Homeopathic veterinarian takes a holistic approach to healing animals

  • Wendy Jensen with her own cat Jowy in her Bow home recently.

  • Wendy Jensen with her own cat Jowy in her Bow home recently.

Monitor staff
Published: 3/29/2016 12:26:55 PM

Every new patient is a gift for Wendy Jensen, a homeopathic veterinarian who runs a house-call service from her home in Bow.

“It’s like getting a big present when I take a case because I feel like I have a whole view of the animal,” Jensen said. “I know I can match it to a remedy and can make really deep, lasting changes.”

Seeing those changes take effect is one thing. The real prize is when an animal continues on for weeks, months and then years without the ailment returning.

“There’s nothing like it,” Jensen said. “It’s the whole reason I went into medicine.”

Jensen’s veterinary practices have been completely holistic for more than 20 years. She started her home practice in 1994, shortly after completing the Professional Course in Veterinary Homeopathy, the cornerstone education in providing animals with homeopathic care.

The course was taught by Richard Pitcairn, who Jensen would go on to join as co-author of the New World Veterinary Repertory, a reference book for holistic veterinarians.

But that is not the book Jensen recommends for the casual – or even serious – pet owner. Her latest book, Practical Handbook of Veterinary Homeopathy: Healing Our Companion Animals from the Inside Out, was released in December.

Jensen had been carrying the idea for the project with her for years. She set out to write a book for the pet owners that seek her expertise and healing abilities. With the book, Jensen hopes readers will have a better understanding of their animals, and therefore be able to guide a veterinarian closer to the source of the ailment.

“Who I really want to talk to (with this book) are the people I talk to everyday,” Jensen said. “If they have the best information possible, then I can make the best prescription.”

She points to modalities – things that affect how animals feel and how their body is doing. It’s no different from people, Jensen says.

“Some say they’re morning people, while others do their best work at night,” she said. “You can have modalities in animals as well. They can be grumpy when they first wake up. Or maybe they really love the hot days, but really hate the cold.”

Finding the right remedy isn’t always easy. First, Jensen inspects and observes the animal as she looks for the problem’s source.

“I find out all the details about what they have shown with their self, how they’re suffering, how they’re sick – it’s a long list,” Jensen said. “It can take me half a day to decide on the remedy, and that’s even after I have been doing this for 20 years.”

After deciding on the remedy and dosage, Jensen will check each week and then each month. Is the animal getting better? Worse? Has anything changed? The holistic approach takes time, Jensen says, something she didn’t have much of when she first started out at a traditional veterinary practice fresh out of school.

Jensen earned a bachelor’s degree from Cornell and moved on to New York State College of Veterinary Medicine. She graduated with her DVM in 1987 and began practicing. But what she found in the profession was not what she expected. Jensen discovered healing takes time and can’t always be solved with just a pill.

“I was very optimistic when I started out,” she said. “I had my home vet kit and imagined I’d be going house to house, saying, ‘This is your remedy and this is your remedy,’ and so on. You could practice that way, but it’s not satisfying if you don’t get results. The remedy that comes to mind right away might not be the right one.”

Jensen stopped practicing for a couple of years in the early 1990s before going back and taking the homeopathic approach. And even today, she doesn’t hold back her thoughts on mainstreamword choice? veterinary practices. But the problems she sees don’t lay solely with the veterinary industry.

“We all want it gone, we want our suffering to stop, and we just want a pill,” she said. “So it’s not just medicine, it’s the consumers as well.”

In homeopathy, it’s not just about the sore chest or the infected ear; it’s about the whole body.

“One remedy can match the entire illness in the animal,” Jensen said. “If you think about it, they don’t have a sick foot or a sick ear. The whole body is sick in order to produce the illness that shows in the ear or the teeth or the gums so you have a remedy to deal with the whole thing.”

After almost being driven away from medicine, Jensen doesn’t plan on stopping her work some 20 years later. It goes back to the gift of each patient and the path to recovery; a horse that picks its gallop back up; a cat with a quicker leap; a dog with a wider smile.

“Just being able to help see those kinds of changes and being the person that enables that to happen,” Jensen said, “I may never retire.”

(Nick Stoico can be reached at 369-3314, nstoico@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @NickStoico.)

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