Dr. Jill Elliot, homeopathic veterinarian and owner of Happy Tails Holistic Veterinary Services in New York City, specializes in meeting the needs of cats, dogs, and horses through all-natural, homeopathic methods. A former student of Dr. Richard Pitcairn, who is widely considered to be the father of homeopathic veterinary practice in the US, Eliot’s three locations in New York and New Jersey provide innovate and all-natural treatments for animals suffering from acute or chronic illnesses.
A firm believer in homeopathy’s 200-year-plus track record, Elliot encourages pet parents to take their animals in for regular checkups and work at maintaining a generally healthy lifestyle. “Most dogs these days live longer; people take much better care,” says Eliot, “When you see a 15 year old dog with cancer it’s usually fair, because they’re old.”
Elliot takes a holistic approach to diagnosis, which means that emotional, behavioral, and physical symptoms are given equal importance. Only one treatment at a time is administered, allowing for a better opportunity to observe the animal’s reaction and plan for the next step.
A crucial part of this kind of treatment is finding alternatives to harsh and potentially dangerous chemicals. “If they’re lethargic after chemo, the homeopathic treatment for dogs is a pellet that has been coated with the homeopathic remedy. It’s used all over the world. You can buy it at any health food store.”
Homeopathic remedies are made from plant, animal, and mineral products which are diluted and shaken to achieve a certain potency; these essences are then mixed with water or poured onto sugar pills to be administered. Homeopathics are absorbed through the mucous membrane, so it’s best to handle them as little as possible, and to use them without the aids of traditional medicines like antibiotics.
Elliot also stresses the importance of diet and exercise in determining pet health. Raw foods and holistic supplements help to detoxify the body, which can be useful in treating the early stages of cancer. Mushrooms, power mushrooms, broccoli, peas, and home-prepared foods high in amino-acids are staples in her recommended dog diet.
She also encourages owners to remember that life expectancies are not always correct: “Every animal is like a person,” Elliot says, “there’s no time limit. People who have not done chemo have also had success with the homeology. They do it regularly.” Her own golden retriever, who has spleen cancer, has made it past the “3 months to live” diagnosis thanks to ozone therapy, which uses a machine attached to an oxygen tube and is designed to blow apart cancerous cells.
In spite of the challenges she faces every day in her practice, Dr. Elliot is no cynic when it comes to canine cancer. “I think you should let your dog live your regular life. Other treatments lead to hope. I want the owners to have hope.”