HOMEOPATHY for ameliorating anorexia in pets
Updated: Nov 5, 2020
Homeopathy is a system of natural healing the body to relieve affections and restore overall health. Like other traditional medications, this system has no side effects, is easily available, and extremely affordable. Homeopathic medicines or remedies are FDA regulated, environmentally safe, and cruelty-free. If used as directed, they can prove to be safe and potent under any physiological condition. This is the reason that there has been increasing interest in this system of medication to be used as complementary as well as an alternative treatment for diseases.
ANOREXIA: MEANING AND TYPES
The term Anorexia is derived from the Greek word meaning lack of appetite for food. Despite being a common manifestation of several diseases, anorexia is not addressed immediately. This results in deterioration of the condition and late recovery.
“Anorexia may indicate potentially life-threatening underlying conditions characterized by starvation and excessive weight loss. Hence should be carefully monitored.”
Anorexia is mainly of two types: True Anorexia and Pseudo anorexia. Though in both types there is a decrease in food intake, the difference lies in the desire to eat food. Unlike true anorexia, in the case of Pseudo anorexia, the pet wants to eat food but is unable to because of various reasons such as difficulty in prehension, mastication, deglutition, etc. Regardless of type, anorexia is an outward manifestation that should be taken seriously.
The very first step to appreciating the reasons for decreased food intake is to determine the type of anorexia our pet is suffering from. To differentiate the type of anorexia, detailed history, thorough physical examination and various diagnostic tests such as a complete blood count (CBC), serum chemistry profile, electrolytes (checks mineral balance), radiographs (X-rays) of the chest and abdomen, ultrasound studies, and depending on other findings, more invasive diagnostics like endoscopy or biopsies are performed.
Potential causes for pseudo-anorexia include
Inflammatory condition of tissues of mouth and throat
Presence of pathological condition in the facial region
Pain in the facial muscles notably those involved in chewing and swallowing
Affection of the temporo mandibular joint (TMJ)
Salivary gland disorders and tumors
Nervous system disorder
Chronic and protracted pain in the body that interferes with the act of food intake
Potential causes for true anorexia
Psychological disorders such as stress, altered routines, changes in the environment, or undesirable/unpalatable food
Exposure to toxins or food allergy
Disease-associated with the immune system
Cancers of all types
Disorders of Gastrointestinal tract such as Gastrointestinal (GI) blockage, stomach, or intestinal ulcer
Nausea from any cause
Sudden change in environment or managemental condition
The side effect of long term medication
Inability to smell
Management of Anorectic patients
Management plays a pivotal role in determining the prognosis of the disease. To restore appetite, the primary cause of the disease should be corrected using appropriate therapy. Additional management should focus on the correction of related symptoms.
For instance : Vitamin B complex, cobalt, yeast powder help in restoring the appetite of the animal. Steroid produces euphoria and hence stimulates the appetite. Short-term appetite stimulants such as cyproheptadine or mirtazapine are also used judiciously in canine and feline practice. It blocks the histamine H1 receptor and antagonizes 5-hydroxy tryptamine. In the case of mineral imbalance like low potassium, a potassium supplement can be added. This enhances the palatability of food. Diazepam may also be included to stimulate the appetite. Tube feeding and parenteral nutrition are also undertaken as ’bridge’ procedures until the pet eats on its own.
Homeopathy for Anorexia in Pets
Leading homeopathic remedies for appetite loss is described in the following text. These remedies improve the digestive function and stimulate the hunger desire in animals. Unless stated, they should be given in the 30c potency twice daily for seven to ten days.
It is an efficacious homeopathic remedy for the treatment of complaints related to stomach disorders. In veterinary homeopathy, it is notably used as a tonic to improve weak digestion in alternating doses with other digestive remedies, e.g. Nux Vomica, to enhance and stimulate the animals' appetite.
Nux Vomica 30c
Nux Vomica aids in the improvement of liver condition hence typically given for slow digestion. It also calms indigestion, bloating, dyspepsia, chronic diarrhea, and vomiting in pet animals. This remedy is particularly indicated for hyperirritable animals.
Iris versicolor 30c
It has an affinity for the thyroid, pancreas, intestinal glands, and gastro-intestinal mucous membrane. It stimulates appetite following severe diarrhea. This remedy may show side effects when given in the evening and at night. In such cases, nux vomica can be administered as an antidote.
It favorably tones up the appetite and digestion which greatly improves mental and physical vigor. This tonic is particularly favorable where malnutrition is a major problem. It also aids in weight gain by acting as a fat producer and correcting tissue waste. It also induces mental exhilaration, a general feeling of well being; so that all blues are dissipated.
Chininum arsenicosum 6x
This remedy is indicated where there is overall weakness and prostration accompanied by a lack of appetite. It acts as a general tonic and has marked beneficial and prompt effects.
This remedy is beneficial where the digestive system is weak. Notably used when the pet eats a small amount of food and that too only once a day which leads to bloating below the naval. Also indicated when complaints are predominantly regarding the right side of the body. Lycopodium can also be given when the animal is suffering from anticipatory anxiety and has low performance.
Antimonium crudum 30c
Indicated in case of anorexia accompanied by abdominal distension and where the temperament of the animal is fretful. In such case, the conditions are aggravated by heat and cold bathing. The animal becomes thirsty in the evening and night accompanied by Indigestion, nausea, vomiting, anal itching. Diarrhea alternates with constipation, especially in older animals. Slimy, flatulent stools. Mucus oozing from the rectum with offensive flatulence.
Arsenicum album 30c
Indicated after a chronic illness which leads to the emaciation of the animal. It acts as an overall tonic to improve the appetite. It is particularly useful for restless animals and animals who have experienced a gradual loss of weight from impaired nutrition.
It is most helpful when nausea is present along with the loss of appetite. Animal requiring Colchicum gets nauseous at the thought or smell of food. Even if there is an intake of feed, it seems tasteless. Hence colchicum is a miraculous treatment that stimulates appetite and alleviates nausea.
GOEL VET PHARMA PVT LTD company’s years of experience in formulating different homeopathic remedies for treating our pet friends have turned out successful with many field trials and clinical trials. They came out with a formulation using five different phosphates which are inevitable in the metabolism of hemoglobin synthesis in the Red Blood Corpuscles. These are Calcarea Phosphorica 8, Magnesium Phosphoricum 8, Natrum Phosphoricum 8, Ferrum Phosphoricum 8, and Kalium Phosphoricum 8. Anorexia which could be a result of any underlying causes like anemia, pyrexia, weakness, anxiety, indigestion, constipation, diarrhea, deficiency, any other acute or chronic illness could be overcome with the usage of this wonderful remedy which is termed to be the Five phos in the system of homeopathy. Each of these phos works uniquely, one on the digestive system, other on the nervous, one more on the circulatory, another on muscular, and the last one overall improvement of the system. Until today there were no known complications or contradictions on the usage of this homeopathic formulation. The remedy is named as PENTAVET. When there is no negative effect why not try with a positive mind.
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It won’t be justified if we consider anorexia as a disease condition. But it should be taken seriously because it is a major symptom of the underlying disease. Now, since homeopathy successfully and safely boosts the appetite, it can be readily used in correcting the cause of anorexia.
"Animals don’t have a choice in treatment and are completely dependent on the judgment of their owners and therapists. Hence, it is our moral responsibility to keep track of the situation and treat our pets accordingly and immediately."
Dr. Sakshi Vaishnav
MVSc. Animal Genetics and Breeding
ICAR- Indian Veterinary Research Institute
Dr. Hemalatha Talluri
Dr. Amit Kumar Tripathy