The effect of homeopathy on antibiotic usage and mortality in weaning pigs: a randomised, placebo-controlled trial

Yana Last, supervised by Mirjam Nielen1 and Liesbeth Ellinger2 Honours bachelor thesis, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, 2017

1Chair Evidence-based Veterinary Medicine at Utrecht University 2Homeopathic veterinarian at Centaurea, Apeldoorn

Abstract

Purpose: The efficacy of homeopathy on antibiotic usage and mortality in weaning pigs was documented in order to contribute to the body of research on alternatives to antibiotics and veterinary homeopathy. A double blind, randomised, placebo-controlled trial was performed.
Method: On a commercial pig farm, 887 pigs in 75 pens were treated with a homeopathic remedy or placebo. The remedy aimed to prevent disease caused by the stress of weaning and change in feed, particularly Streptococcus suis infection. During the 32 days after weaning, antibiotic usage and mortality were documented by the farmer.

Results: Pigs in the green group had a lower antibiotic usage and mortality rate than pigs in the blue group (blue: n= 43 (9.7%), green: n=31 (7.1%)), although the difference was insignificant (p=0.31). Antibiotic usage and mortality did differ significantly between different weaning groups. Conclusion: No definite conclusions about the efficacy of homeopathy can be made due to the insignificant difference between the two groups and the presence of too many biasing factors.