www.antoinettebyrne.com

Homeopath Nutritional Therapist

My little girl has had two litters of pups, and with each pregnancy and labour I gave her homeopathic remedies to help her. Farmers are turning to homeopathy more and more to try reduce antibiotic.  And I use Homeopath to reduce the use of chemical substances on my pets.  I’m sharing my experience of using Homeopathy during pregnancy, labour and pups in my own house.  Please do be advised, I don’t prescribe Homeopathy for animals.  In Ireland only a Homeopathic Vets can prescribe remedies to animals.  Owners can give their own animals homeopathic remedies.

*Please seek the advice of your vet, conventional or holistic if your animals need treatment.

The Pregnancy & Preparing for Birth

I realised Millie was pregnant because of her constant snatching of foods.  She started grabbing apples out of our hands, ripped chocolate bars to shreds (chocolate is not good for dogs) and devoured anything we left around.  I’m still astonished by her hunger during her pregnancy.  Two and then Three feeds per day, lots of healthy snacks between meals, and more home cooked foods satisfied her hunger.  She needed a full feed at night time to settle for a full nights sleep towards the end of her pregnancy. 

It’s common to give pregnant bitches calcium supplements.  I put suitable tissue salts in her water bowl daily to help her absorb calcium.  Closer to the birth she was fed puppy food to help build nutrients for healthy milk.  

Millie became slower as her pregnancy developed and wanted to rest more during the days.  She is usually quite an independant dog, but she wanted to put her head on our body or be very close to us all the time towards the end.  A few days before labour she started to hide under the shed at the bottom of the garden, was restless, clawing around the floors and clearly nesting. This was the first sign of her going into labour.  She was restless the closer she came to giving birth, keeping us awaking at night and panting heavily at times. I looked up a lot of online resources and videos to make sure I knew what to expect.

Arnica 30c was a little gem to help Millie relax and get a good nights sleep. 

Millie curled into her duvet with her 4 pups, 3 days old

The Birth

It seemed like Millie was in labor all night, walking around, scraping, restless, panting.  Finally around 5am she started to push.  The contractions and pushing were really obvious.  The first pup arrived just after 5am, with the second arriving around 5.45am. 

The third pup was late to come, nearly 2 hours later, which was a little worrying.  I thought Millie was a little tired after giving birth to the first two pups, so I gave her Arnica 200c, and Caulophyllum 200c.  Arnica, to help her recover her strength, and Caulophyllum to help bring on her contractions.  Both these remedies are commonly used by women giving birth, and I  can tell you both are quite powerful in their action, when needed.   After the third pup arrived at 8am, the fourth pup was born around 8.45am.  Again Arnica 200c and Caulophyllum was given to Millie to help her along with her energy and contractionsto give birth to the 4th pup.  

Catching a Breath

The pups were born in their sacs and Millie tried to open the sacs with her teeth.  If she didn’t open then sac I tore it open at the nose of the pup making sure the it could breath.    I used disposable gloves to make sure there was no contamination.

The third pup, whose labour was longer, was moving & crawling, but her breathing was not easy.  Her stomach was sinking in and out, like she couldn’t fill her lungs fully.  It sounded like she was gasping for air, and she was not feeding.  I made up a solutions of Aconite 30c and Laurocerasus 200c in a spray bottle, and sprayed it gently into her 

mouth 3 times over the course of the next hour.  Thankfully she started breathing properly and feeding very well, and to this day she is a happy bright healthy puppy.

 

If I had not had both remedies, Caulophyllum and Laurocerasus I definitely would have been making an emergency call to the vets.  According to advice given, a delay of 2 hours between the birth of puppies needs veterinary attention.  It’s important to read up on what to expect before your dog goes into labour.  

Helping as they Grow

As the pups started to develop their personalities and needs grew.  A pup became a little constipated after starting solid foods.  One dose of Nux Vomica 30c helped her bowels move again properly. 

Another pup ate too much, vomited and went off her food.  Nux Vomica 30c was a great help.  A pup was shakig with fear, for a reason unknown to us.  This could have been rough play or maybe a fright from a noise we were not aware of.  I decided on a combination of Arnica, Aconite and Gelsemium 30c.  Her behaviour changed completely.  She became more social, coming over to us and asking to be picked up.  She started to urinate outside with the others pups, interacting and playing more.  After a few days it was as if she was the boss of everyone.  It was quite a change. 

Going for their vaccinations we gave them a spray of Aconite, Staphysagria and Silica 30c.  These remedies helped to ease fear and any shock or pain they may feel after having a needle and microchip inserted into them.  It made for a more peaceful stay at the vets, who even commented on how good they were considering they were so small.    

Helping Mummy Dog with Feeding and Recovery

Firstly I try to give my Mama dog some extra treats, and good quality meats and fish.  For my breed oily fish is not good, so we try to get tuna in Brine instead of oils, or some frozen fish, some liver from the butcher, turkey mince, treats made of black pudding, fish fingers, and chicken pieces.  And of course her favourite, raw peppers!! 

