PIVH Annual Meeting

AM15-edit 3

Annual Meeting 2015. Great group, great fun!

The Pitcairn Institute of Veterinary Homeopathy Annual Meeting in Veterinary Homeopathy is scheduled for March 1-5, 2017 at Saguaro Lake Ranch outside of Phoenix, AZ. This meeting is primarily for veterinarians that have trained with Dr. Pitcairn, veterinarians that are experienced in homeopathy, or qualified veterinary health professionals.

Saguaro Lake Ranch, location of the Annual Meeting

Saguaro Lake Ranch

Our location is a lovely guest ranch in the desert, just outside of Phoenix. There are small rustic cabins, each with its own bathroom, and a large main house for meeting and meals. March should be rather nice weather and they have a swimming pool, grassy lawn for yoga, trails for hiking and optional horse riding at the stable across the road. The view is spectacular.

View of the country at Saguaro Lake

View from Saguaro Lake Ranch

Meeting Schedule

The “official” meeting is from Thursday through Sunday. There is also an optional day on Wednesday, March 1 (information to follow).

We start on Thursday, March 2, at 8:30 AM after a hardy breakfast at the main house. The morning session each day (except Sunday) is from 8:30 AM to about 12 noon. Lunch and break will be 2 hours or 3 hours depending on the day’s schedule. Afternoon meeting goes until 6:00 PM. Dinner and free time after this. Sunday we go from 9 AM to 1 PM (with breaks), the meeting ending at 1 PM. Lunch is available for those not needing to leave immediately.

If you are coming for the 4-day meeting, then you should plan to arrive Wed. afternoon as there will be a dinner that evening about 6 PM or so. The meal plan includes all meals from Wed. evening through Sunday morning breakfast.

The Optional Day

The meeting described above is scheduled every hour with speakers and topics. This optional day (Wednesday, March 1) is organized a different way. Richard Pitcairn is the moderator for both sessions. It is an option to come to just this meeting if you wish though makes sense to attend both.

Morning session (about 9 am to 12 noon): Becoming A Homeopathic Radical. The word “radical” refers to the root or foundation and in this instance is directed to the principles established by Hahnemann. This is to be a discussion oriented exploration of these principles and what they mean for our understanding of the patient and disease. Weather permitting, we will sit out on the grass for this discussion.

Afternoon session (about 2 pm to 5 pm): Casework Nitty Gritty. In the meeting room will be the opportunity for participants to bring up the issues they frequently get stuck on — like how to translate a symptom to rubric, finding one’s way through the repertory, what to do when there are few symptoms. We will have the video capabilities (projection of computer) to share views of repertory work as we go through the questions.

If you are coming to this optional day, plan to arrive Tuesday evening for dinner about 6 PM (but this is optional). 

Meeting Content

Corine Selders, DVM, CVA, CVMMP – a graduate of the Professional Course in 2012 with a practice in Ramona, CA that uses homeopathy, Chinese Medicine, and Medical Manipulation. “My goal is to have an equine integrated practice concentrating on performance horses and to eventually drop allopathic medicine from my services.”

  • Lunchtime Kitty.  Angel a 1 year-old, crème colored, spayed female, domestic short hair was attacked by a coyote on Jan 4th 2016 at lunch time. The cat had traumatic brain/spinal cord injury and was initially semi-conscious but incoherent. The trauma was treated with one remedy of increasing potencies and the only additional care was supportive (nutrition and SQ fluids). Through the guidance of our fearless leaders Lisa Melling, Sarah Steig, and Richard Pitcairn, (primarily to learn patience!) the kitty overcame her injuries and returned to her normal feisty self.
  • The Bumpy Pony.  Cammie a 23 year old, female, grey, Welsh pony initially presented on June 1st 2015 with labored breathing, purple/hot pink mucous membranes, and hives on her neck/torso. The initial treatment was with allopathic medicine, which resolved the immediate emergency but did not resolve the hives. Over one month’s time the hives progressed to all over her body and alopecia ensued on her face and on the medial aspect of all 4 limbs. A variety of allopathic medications, homeopathy, and herbs were attempted. But not until a key symptom was discovered, the correct remedy was identified and given, the hives resolved in a 24-hour period. At the time of the last remedy, the pony was not on any allopathic medications. The pony’s coat completely grew back and she is has not had any reactions since.

