Double-blinded randomised placebo-controlled clinical trial of individualised homeopathic treatment of hyperthyroid cats

Double-blinded randomised placebo-controlled clinical trial of individualised homeopathic treatment of hyperthyroid cats

You can't have too much cute.

Vet Rec. 2017 Jan 11. pii: vetrec-2016-104007. doi: 10.1136/vr.104007. [Epub ahead of print]

Double-blinded randomised placebo-controlled clinical trial of individualised homeopathic treatment of hyperthyroid cats.

Bodey AL1, Almond CJ2, Holmes MA3.

Author information

1The Hyperthyroid Cat Centre, 433 Birch Park, Thorp Arch Estate, Wetherby, Yorkshire, LS23 7FG, UK.

2Forrest House Veterinary Ltd, 5 Little Market Place, Masham, Ripon, North Yorkshire, HG4 4DY, UK.

3Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Cambridge, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0ES, UK.

Abstract

Feline hyperthyroidism is a common endocrine disorder in older cats for which homeopathic treatment has been advocated. A double-blinded, placebo-controlled randomised trial was performed to look for evidence of efficacy for the use of individualised homeopathy in the treatment of this disease. Using a case definition of a concentration of the thyroid hormone T4 >66 nmol/l, cats were randomised into two treatment arms. Either a placebo or a homeopathic treatment was given to each cat blindly. After 21 days, the T4 levels, weight (Wt) and heart rate (HR) were compared with pretreatment values. There were no statistically significant differences in the changes seen between the two treatment arms following placebo or homeopathic treatment (T4 P=0.96, Wt P=0.16, HR P=0.36) or between the means of each parameter for either treatment arm before and after placebo or homeopathic treatment (all P values >0.13). In a second phase of the study, patients in both treatment arms were given methimazole treatment for 21 days and T4, Wt and HR determined again. Again there were no statistically significant differences between the groups, but there were statistically significant reductions in T4 (P<0.0001) and HR (P=0.02), and a statistically significant increase in Wt (P=0.004) in both groups compared with their pre-methimazole treatment levels. The results of this study failed to provide any evidence of the efficacy of homeopathic treatment of feline hyperthyroidism.

British Veterinary Association.

KEYWORDS:

Feline; Homeopathy; Hyperthyroidism; Methimazole; Randomised controlled trial

PMID: 28077754

DOI: 10.1136/vr.104007

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/280...

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6 Replies

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  • Aaaaahhhhh :) Haven't read a word you've typed because I can't stopping seeing the cute :D

  • A few members, in the past, have said their animal was treated better than they were. Not surprising, I think. :) The cats are lovely.

  • I had a whippet who got lots of eye ulcers and interdigital cysts. She had op after op on the eyes. A vet suggested homeopathic eye drops occuloheal (?) i was sceptical but to my amazement the ulcer rapidly cleared with treatment. I later discovered those two symptoms are also indicative of hypothyroidism in dogs and in retrospect I now believe that was the underlying problem. Both her pups went on to develop hypothyrodism the drops also seemed to work on her daughter's eye ulcers. It suddenly dawned on me looking at her one day and thinking I feel just like that - she must be hypothyroid and tests revealed she was. It is a pity that homeopathy does not appear to have a scientific basis as demonstrated by this study on very cute kitties. I cannot explain why the eye drops were so effective.

  • There have been well designed studies showing homeopathy to be effective, but very few. I suspect it will vary with the condition, though.

  • Having had several hypothyroid cats (including one that was overweight!!!) the title really caught my attention.

    Can't help wondering about the need for a placebo control group in cats rather than just a non-treatment group - which was actually missing from the study ... generally they seem to regard any medical intervention as a gross infringement of feline rights.

    Thanks helvella

  • Only just spotted this - very timely in my case, as I've just started, reluctantly, to treat my hyperthyroid kitty with methimazole. She has a history of skin irritation/allergy and sensitive digestion, so on a recommendation I tried some herbal drops first. They increased her appetite, but did nothing else.

    On one level, I'm not surprised by the results of this study. However, I have come across vets who swear by homeopathic treatments for certain conditions, in certain animals (mainly cattle and swine). I find such vets tend to be aged over 55, and they are also the vets who are most flexible about thyroid and B12 treatments for cats and dogs. This group is now entering retirement and, in my own area at least, the younger generations seem almost as dogmatic as doctors.