Zoo Animals

Natural Medicine for Zoo Animals

(including any wild species not in a zoo but that may be kept in a UK zoo and is not covered elsewhere)

Here we discuss various zoo animals, with reference to acupuncture, herbal treatment, homeopathic treatment, chiropractic manipulation etc., where appropriate.

See also: BirdsReptilesWild AnimalsElephantsFish

If you wish, go straight to the DISEASES list

HomeopathyHerbsAcupunctureChiropracticHolistic MedicineNatural Feeding

Many wonderful creatures come under this umbrella heading, the wording of which almost implies that they were created for collecting, caging or exhibition. This is clearly not the case. These species are included here, since they are likely to be met in the UK only in zoos and collections. In other parts of the world, they are, of course, ‘wild animals‘ and their needs would have been discussed on that page, were we not UK-based.

Zoos represent an ethical dilemma, which each reader must resolve to the best of his or her individual ability. Zoological collections now assert that they serve an essential conservation role. Others dispute this, not least upon the grounds that animals in the wild outlive their captive counterparts. Whatever the rights and wrongs of keeping animals in zoos, the inmates can fall prey to disease and, when they do, they then require and deserve the best treatment available.

Many species are very prone to idiosyncratic drug reactions, with modern conventional drug therapy. Happily, they respond well to homeopathic input (which does not carry this risk) without the risk of these adverse effects. This makes the treatment of sick zoo animals very rewarding to the veterinary homeopath.

It has often been the privilege of the AVMC to be asked to treat zoo animals. This has mostly been done via a zoo’s own vet, rather than by a personal visit, although visits are possible.

The use of homeopathy, acupuncture, herbal medicine (herbs) and other alternative therapies does not rule out the need for a proper examination and assessment of each patient, necessary diagnostic tests, appropriate measures to repair injury and a study of natural lifestyle and diet (special for each species or type), in order to be able to speed recovery. The patient’s environment and management should also be reviewed. We have enjoyed a good measure of success through this methodology, seeing, as in other species, recoveries from diseases usually associated with a poor prognosis in conventional terms and wisdom.

Among the species that have been treated are Giant Panda, Rhinoceros, Giraffe, Buffalo, Chimpanzee, Orang-Utan, Gorilla, Elephant, Deer, various species of Monkeys, various Birds, various Snakes and even Orphan Elephants (in rescue centres in Africa). There is no reason why we should not be able to treat dolphins, sea lions, seals, otters, alligators, crocodiles, antelopes, gazelles, zebras, okapis, camels, rhinoceros, hippopotamus, marmosets, bears, kangaroos, wallabies (wallaby) etc. In general, homeopathy is well-suited to all species, so success is possible, as with domestic species, in a wide range of conditions. Because animals confined in collections can be prone to crowding, some of their diseases are similar to those encountered in farm animals.

Even chiropractic manipulation can be offered – a personal ambition is to perform this on a giraffe! May be it wouldn’t be such a challenge as doing chiropractic on a hedgehog?

See also:

First-Aid
Zoo Topics
Nutrition & Natural Feeding
Case Histories
The ‘Zoo Issue’
Zoonoses
Preventive Medicine
Notifiable Diseases

DISEASES

As each species is different and there is a massive variety of species, genera, families and orders, in a zoo environment, it is not feasible to list all possible disease situations. For the most part, the principles are shared with other species and advice can be found under the various species pages that are shown on this site, that can be relevant to the individual zoo species encountered. Even Bluetongue is possible, in ruminant species (the disease signs that typify this condition suggest that it should be responsive to homeopathy (homeopathic treatment) and to homeopathic preventive methods (homeoprophylaxis). However, as this is a notifiable disease, if the AVMC were to treat cases we would need specific permission from DEFRA).

The obvious exceptions to this extrapolation, of course, are the Phyla: Mollusca and Arthropoda, the Class: Amphibia and the Mammalian Orders: Edentata, Serenia, Cetacea, Marsupilia, Proboscidea and Primates. However, principles apply and treatment can therefore still be devised on a sound basis. The AVMC is willing to offer help in any specific problem, for which our advice is sought.

Farm AnimalsHorsesDonkeysGoatsCamelidsBirdsDogs
Wild AnimalsCage MammalsFerretsCatsReptilesFish

Click on the species most closely related. Send a request if a disease is not shown or is not yet covered. N.B. Some of these links are in preparation.

If asked to treat a zoo animal, whether attended personally or via the specialist zoo veterinary surgeon, while the only promises that can be made are that we will always concentrate and put in maximum effort on the animal’s behalf, and strive for excellence in the application of natural medicine techniques, we are able to report an encouraging level of success in such species, in a wide variety of medical problems. A great many creatures have surprised us with their ability to defy prognosis and recover. Follow a full holistic program and rely on the animal’s innate healing ability.

Main Treatments offered (see Therapies):

  • Homeopathic treatment
  • Acupuncture treatment
  • Herbal treatment (Phytotherapy)
  • Aromatherapy treatment
  • Chiropractic treatment
  • Nutritional advice – Feeding advice
  • LASER treatment
  • Ultrasound treatment
  • Back manipulation – Back treatment
  • Bach Flowers
  • Holistic medicine – Holistic veterinary medicine
  • Flower Essences
  • Tissue Salts
  • Integrated medicine (Integrative medicine)
  • Holistic therapy – Holistic treatment – Holistic care
  • Holistic advice
  • Natural medicine – Alternative medicine – complimentary medicine
  • CAM – CAVM
  • Natural Feeding – Natural Diet

These approaches represent a philosophy that is alternative to the current conventional norm but the use of alternative therapies does not do away with the need for a thorough examination and assessment. Nor does it preclude the use of modern diagnostic techniques where necessary. A holistic vet will take into account all these things, in addition to closely scrutinizing lifestyle, diet, environment etc.