Karen Lyons, DVM – a practitioner in the Phoenix area of Arizona, she does house calls with an emphasis on homeopathic prescribing and sees a very interesting array of health problems.

  • Hahnemann’s Unique Method — How Peculiar Problems Can Be Treated.  Hahnemann’s frustration with how medicines were used to treat disease ultimately resulted in the science we call Homeopathy today. His persistent study and experimentation resulted in the foundation of our materia medica, and his insistence on provings gave us a reliable way to evaluate the remedies we choose. In this presentation I will discuss a few cases in which using some of these remedies resulted in cures. The emphasis will be on the remedies chosen and the uniqueness of our materia medica. The cases include two cases of urinary incontinence and one of multiple round cell tumors. I do not know of an allopathic treatment that would have resulted in the same results in these particular cases.

Jan Allegretti, D.Vet.Hom. – holds a Diploma in Veterinary Homeopathy from the British Institute of Homeopathy, and is the author of The Complete Holistic Dog Book: Home Health Care for Our Canine Companions (Ten Speed Press; 2nd edition by Tenacity Press 2017). 

  • Vegan Dogs & Cats? Guidance in Making the Transition.  In today’s world, moving to a diet based on plant sources and avoiding animal products has tremendous usefulness for many of our cases. Use of contaminated food can be the obstacle to cure. Jan Allegretti has been navigating the many aspects of the transition to a vegan diet and lifestyle for nearly thirty years, and has experienced and overcome an array of obstacles personally, in her work with animals in her care, and with clients and the animals they care for. She’ll share the initial successes, the setbacks, and the benefits she’s seen, as well as suggestions for easing the way for everyone involved

Marybeth Minter, DVM – with a practice focussed on homeopathy and nutrition, Dr. Minter brought her experience in Wyoming to Sedona, AZ where she has a house call practice. “When I began studying homeopathy in Dr. Richard Pitcairn’s Professional Course in Veterinary Homeopathy in 2003 I somehow felt I was “home” and was finally excited about veterinary medicine; I knew that the practice of homeopathy was where I wanted to focus my energy to help my patients.”

  • First Clinical Experiences Recommending Canine Plant Based Diets.  Coming from encouraging clients to feed mostly meat diets and even grain free, my consciousness about these feeding practices began to change 3 years ago. Presentations from Dr. Richard Pitcairn and Susan Pitcairn during previous Annual Meetings began my paradigm shift. The global, ethical and health impacts of continuing to feed ourselves and our animals high on the food chain became very concerning to me. The positive was beginning to learn how to change this so that better health for all could be gained. I began the journey with my own dog, and myself. I will discuss recent client/patient experiences in my homeopathic practice, improved outcomes and obstacles encountered.

Susan Pitcairn, MS –as co-author of Dr. Pitcairn’s Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats is a tremendous resource for guidance in natural feeding methods. She is the developer of the recipes in all editions, and now in the 4th edition with an emphasis on plant-based meals for improved health, sparing of limited earth resources, and a view to kindness to animals.

  • Update on Vegan Diets for Dogs and Cats.  Susan and Richard Pitcairn present an update from a January meeting of veterinarians interested in exploring plant based diets for dogs and cats for humane, health and environmental reasons. Common objections (soy, grains, carnivore argument, etc.). Research, findings.

Vani Guttikonda, DVM – with a practice in Los Alamitos, CA, is a graduate of the last class of the Professional Course in Veterinary Homeopathy. She is rapidly incorporating homeopathy into her practice and has graciously agreed to give one of her early experiences. 

  • Pulsar, the Retriever That Made the Wrong Retrieval?  On a scouting trip, Pulsar seemingly checked out a rattlesnake who was glad to see him but the encounter left him with a hugely swollen face, ecchymoses, severe conjunctivitis and chemosis, and ropy saliva hanging from his mouth? Antivenom? Euthanasia? No, homeopathy — with complete cure.

