Veterinarians can be incredibly expensive, with many needing to be in a wheelchair to work, but it’s possible to make your own medications for the pet that’s in desperate need.
A new study from the University of California, Davis shows how to do just that by using a simple and inexpensive kit to make a small batch of homeopathic drugs.
The team says the findings could have a big impact on the way doctors and patients treat pet illnesses, like those in humans.
The team, led by researchers from the UC Davis Department of Veterinary Medicine, found that the kits, developed by a team of researchers, could save a pet’s life if used in combination with other medications.
“These are a good start,” said Dr. Joseph Whelan, an assistant professor in the department and co-author of the study, which appears in the journal Nature.
“But we also want to get into more complicated drugs and see how we can get a better understanding of how the body responds to these kinds of drugs.
This is an exciting and very promising avenue of research.”
The team developed the kit to treat pet flu-like illnesses, including severe influenza and pneumonia, and it has already proven itself in tests of a batch of medications they created.
For instance, a pet could take an injection of the drugs and then, a few days later, the same pet would have the same flu-killing response.
“The first one is so effective that we were able to get a lot of patients who were suffering from respiratory infections to recover,” said Andrew McAfee, a research assistant professor of clinical research in the UC San Diego School of Veterinary Science.
“It’s important that you get these treatments right, because the more you use, the worse it gets.”
The researchers, which included Whela and fellow UC Davis veterinarian, Dr. Scott L. Williams, said the team’s findings could also have benefits for humans, who could benefit from being able to create their own drugs and use them in the same way.
“People who have severe influenza or pneumonia have some very serious side effects,” Whelani said.
“If you can create your own version of these drugs, then you can get the same benefit as a vet.”
The kits come with instructions on how to make the pills, but Whelany said the researchers decided to keep them secret for now because they wanted to make sure the team could continue developing their kits.
“It’s really about how well we can do this without getting the FDA involved,” Whatan said.
The research team also created an online tool to help veterinarians learn more about how to build and use the kits.