Pilot study of the effect of individualised homeopathy on the pruritus associated with atopic dermatitis in dogs
- P. B. Hill, BVSc, PhD, DVD, DipACVD, MRCVS1,
- J. Hoare, BVSc, VetMFHom, MRCVS2,
- P. Lau-Gillard, DrMedVet, CertVD, MRCVS1,
- J. Rybnicek, MVDr, MRCVS1 and
- R. T. Mathie, BSc, PhD3
- 1 Division of Companion Animal Studies, Department of Clinical Veterinary Science, University of Bristol, Langford House, Langford, North Somerset BS40 5DU
- 2 Faculty of Homeopathy
- 3 British Homeopathic Association, Hahnemann House, 29 Park Street West, Luton, Bedfordshire LU1 3BE
- E-mail for correspondence:
Twenty dogs with confirmed atopic dermatitis were treated with homeopathy. In the first phase of this pilot study, all of the dogs were treated by a veterinary homeopath with individualised remedies prescribed on the basis of the dog’s cutaneous signs and constitutional characteristics. The response to treatment was assessed by scoring the severity of pruritus from 0 to 10 on a validated scale. The dogs were evaluated at monthly intervals for at least two months. In 15 cases, the owners reported no improvement following homeopathic treatment. In the other five cases, the owners believed that the homeopathic treatment was associated with a substantial improvement, and reported reductions in pruritus scores ranging from 64 to 100 per cent. These five dogs were selected for the second phase of the study, in which homeopathic remedies were tested against placebos in a randomised and blinded trial. In one of these dogs, atopic dermatitis resolved completely and so this dog could not participate in phase 2; another dog was euthanased because of status epilepticus before phase 2 could be started. In the remaining three cases, the owners correctly distinguished between the placebo and homeopathic remedies, and reported reductions in the pruritus score of 0, 0.2 and 0.8 following placebo treatment and 4.3, 2.4 and 3.0, respectively, following the remedy.
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