Author: Wendy Thacher Jensen, D.V.M.
Publisher: Black Rose Writing, Usa.
Paperback: 214 P ages
Reviewer: Vatsala Sperling
A dog wearing a blue stethoscope and a kitten looking adoringly at you make for a cute book cover, but as you pick up Wendy Thacher Jensen’s book, what catches your attention right away is a quote about this book from Richard Pitcairn, the author of a ground-breaking book published in 1982 that has inspired generations of readers to embrace alternative healing modalities for their companion animals. My family has raised three different German Shepherds by meticulously following Pitcairn’s book and when he endorses a book by another veterinarian and his student, Wendy Thacher Jensen, I feel genuinely curious to pick it up and read.
Wendy succeeds at sustaining my curiosity till the end of her book. In ten chapters, she has attempted to cover various aspects of caring for our pets, though the strong focus of this book is on homeopathy and its understanding as well as application for the wellness of our pets. This approach makes the book valuable and unique. It is not a general book that deals with several alternative healing approaches with homeopathy occupying a dismal five pages. This book is all about homeopathy for our pets. Well done, Wendy.
As I read through this book, I find that the usual menagerie of domestic pets – cats, dogs, horses, doves and squirrel – are featured over thirty-two cases. These cases have positive outcome based on the use of homeopathic treatments. The animals have recovered from cancers, hyperthyroidism, dysplasia, bladder stones, diarrhea, constipation, bloody nose, neurological issues, weight loss, urinary blockage, sneezing, nasal discharge, aggression. The list goes on. What strikes me most is the thoroughness with which Wendy has approached these cases with input from the animal’s person (aka owner). The cases are solved by way of classical homeopathy with an intake interview to get the picture of the animal, observation of the sick animal, time line and symptom list. For analyzing this information, Wendy has, just as a classical homeopath would do, considered location, modalities, concomitants, sensations, generalities, mental/ emotional symptoms as well as strange, rare and peculiar symptoms. She has shown how common and even occasional particular symptoms may not be adding much critical value to the analysis. Repertorization, presented in chapter 6, is based on the use of standard, classic repertories (author’s preference). For choosing potencies, the author has gone in depth in to describing susceptibility of the animal, its’ vital force, seat, nature, stage and duration of the disease and previous treatments.
As pet owners, the consumers of homeopathy will no doubt have questions about how their pet will respond to homeopathic treatment, what to observe while in treatment, and they may also want to know what the prognosis is going to be. Wendy has addressed these issues in chapter 8 and described the follow up pointers that a veterinarian homeopath would consider in assessing how the animals are responding to the treatment and the remedies.
A short chapter on supportive care includes vaccination – especially which ones to avoid and which ones to consider, homemade raw diet and home remedies. The delicate question of euthanasia for our terminally ill and seriously injured is handled with compassion for the animals as well as for their owners.
Of course, no book on homeopathy would be complete without a chapter or two about fundamental laws of homeopathy that set it apart as a science and an art. A few brief chapters explore this area and even these chapters are infused with illustrative cases.
In all, this is a well-written, well-researched and solid book based on extensive bibliography. I noticed that the author has opted to exclude an A- Z materia medica of homeopathic remedies commonly called for in veterinarian homeopathic practice. This omission does not take away from the wholeness of the book. Readers can always quickly look up remedy information and gather a lot of details…something that is hard to do in the ultra-brief materia medicas that accompany a lot of similar books. What this book does offer is consistent and very thorough evidence, in case after case after case, about how homeopathy helps our pets overcome illness and achieve a better quality of life.
It would be hard for the naysayers to stick to their guns after reading how animals respond to homeopathy….after all, the animals do not know placebo from the pills medicated with potentized medicinal substances. Animals are not buying into the notion that giving one’s case to the homeopath in an intake interview makes the patient feel good and they begin to get better. When the vital force goes off kilter, the animals get sick and present symptoms that can be observed by their owners and shown in various scientifically designed laboratory tests. They are then given homeopathic remedies based on the classical tenets of homeopathy, ‘like cures like’ and now they get better, their sick symptoms go away one by one, and the laboratory tests begin to come out ‘normal’. In this scenario, it is easier to conclude that the animals are responding to the medicinal effects of homeopathic remedies.
Personally, I am delighted with this book and glad that Wendy Thacher Jensen wrote this book. I recommend it strongly to people who own a cat or a dog or any other animal they fancy as a pet… and to those who would like to try homeopathy for their pets, because it is gentle, effective and it comes with side-benefits.
Thank you Dr. Sperling, for taking the time to write such a careful and detailed review. I am hopeful that my little book will smooth the way for a more fruitful and effective partnership between companion animal guardian and homeopathic veterinarian. Veterinary homeopaths depend upon companion animal caretakers to be their eyes and ears, since caretakers know their own animal the best of all. Already I have received grateful feedback from clients and veterinarians alike, which makes all my efforts worthwhile!