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Author Topic: Does homeopathic medicine work with animals?  (Read 15215 times)

Offline Karsten

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Does homeopathic medicine work with animals?
« on: 07/12/2009 01:23:10 »
My neighbor keeps pointing that it does work for animals to convince me that there is no placebo effect when it comes to homeopathic treatment and actual healing. Is there research that supports this?

One site (a skeptic one) points out that it is the owner who gets better, not the animals. And some vets who use it are convinced it works and discover evidence that it has worked.

Is that pretty much it?


 

Offline RD

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Does homeopathic medicine work with animals?
« Reply #1 on: 07/12/2009 01:41:50 »
The animal may actually get better, but by itself: not as a result of the homeopathic treatment applied.

The only good thing that can be said about homeopathy is the "medicine" is so dilute it is unlikely to do any harm ...

Quote
Another example given by a critic of homeopathy states that a 12C solution is equivalent to a "pinch of salt in both the North and South Atlantic Oceans", which is approximately correct. One third of a drop of some original substance diluted into all the water on earth would produce a remedy with a concentration of about 13C. A popular homeopathic treatment for the flu is a 200C dilution of duck* liver, marketed under the name Oscillococcinum. As there are only about 1080 atoms in the entire observable universe, a dilution of one molecule in the observable universe would be about 40C. Oscillococcinum would thus require 10320 more universes to simply have one molecule in the final substance.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homeopathy#Dilutions

*How appropriate that quack "medicine" is made from duck  :)
 (which probably doesn't contain a single molecule of duck).
« Last Edit: 07/12/2009 12:06:33 by RD »
 

Offline Bored chemist

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Does homeopathic medicine work with animals?
« Reply #2 on: 07/12/2009 19:55:06 »
I believe that homeopathy has only been properly tested in one species of animal; and it doesn't work on us.
 

Offline AllenG

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Does homeopathic medicine work with animals?
« Reply #3 on: 07/12/2009 20:48:20 »
I believe that homeopathy has only been properly tested in one species of animal; and it doesn't work on us.
Is homeopathy the one where a substance is diluted to the point of non existence?

Drinking water is good for all mammals, but assuming that the water is somehow charged with special powers is, well, hooey.
 

Offline Geezer

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Does homeopathic medicine work with animals?
« Reply #4 on: 07/12/2009 21:02:01 »
I seem to remember The Queen uses it. I wonder if she tries it on the corgis?
 

Offline RD

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Does homeopathic medicine work with animals?
« Reply #5 on: 08/12/2009 13:58:19 »
I don't know what's so mysterious about homeopathic treatments.  They trigger the body to react to the initial condition or, like an adjuvant, they help coax the body to recognize the condition.

But homeopathic "treatments" are distilled water: pure H20: zero active ingredients, placebo.
« Last Edit: 08/12/2009 14:01:50 by RD »
 

Offline Ophiolite

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Does homeopathic medicine work with animals?
« Reply #6 on: 08/12/2009 16:52:30 »
  Regardless, science should understand the mechanism of how something works.
Or in this case, how it doesn't work.
 

Offline Karsten

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Does homeopathic medicine work with animals?
« Reply #7 on: 08/12/2009 16:57:33 »
I don't know what's so mysterious about homeopathic treatments.  They trigger the body to react to the initial condition or, like an adjuvant, they help coax the body to recognize the condition.

But homeopathic "treatments" are distilled water: pure H20: zero active ingredients, placebo.

Exactly. So why would it work for a horse/dog/cow? (If it indeed does and for which I am still trying to find research for).
 

Offline Karsten

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Does homeopathic medicine work with animals?
« Reply #8 on: 08/12/2009 17:03:18 »
  Regardless, science should understand the mechanism of how something works.
Or in this case, how it doesn't work.

I occasionally get symptoms for sore throat and used to get real bad sore throat if I let it just go. I use this homeopathic spray and it works very well without causing any discomfort. I have doubts that it is the "active" ingredient that does the helping, but maybe it is. I suspect it is the alcohol (or whatever the solution is) that helps. Not that it matters much. Asides from being expensive, it sure won't hurt.