Each breed has their different nutrient requirements so it’s important to get expert advice on this, otherwise you may risk causing damage to their digestive system or internal organs.  I recall looking for a pup some years ago and the breeder told me the pup was being fed cows milk and bread as a started puppy food.  I immediately left as I knew that pup would probably have digestion issues for a long time.  Food is the basis of a puppies digestive health, and if it’s not right from the very start you could end up having a weak pet that doesn’t thrive very well, or have weak bones or spine.  

Millie had 7 pups in her second litter.  She looked a lot skinnier the second time after pregnancy, and feeding so many pups I put Sepia 30c & Calcium tissue salts into a dropper bottle and gave it to her whenever she wanted it.  She took this bottle several times a day for the first 3 days.  None for the next week, and twice per week for the next 3 weeks she would take some of the liquid from the dropper bottle.  Other times she would refuse it.  Animals have an innate ability to know what is good for them and when they have had enough.  

To help Millie’s milk supply at the very beginning I gave her one dose of Urticaria Urens 30c.  Milk Thistle or Cardus Mar is also suitable to help dogs liver function and milk supply, and can be put into their water or food.  But in Millies case one pill is enough.  To recover from birth Arnica 30c was useful and when she developed Mastitis Belladonna and phytolacca 30c were amazing at clearing it up.  Millie had very red areas around her teats, they were also hot and lumpy with red streaks.  She was also panting at night and looking to lie on a cold surface, which is totally out of character for her.  I repeated the combination of the remedies 2-3 times over the next 2 days until the teats were back to a normal pink colour and she was not panting.  

Scratch marks left by the puppies to the underbelly while feeding

When the puppies became older they started scratching under her belly, causing cuts and some sore looking areas of broken skin. 

Area healed in less than 24 hours with the application of Calendula and Comfrey

I sprayed Calendula 200c in a bottle generously around the area, cleaned the area gently with a cloth, and resprayed Calendula 200c on the area.  When Millie was settled for bedtime I repeated the Calendula spray, cleaning again, respraying and I applied Angela Doyle’s Comfrey salve generously by dabbing it on the area.  I checked the area in the morning time again, after Millie had given a night and morning feed, and the morning the difference was remarkable –  The before and after pictures here speak for themselves!!!

 

Rehoming & Missing Mum

It can be heartbreaking looking at those puppies going to their new homes, especially after seeing their personalities develop.  It’s so clear that the puppies really want to stay together, but yet they are growing independent and need their own homes.  Mum needs her space and their personalities need to develop without the rule of the boss, the Mama dog.  

When the pups are going to their new homes I make up a spray of Aconite Arnica and Pulsatilla, to help cope with shock, any fears and missing their family.  The change can be a shock to them, so it’s important to be gentle with your new pups in the first few days, and allow them to come to you so they are not overwhelmed by their new environment.  It’s also important to give the same puppy foods, and have your pup checked over by a vet, check for a microchip, and get the second set of vaccinations, after the first ones have been confirmed by the paperwork you receive from the “breeder”.  In Ireland it is a requirement by law that all pups must be microchipped and vaccinated.  This should be the case prior to collecting your new pup, the new member of your family.  Pups and Mums are also prone to worms, so they should have been wormed by the breeder.  These are things you will need to check before introducing your new pet to your own household and allowing your children to hold animals.

I give my dogs remedies in the following ways: 

  1. I put one pill into the mouth near the back of the tongue, and close their mouth gently for a few seconds.  They either swallow the pill or they will spit it out.  This is enough for one dose.  
  2. I dissolve the pills I want to give into a spray bottle and spray it around the head, nose, tongue, mouth or the area I want to apply it to.  With puppies you can try spray it into their mouth but you need to avoid the nose so as not to shock the pup with water in their nostrils making breathing difficult.  A misting spray is enough
  3. I put a pill in their water bowl and allow it to dissolve.  I like to put tissue salts in their water as they will have a good supply of it during the day
  4. Dropper bottle.  I dissolve the pill in water.  I put the dropper close to their mouth and drop one drop onto their nose.  If they want more they will catch the next few drops you give.
  5. I put the dissolved drops into my hand and let them lick the water solution.  After Millie gave birth she wanted to be hand fed so this was an important way to get water into her too.

Most of the highlighted remedies were used in 30c potency and are in the kits used in your home.  If they are not in your kit they are available from various pharmacies or dispensaries of Homeopathic medicines.  Some remedies you may have in a birthing kit, or you may have some lying around from when your Homeopath gave them to you for your birth, or mastitis, or other prescriptions.

Disclaimer:
In Ireland there are holistic vets who are trained to give animals homeopathy. I do not treat animals, but do give my own animals Homeopathy as needed. Please seek the advice of a holistic vet in relation to animal pregnancy, birth, nutrition and in emergency situations.  And seek the advice of a qualified Homeopathic Vet in order to give your pets the best holistic treatment possible.