Homeopaths, naturally, refuse to recognize that their entire profession is nothing more than the selling of placebos. The evidence against any true benefit for homeopathic therapy, beyond the psychological benefits of the therapeutic interaction, is overwhelming. Reviews by scientists and government agencies consistently find no reason to believe homeopathy is a real, effective medical practice. Homeopaths themselves have waded through 150 years of research and found virtually nothing better than anecdotes to suggest homeopathy is worthwhile. Yet homeopaths continue to have faith, since after all homeopathy is more of a faith-based belief system than a science.
This unshakeable faith leads homeopaths to advocate some pretty frightening and ridiculous uses of their treatments. Homeopaths have advocated their magic water for treatment of everything from cancer to ebola. This would be funny if it didn’t subject patients to serious danger, primarily from homeopaths recommending their remedies in place of real medicine. However, even most homeopathy advocates tend to acknowledge that science-based medicine is more appropriate than homeopathy as the primary treatment for victims of trauma. The idea of homeopathy as an emergency therapy is so ludicrous as to have been lampooned by popular British comedians Mitchel and Webb:
It is true that one of the more extreme veterinary homeopaths I have written about, Dr. Will Falconer, has claimed his nonsense can help people avoid taking their pets to a veterinarian for emergency treatment even in the face of life-threatening acute illness, but I had hoped he was an isolated case that might be ignored, if not publically disavowed, by other veterinarians promoting alternative therapies. However, sadly I have found yet another veterinarian who shares the delusion that it is ethical or appropriate to recommend homeopathy as a therapy for shock in pets.
Blogger “Dr. Jessie” has a recent post referencing a case report in the Journal of the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association entitled, apparently without irony, Homeopathic Remedies for Canine Trauma. In the article, she describes the case of a dog who attacked a passing car and suffered broken teeth and possibly neck and head trauma. The article then describes the use of two homeopathic remedies for this patient, and strongly implies that they alleviated the dog’s pain. Hopefully, real pain medication and other medical treatments were provided, but none are mentioned in the post, again implying that homeopathy alone would be sufficient treatment for a patient like this.
Since the AHVMA does not routinely make its journal available to non-members, and it is not referenced in most databases of real scientific journals, I have not yet been able to find a copy of the original case report. Again, I hope that the homeopathic remedies were used in addition to real medical treatment and, as is so often the case, simply given credit for improvement more likely due to other treatments. Unfortunately, I have seen other so-called holistic veterinarians also claim miraculous results from the use of homeopathic remedies in animals hit by cars or suffering other forms of trauma, though most then use conventional therapies as well. However, the very idea that a practicing veterinarian would suggest homeopathy as an adequate or appropriate therapy for shock or trauma demonstrates a frightening disconnect from reality that undoubtedly puts patients at risk of inappropriate treatment.