It may work for some people, but I was/am of the opinion that it is in the head of the user (or the inactive ingredient).
 

Offline BenV

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Does homeopathic medicine work with animals?
« Reply #9 on: 08/12/2009 18:13:40 »
I would consider giving an unproven remedy to a suffering animal to be a form of cruelty.
 

Offline Bored chemist

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Does homeopathic medicine work with animals?
« Reply #10 on: 08/12/2009 19:17:14 »
Using an unproven remedy might be legitimate research (how else would you prove it?).  Using a "remedy" that hasn't actually got anything but water in it is definitely cruelty.
 

Offline BenV

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Does homeopathic medicine work with animals?
« Reply #11 on: 08/12/2009 19:38:18 »
A good point, well made.
 

Offline Karsten

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Does homeopathic medicine work with animals?
« Reply #12 on: 09/12/2009 00:24:56 »
Using an unproven remedy might be legitimate research (how else would you prove it?).  Using a "remedy" that hasn't actually got anything but water in it is definitely cruelty.
Well, some homeopathic solutions are prepared with alcohol. Maybe that helps the horses. And of course some claim that it is the "agitation" not what is in it (or not in it).

In any case, I am hearing from you folks that no research has been done to point out that homeopathy works on animals. Of course my neighbor may say that no research has been done to prove that it does not work. Can't help him then.
« Last Edit: 09/12/2009 00:27:32 by Karsten »
 

Offline Bored chemist

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Does homeopathic medicine work with animals?
« Reply #13 on: 09/12/2009 06:57:52 »
I think your neighbour has missed the point; it falls to him to provide extraordinary evidence of his extraordinary claim. It is not the responsibillity of science to investigate every half wittted idea that anyone dreams up.
You should explain this to him in straightforward terms like; "So, you say overpriced water cures sick animals then? OK prove it. Come back when you have done the double blind trials"
 

Offline Karsten

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Does homeopathic medicine work with animals?
« Reply #14 on: 09/12/2009 11:59:19 »
I think your neighbour has missed the point; it falls to him to provide extraordinary evidence of his extraordinary claim. It is not the responsibillity of science to investigate every half wittted idea that anyone dreams up.
You should explain this to him in straightforward terms like; "So, you say overpriced water cures sick animals then? OK prove it. Come back when you have done the double blind trials"

He says it works for him often, he read about it in magazines and such, and that our scientific ways to prove that something works are not so great and ignore whatever does not fit our methods. Does not matter much, I am fine with accepting that homeopathy works for some people but science cannot explain how or find conclusive evidence that it works. Not a battle I need to fight at the moment. There are a lot of over-priced items out there and homeopathy is not one that will cause damage (to me). Also, I need to be on good terms with my neighbor since I occasionally need to use his work shop.  ;D

In any case, I will print the wikipedia article  and this web page (http://www.skeptics.org.uk/article.php?dir=articles&article=it_works_in_animals.php) for him. It will give him something to think about. Probably not change his view, but that is at that point more a "faith" issue.

I loved this part from the wikipedia site and was still laughing later in the evening when thinking about it: "Some homeopaths also use techniques that are regarded by other practitioners as controversial. These include paper remedies, where the substance and dilution are written on a piece of paper and either pinned to the patient's clothing, put in their pocket, or placed under a glass of water that is then given to the patient, as well as the use of radionics to prepare remedies. Such practices have been strongly criticized by classical homeopaths as unfounded, speculative, and verging upon magic and superstition."  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homeopathy

I think one could even go as far as e-mailing the patient the substance and dilution!
 

Offline Bored chemist

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Does homeopathic medicine work with animals?
« Reply #15 on: 09/12/2009 19:05:40 »
My problem with the idea that "it works for him" is that it's not him that's sick- the animals are. Giving them water and thereby convincing yourself that they get better seems imoral to me.
 

Offline DrN

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Does homeopathic medicine work with animals?
« Reply #16 on: 09/12/2009 22:41:49 »
I guess that depends on whether there is a better alternative out there. For many conditions, of course there is, so I would have to agree that it would be highly dubious at best to withhold the proven treatment in favour of anything unproven, homeopathic or otherwise. If the alternative is nothing, then I can't see a problem with trying anything, as long as it is unlikely to cause more harm.
 

