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By Glenn Dupree, DVM
Added June 4, 2012. Homeopathic remedies are among the most cost effective and efficient treatment options available to the organic dairy. Their biggest draw back is how to store all those little bottles of pills and keep them organized.
My first suggestion would be to talk to your certifier and see if the remedies can be kept in the barn and, if so, how they must be labeled. The labels on most homeopathic remedies are pretty vague and if the certifier isn't familiar with homeopathy they may draw his/her scrutiny. A little education may go a long way toward making storage of the remedies easier. It is also very important to know what will be required by the milk inspector to allow storage in the barn without drawing milk inspection demerits. It may just be a matter of keeping a homeopathic instruction book right with the remedy bottles.
With this done, the only requirement for storage in order to keep the remedies effective is to find a place away from temperature extremes, direct sunlight, strong chemical odors, and strong electromagnetic influences (inside the microwave, on top of the television set, etc).
Otherwise it becomes a matter of storing them in an organized fashion so they can be easily found. Plastic ammunition boxes with internal partitions work really well. I suggest a separate box for each potency that you store. Arrange the remedies in that potency in alphabetical order in the box, then tape a key on the inside of the lid for easy reference.
For volumes of remedies larger than the standard lipstick size vials, a drawer in a file cabinet can be partitioned off in a similar manner for easy access.
Stored in this fashion it will be easy to find the remedy you are looking for without too much hassle and without wasting time.
Remedies Indicated for Common Maladies Seen on the Dairy
With your remedies organized and easy to find, you will be ready to treat any health condition that may arise on your farm. Below are some of the most commonly indicated remedies and some of the conditions they can treat.
Aconite – High dry fevers, especially when brought on by dropping temperatures, high winds and excessive stress. Respiratory conditions with high dry fevers, sudden onsets, and clear, stringy nasal discharge. Mastitis or lamenesses brought on by these same weather conditions.
Apis – Swellings and edema, especially when red, hot and painful. Good for post-parturient edema and mastitis where there is excess swelling/edema in the udder
Argentum nitricum – Can be useful for cows that don't want to go into stanchions and who don't like to be enclosed. Will make them more willing to walk into close or enclosed spaces
Arnica – For any trauma, bruising or contusions. Should be given to both cow and calf as soon after birthing as possible
Arsenicum – Indicated in deep burns such as branding or debudding. Also for foul, volatile diarrheas especially when the cow/calf is restless and thirsty. Can be effective in gangrenous conditions such as Staph aureus mastitis where the tissues are black and in septicemias
Belladonna – For any condition where there is a high fever systemically and locally and the tissue is bright red or red streaked and painful such as acute mastitis
Bryonia – In mastitis where the udder is hard, painful, and pale. For any condition where the symptoms is made worse by motion such as a deep cough or lameness
Carbo veg – A good remedy to use for twisted intestines or displaced abomasums where there is bloating that can't be relieved
Caulophyllum – When cow is threatening to abort. Also in calving when the contractions are overly strong and painful or too weak to expel the calf
Chamomille – Indicated in diarrhea in calves when the manure is green, watery, and excoriating, especially if it occurs when the calf is cutting teeth. Mastitis where udder is very hard and painful and where teats are swollen
China – Weakness and collapse after delivery or after loss of fluids. Good remedy for milk fever
Euphrasia – To treat pink eye and to prevent pink eye once it starts in herd
Graphites – A good hoof rot remedy when there is swelling and cracking between the claws
Hypericum – For trauma to heavily innervated tissues such as teeth, tails, and hooves. Also for deep and painful punctures such as nails, thorns, etc in hoof
Ignatia – Good to help settle the cow and calf at the time of weaning and separation
Kali carb – Weakness and paralysis after delivery
Lachesis – Septicemic infections where tissues are blue or purple, such as in mastitis, especially if the infection of the udder is left sided
Nux vomica – For digestive problem from grain overloads or overeating of concentrated feeds
Petroleum – For hoof rot where there is a foul, dark discharge between the claws
Phosphorus – Indicated in bleeding conditions to stop hemorrhage. Also for pneumonias that are deep seated and for diarrheas that are green and odorless.
Phytolacca – Good mastitis remedy when the udder is nodular, abscessed or has fistulous tracts after mastitis
Pulsatilla - For birthing difficulties when labor is ineffective and/or where calf is not positioned correctly. Also indicated in cases where cow doesn't let her milk down or where the milk decreases after calving. Can be effective in respiratory conditions where the nasal discharge is white, thick and bland. Typically the cow in a Pulsatilla state is one that is not drinking or drinking a minimal amount
Rhus tox – For cows that are stiff and lame on first motion but walk out of the lameness
Sepia – Indicated in impending abortions or calving difficulties especially when the cow is aggressive and irritable. Can be used when the cow rejects the calf at birth
Silicea – Abscess remedy so is good for lamenesses caused by hoof abscesses or deep bruises or for mastitis where the udder abscesses. Can also be used to force the expulsion of foreign bodies
Sulphur – A good remedy for a cow that is failing without showing any particular symptoms, especially where her appearance is rough and unkempt
Urtica urens – To help the cow dry off at the end of lactation
With any of these remedies and these indications, I would suggest either a 30c or a 200c potency. Doses should be repeated based on the severity of symptoms. With fulminate, fast-moving situations the dose may need to be given 3-5 times a day. In slower, more insidious situations giving the dose once daily to once weekly may be adequate.
For those remedies that you will be using frequently, you can mix a stock solution of equal parts of vodka (organic) and water.
To an ounce of this solution in a dropper bottle add 1-2 pellets of the remedy and shake well. Label the bottle in accordance with the dictates of your certifier.
With this liquid remedy, a dropper full will treat a cow. Or for treating the herd, a dropper full can be mixed into a larger volume of water which can then be added to a water tank or into a sprayer so the remedy can be misted onto the face/nose of the cows.
This will help preserve your stock of remedies and will cut even the minimal cost of homeopathic treatment.
Glen Dupree, DVM, CVH, author of the book 'Homeopathy in Organic Livestock Production' (available through Acres USA), has practiced veterinary Homeopathy for the past 12 years in Louisiana, Pennsylvania and New York. He received his initial training in Homeopathy from Richard Pitcairn, DVM. Further studies have been made with various human Homeopaths. Currently, Dr. Dupree's practice of veterinary homeopathy is based in St. Francisville, Louisiana. You can reach Dr. Drupree by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone: (225)709-4381.