ROGUE vets are killing pets by ignoring traditional treatments in favour of "unscientific" and "unproven" methods, experts have warned.
The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons claimed animals are dying from painful diseases which could be prevented if vets were not opting for the homeopathic remedies.
Practitioners relying on the unconventional treatments, which are based on the use of highly diluted substances, claim they cause the body to heal itself.
One such popular practice highlighted by the RCVS is the use of nosodes rather than traditional vaccinations.
This involves giving pets sugar-coated pills made from a diseased animal's bodily tissues and fluids, including faeces, blood, pus, discharges, and saliva.
Around 50 vets in the UK are currently using homeopathy, with a petition seeking to ban the remedies signed by over 3,300 vets.
RCVS' senior vice-president Chris Tufnell claimed using homeopathic medicines rather than painkillers leaves pets in "unacceptable pain".
Speaking to The Daily Telegraph, he said: "I have seen dogs die from completely preventable conditions such as parvovirus, which is extremely unpleasant and preventable.
"It’s entirely unnecessary."
The RCVS later released a statement advising the unusual treatments should only be used alongside, not instead of, standard procedures.
It said: "To protect animal welfare, we regard such treatments as being complementary rather than an alternative to treatments for which there is a recognised evidence base or which are based in sound scientific principles.
"It is vital to protect the welfare of animals committed to the care of the veterinary profession and the public’s confidence that any treatments not underpinned by sound scientific principles do not delay or replace those that do.’
The basis for homeopathy is that "like cures like", meaning a substance causing certain symptoms can also help to remove the symptoms.
Although such treatments have been previously endorsed by the Prince of Wales amongst others, clinical trials have not shown any real benefit from their usage.
Instead users may feel a "placebo effect", in which they feel as though their symptoms are alleviating simply because they want to believe the treatment is working.
* And earlier version of this article incorrectly stated Chris Tufnell was speaking to Dogs Naturally Magazine rather than The Daily Telegraph
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