Offline Geezer

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Does homeopathic medicine work with animals?
« Reply #17 on: 10/12/2009 05:41:16 »
Perhaps the real question should be, "Are any animals, other than humans, susceptible to placebos and quackery?"

I'm voting NO.
 

Offline Bored chemist

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Does homeopathic medicine work with animals?
« Reply #18 on: 10/12/2009 06:56:55 »
If the alternative is nothing, then I can't see a problem with trying anything, as long as it is unlikely to cause more harm.
The problem is usually called fraud.
 

Offline SquarishTriangle

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Does homeopathic medicine work with animals?
« Reply #19 on: 10/12/2009 07:01:40 »
I hear it can work. When treating dehydration...
 

Offline Geezer

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Does homeopathic medicine work with animals?
« Reply #20 on: 10/12/2009 17:22:12 »
I hear it can work. When treating dehydration...

LOL! I must remember that one.
 

Offline Bored chemist

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Does homeopathic medicine work with animals?
« Reply #21 on: 10/12/2009 19:22:39 »
Provided that they are not using solutions in alcohol or sugar pills.
 

Offline Karsten

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Does homeopathic medicine work with animals?
« Reply #22 on: 12/12/2009 01:04:32 »
My problem with the idea that "it works for him" is that it's not him that's sick- the animals are. Giving them water and thereby convincing yourself that they get better seems imoral to me.

Agreed. I think he would object strongly to the treatment of animals with homeopathic methods if he believed it did not work. However, he "knows" it works (since it works for him and several other people he knows, some in my own circle of friends) and cannot be the placebo effect since animals are not susceptible to it. He is a complete animal lover. If I showed him though scientific articles that demonstrate that homeopathic treatments do not work, he would declare this to be a result of scientific narrow-mindedness. He is a difficult case this way.
 

Offline AllenG

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Does homeopathic medicine work with animals?
« Reply #23 on: 12/12/2009 01:31:25 »
My problem with the idea that "it works for him" is that it's not him that's sick- the animals are. Giving them water and thereby convincing yourself that they get better seems imoral to me.

Agreed. I think he would object strongly to the treatment of animals with homeopathic methods if he believed it did not work. However, he "knows" it works (since it works for him and several other people he knows, some in my own circle of friends) and cannot be the placebo effect since animals are not susceptible to it. He is a complete animal lover. If I showed him though scientific articles that demonstrate that homeopathic treatments do not work, he would declare this to be a result of scientific narrow-mindedness. He is a difficult case this way.

According to the principals of homeopathics, place a steak in a gallon of water, draw out a dram of that water, put a drop of it in another vial and shake it, draw out a drop and put it in a fresh vial of water.  Repeat this a dozen times or so.
The final vial should be as nutritious as the steak.  Let him drink that diluted steak water for a couple of days and let him see how hungry he becomes.
 

Offline Geezer

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Does homeopathic medicine work with animals?
« Reply #24 on: 12/12/2009 01:43:23 »
My problem with the idea that "it works for him" is that it's not him that's sick- the animals are. Giving them water and thereby convincing yourself that they get better seems imoral to me.

Agreed. I think he would object strongly to the treatment of animals with homeopathic methods if he believed it did not work. However, he "knows" it works (since it works for him and several other people he knows, some in my own circle of friends) and cannot be the placebo effect since animals are not susceptible to it. He is a complete animal lover. If I showed him though scientific articles that demonstrate that homeopathic treatments do not work, he would declare this to be a result of scientific narrow-mindedness. He is a difficult case this way.

According to the principals of homeopathics, place a steak in a gallon of water, draw out a dram of that water, put a drop of it in another vial and shake it, draw out a drop and put it in a fresh vial of water.  Repeat this a dozen times or so.
The final vial should be as nutritious as the steak.  Let him drink that diluted steak water for a couple of days and let him see how hungry he becomes.

Hey! I think I'll try that with Johnnie Walker. It's going to save me a fortune.
 

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Does homeopathic medicine work with animals?
« Reply #24 on: 12/12/2009 01:43:23 »

 

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