via Skype and WhatsApp.

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