Tel.+49 30 838 62261 Fax.+49 30 838 62512
Mastitis is one of the most common diseases in dairy production, and homeopathic remedies have been used increasingly in recent years to treat it. Clinical trials evaluating homeopathy have often been criticized for their inadequate scientific approach. The objective of this triple-blind, randomized controlled trial was to assess the efficacy of homeopathic treatment in bovine clinical mastitis. The study was conducted on a conventionally managed dairy farm between June 2013 and May 2014. Dairy cows with acute mastitis were randomly allocated to homeopathy (n = 70) or placebo (n = 92), for a total of 162 animals. The homeopathic treatment was selected based on clinical symptoms but most commonly consisted of a combination of nosodes with Streptococcinum, Staphylococcinum, Pyrogenium, and Escherichia coli at a potency of 200c. Treatment was administered to cows in the homeopathy group at least once per day for an average of 5 d. The cows in the placebo group were treated similarly, using a placebo preparation instead (lactose globules without active ingredients). If necessary, we also used allopathic drugs (e.g., antibiotics, udder creams, and anti-inflammatory drugs) in both groups. We recorded data relating to the clinical signs of mastitis, treatment, time to recovery, milk yield, somatic cell count at first milk recording after mastitis, and culling. We observed cows for up to 200 d after clinical recovery. Base-level data did not differ between the homeopathy and placebo groups. Mastitis lasted for an average of 6 d in both groups. We observed no significant differences in time to recovery, somatic cell count, risk of clinical cure within 14 d after disease occurrence, mastitis recurrence risk, or culling risk. The results indicated no additional effect of homeopathic treatment compared with placebo. The advantages or disadvantages of homeopathy should be carefully assessed for individual farms.