Efficacy of Homeopathic Herd Health Management in Antibiotic Resistant Dairy Cattle in Northern Spain
05 February 2020 (online)
Background: Milk yield in dairy farms worldwide has improved due to advances in genetics, feeding and cattle handling. Maximum yields lead to stress and immunosuppression of the animal, having to rely heavily on antibiotics to preserve health. Consequently, there is an ever-increasing level of antibiotic resistance and chronic disease in dairy farms.
Objectives: To demonstrate the effectiveness of homeopathy-based treatments in dairy farms with above average disease incidence and antibiotic resistance.
Study Design: Longitudinal, observational, and prospective.
Methods: The study was conducted in three Holstein farms (average: 25 animals/farm) in semi-extensive systems, fed concentrated feed, silage and pasture. The measured variable was SCC (somatic cell count per millilitre), taken from the milk tank every 48 hr. and analysed with SPSS software. The cut-off number for an acceptable sample was SCC˂250.
From 2013 to 2015 the animals were treated individually with classical homeopathy, and from 2015 until 2017 a preventative homeopathy herd health program was implemented. Choice of treatment program was based on disease aetiology in each herd, blood work, and SCC.
Treatment administration was the Plus Method (3 pills/125 ml of mineral water) of 6, 30 or 200 cH potency. Administration route was P.O. or in concentrated feed.
Results: Prior to homeopathy treatment (2007–2013), only 22%, 25% and 27% of the samples from each farm had an SCC below 250. Once homeopathy treatment was started (2013-2017), these farms reached 66%, 56% and 46% (respectively) of days with SCC below 250.
Main Limitations: Lack of proper assessment by the farmer and sub-optimal nutrition.
Conclusions: When comparing treatments in dairy farms, homeopathy is more effective at keeping SCC below the 250 threshold.
Keywords: Dairy, homeopathy, SCC, antibiotic resistance