FAQ Aromatherapy

Frequently Asked Questions

Aromatherapy

See also: Aromatherapy

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Q. Will my horse (or pony, dog, cat, donkey, goat etc.) accept the treatment?

A. Aromatherapy or the use of ‘essential oils’ is an offshoot of herbal medicine, using the volatile and aromatic constituents of plants. There is usually a strong odour to the medicines, which is generally well-accepted by animals. Animals appear to have an instinctive ability to perceive what may be helpful to them.

Q. What conditions/diseases can be helped by aromatherapy?

A. As with herbal medicine, a wide spectrum of disease can be treated using aromatherapy. The medicines are powerful and have direct pharmacological effects. Herbal medicine and aromatherapy are the forerunners of modern conventional drug medicine. The scope is explained in more detail on the Aromatherapy page of this site.

Q. What sort of cost can I expect?

A. It is always difficult to compare costs across different treatments but, in general, successful treatments are very cost-effective. The AVMC’s charges are usually time-based; detailed estimates of cost can be requested from our office (contact details).

Q. Will my insurance pay?

A. Most insurance policies allow for aromatherapy to be used on your animal. However, some will try to marginalise it under ‘complementary or alternative treatments’. This can result in reduced benefit. This appears to the AVMC to be a travesty, since the treatment is performed by a vet and should be handled under general veterinary cover. Aromatherapy treatment by a non-vet is illegal in the UK and should not be covered anyway.

Q. What is the legal position regarding aromatherapy for animals?

A. The relevant legislation is the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966. Aromatherapy can only be performed on animals by a qualified veterinary surgeon.

Q. Can aromatherapy be integrated with other therapies?

A. Aromatherapy can be used alongside chiropractic manipulation, osteopathy, physiotherapy and massage etc. However, it is capable of potentially dangerous summation with herbal medicine or modern drug therapy and must only be used in a carefully integrated fashion with those treatments. Aromatherapy medicines may also clash with homeopathic input, under some circumstances. Careful integration is required if using homeopathy and aromatherapy together.

Q. Is it safe?

A. The medicines are extremely potent and should always be used with care. Some agents are potentially toxic, if used incorrectly. Aromatherapy is capable of potentially dangerous summation or interaction with herbal medicine or modern drug therapy and must only be used in a carefully integrated fashion with those treatments. The use of aromatherapy in pregnant animals or when someone in the household is pregnant is discouraged, owing to risks that are difficult to evaluate. Aromatherapy medicines can taint milk. In cats, especial care is needed, owing to the careful grooming habits of most cats, resulting in potentially greater intake.

Q. Are there side effects?

A. This phenomenon is theoretically possible with aromatherapy agents but is less likely than with synthesized drugs and, in practice, is not a problem when the medicines are used appropriately.

See also: Aromatherapy

If you have questions not answered here, please let us know (contact details)

Back to main FAQ