Sheila Cahill, a loyal supporter of ours, has written an account of the use of alternative therapies and natural remedies for use on your dogs. I summarise her article more briefly.

We do not however in any way suggest or recommend that these cures and remedies be used instead of a visit to a vet, in fact, please be guided by him as to their use in case they are incompatible with the treatment he gives.

I apologise, Sheila, for omissions or misrepresentations! The remedies used are Bach Flower remedies, Homeopathy, Acupuncture, Herbal medicine as well as practical First Aid (where I have added a few bits here and there which might be helpful.)

Most of the remedies can be obtained from your Health shop where more information can be obtained as to their properties. In addition, there is a book on homeopathy and your pet, by Richard Allport, a homeopathic vet, called ‘Heal your Dog the Natural Way’ obtainable from his surgery. The Natural Medicine Centre, 11 Southgate Road, Potters Bar, Herts EN6 5DR (tel 01717 662 058) @ £9.95 + £2.50 p&p

Bach Flower Remedies;

These are tiny bottles of essences and extracts taken from flowers, plants and trees. The most well known is Rescue Remedy which is administered by single drops into the mouth and can be carried in your pocket or handbag and can be used with safety in any emergency situation such as shock, accident, collapse due to reaction to bites or stings, electrocution, unconsciousness etc. This, also with Rock Rose, Mimulus and Aspen are excellent for fear due to past cruelty, general nervousness and timidity, and phobias like thunderstorms and fear of domestic appliances.

Homeopathy, i.e. substances like the following in regular dosage, are also helpful for anxious and fearful dogs; Aconite, Argent. nit., Gelsemium and Phosphorus especially for loud noises like fireworks etc. In ‘acute’ dosage, Aconite and especially in the case of swallowing bees, Carbo vegetabilis and Ver. alb., can be used in case of collapse.

Arnica is used by ‘orthodox’ vets, for bruises, hernias, and musculo-skeletal problems especially in racing and retired greyhounds. For dosage please check first with a vet. Ruta Grav, Apis Mel, Bryonia, Calc carb, Causticum, Caulophyllum and Rhus tox are helpful for arthritic joints, and rheumatic conditions. The latter is useful for eczematous type skin conditions as is Apis mel for swollen insect bites. Ear problems should be assessed first by a vet but Psorinum is helpful for ears as well as Hypericum with Calendula Lotion and Graphites and hepar. sulp. under the guidance of a homeopathic practitioner. Olive oil, from a chemist, on a pad of cotton wool can be used to clean the inside of the pinna of the ears. Causticum, Agnus castus and Baryta carb. are helpful in the case of urinary incontinence as is oestrogen in the case of a sterilised bitch.

Herbal remedies such Elder blossom, Thyme, Rosemary, Rue and Tea tree all have a part to play in minor skin problems.

Acupuncture, by a trained vet or practitioner, can help relieve many different physical and even psychological symptoms.