Sweet Pills For Animals In Distress

Sweet Pills For Animals In Distress

Words: Dr Barbara ETCOVITCH

Humans are not the only social beings affected by the insecurity, fear, anxiety, grief, sadness and anger that can be experienced by a life-changing event. As responsive guardians, we know that our four-legged friends can suffer equally when the familiarity of a daily routine, or the loss of, or change in the home they have come to know has been shattered.

Domestic animals are an integral part of the family, or group, that has been established and one must recognise that they can suffer deeply when the structure is altered in a small, or significant way.

Animals may act out the trauma in many ways. Cats which are normally clean animals may ignore their litter boxes and dogs may similarly eliminate indoors.

An animal in distress may become lethargic, or restless, sleep longer hours and refuse to eat, or eat poorly. Conversely, it may cling more closely to the guardian and meow, or howl, constantly; or, whine if left alone. All these behaviours are symptomatic of the animal’s confusion and inability to understand what is happening to their familiar world.

Animals get easily caught in the crossfire of powerful emotions they don’t understand and often have difficulty processing the myriad of changes that can affect their lives. Some of the most evident situations which can distress and animal are as follows:

  • Guardians’ divorce
  • The birth of a child
  • A new animal coming into the home
  • The death of a guardian
  • Separation from mother, guardian, or family
  • The change in the mental, or physical incapacity of a family member
  • A move to a new home
  • A fear, or trauma, experienced
  • Illness.

No matter what the change in the circumstances are, our sensitive friends will act out their fears, grief and loss of security in different ways. Therefore, the therapeutic treatment of the animal must be specific to the animal and the situation, and homeopathy is extremely effective in doing so.

Remedies For Anxiety, Fright, Fear

Injury, attack, vet visits, unexpected, or loud noises, such as thunder and vacuum cleaners, etc., are frequent reasons for anxiety, fright and fear in animals.

To address these situations, every guardian should have a supply of Rescue Remedy [a Bach Flower remedy] and Aconite napellus [monk’s-hood], on hand, as these two are most frequently prescribed remedies for the first stages of the anxiety, panic, fright, etc. They are best given at the first moments of the emergency.

Argentium nitricum [silver nitrate] is a homeopathic remedy frequently used to address anticipatory anxiety and so is well suited for visits to the vet and other unfamiliar places. Gelsemium sempervirens [false jasmine] is similar, and frequently used in situations of anticipation and apprehension where the animals are listless, weak, and drowsy.

Arsenicum album [white arsenic] is prescribed when an animal believes itself to be in a life-threatening situation. It is in a state of restlessness, anguish, and fears being left alone. All reactions result in a state of exhaustion.

Phosphorus [phosphorus] addresses the state of fear and hysteria experienced during thunderstorms and/or loud noises. Here, the animal is jumpy, restless, fidgety, attempts to hide and cannot be left alone.

Stramonium [thorn apple] can address a severe fright in an animal as well as the aggression that may result from it. The animal wants company, but may exhibit violence and anger and be destructive and wild.

Remedies for Abandonment [Change Of Home, Separation From Mother/Family/Divorce/Absent Guardians]

In a divorce, dogs and cats may be moved to new home, split between residences, or completely abandoned. And, they will react. Animals can also be affected when someone leaves the home, or when a child is born and enters into it.

Pulsatilla nigricans [pasque flower] and Hyoscyamus niger [black henbane] are two excellent remedies that can address the animal’s feeling of abandonment and the resulting behaviour.

The animal in need of Pulsatilla due to a change in the home will be clingy, needy, and jealous, frequently staying close to its guardian and the other members of the family. Animals who are suffering feelings of abandonment due to the birth of a child in the family may become lethargic and sad as well. In more serious reactions, animals may also become jealous and exhibit some form of aggression calling for the remedy Hyoscyamus.

Many young animals may face separation from what is familiar to them. For animals suffering from ‘separation anxiety’ due, in some way, to losing their mother, guardian, or familiar family, Pulsatilla comes into play once again. The animal in distress may be clingy, unsettled and follow, or stay close to whatever is comforting. The remedy can be given as needed until the animal feels comfortable once again.

Remedies For Grief [Death Or Incapacity In The Household] 

Two excellent remedies for the grief and conflicting feelings that may arise when an animal is dealing with a significant change in its life are Ignatia amara [St Ignatius bean] and Natrum muriaticum [common salt].

Many situations can result in grief, such as the death, or serious incapacity of a guardian, or a change in the relationship between the animal and its home and environment.

In the Ignatia profile, we may see sadness and moping. The remedy will, in this instance, help lighten the feelings of grief and allow the animal to integrate the changes.

If the grief becomes unresolved and therefore chronic, Natrum muriaticum should be considered.

Correctly administering the remedy to animals is important and, for the most part, poses little problem in canines. Felines may be another story as many guardians who have tried to wrap and hold a contrary cat bent on inflicting scratches and bites can attest to.

In tablet dry form, the remedy should be put on a plastic spoon and put on, or under, the tongue. Tablets can also be crushed and put in distilled water to aid absorption and reduce the amount of substance spit out.

When our companions refuse remedies by mouth, it can be put in a glass bowl of distilled water and left for the animal to drink.

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.

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