Wendy Jensen, DVMhas been practicing 100 percent homeopathy since 1992. She graduated from the New York State College of Veterinary Medicine in 1987, before being certified by the Academy of Veterinary Homeopathy (AVH) in 1994. Together with Dr. Richard Pitcairn, Dr. Jensen wrote the New World Veterinary Repertory. She lives in New Hampshire and plays violin whenever she can take time out from her busy house call practice.

  • The Bonninghausen Repertory: A Fresh Look at an Old Friend.  George Dimitriadis published this concise reference in 2010, after painstaking research into the various iterations of the author’s original text. We will explore the development and makeup of this handy repertory, using illustrative cases to explore its use in veterinary medicine.
  • My Favorite Reasons to Stay With Homeopathy.  Equine bladder stones, feline asthma, canine giardiasis, inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative dermatitis and hyperthyroidism — is there anything homeopathy can’t treat? These cases are a celebration of homeopathy’s potential. We will study the analysis and management of these diverse conditions through their salutary conclusions.

Tanya Holonko, DVMhas been a veterinarian for 20 years, and has a house call practice serving Olympia, Washington and surrounding areas. With a focus on Earth-friendly medicine, she incorporates holistic health care into her treatment plans for her patients, including spinal manipulation, homeopathy, herbal medicine, nutritional therapies, Reiki and shamanic healing.

  • The Case of the Koporos Chickens. The story of Bumbles and his companions, starved and dehydrated 6 -week old chicks, rescued from the torture of a traditional religious ceremony in NYC, to draw evil spirits from their human companions. Through the healing powers of homeopathy, severe life-threatening diseases in this friendly flock are effectively treated, and likely cured.  (They suffer from illnesses such as bumblefoot, hind leg paralysis, congenital heart and chronic lung disease, sudden collapse.)

Carolyn Benson, DVM is a long standing member of the Academy of Veterinary Homeopathy, and has given lectures on and recently written an article about homeopathy locally. She is currently an associate in a small animal practice in Toronto, Ontario, where she applies a holistic approach to each of her patients, with an emphasis on classical homeopathy and nutritional counseling.

  • In Search of the Later Hahnemann. There is much to learn from the last years of Hahnemann’s practice as it represents the fruit of his half-century experience. Dr. Benson will give us a report from the book with this title which chronicles Hahnemann’s last years in Paris, practicing with his wife Melanie.

Tara Timpson, DVM, CVH received a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine at Oregon State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2003. She presently works at Best Friends, the largest no-kill animal sanctuary in the United States; home to rescued dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, horses, pigs, sheep, goats and a wildlife rehab center. Completing the Professional Course in Veterinary Homeopathy in 2012 and AVH certification in 2013 she applies her knowledge of homeopathy to these lucky animals.

  • Homeopathic Treatment of an Outbreak of Respiratory Illness in a Herd of Horses.  The lecture will utilize a case discussion to explore common and peculiar symptoms of respiratory illness in horses. There will also be a discussion of remedies to consider during an outbreak of respiratory illness.

Richard Pitcairn, DVM, PhD – has been in homeopathic practice 38 years. His practice in Eugene, Oregon, provided exclusively homeopathic care and nutrition. Now retired from practice and living in Sedona, AZ, he continues to teach and write. Recently, with Wendy Jensen, DVM, a repertory for veterinary use was completed and is available for MacRepertory (computer) use and in book form (English and German) published by Narayana Press of Germany. 

  • Prescribing for Animals – General Indications.  Animal work requires some compromise as to how we find the remedy needed. Much like working with a young child, and by necessity depending on the information from the parents, we  give emphasis to what is reported by observers. It has been this way from the beginning. Hahnemann suggested using homeopathy with animals and Boenninghausen did exactly that. We will look at how these cases were treated and the historical development of veterinary homeopathy based primarily on diagnosis. 
  • Prescribing for Animals – Use of Particulars.  Many of the animal cases presented to us are ones made up of particular symptoms. We can assume that some symptoms are generals, but this can be difficult to have confidence in. We will look at how particulars can be used in such cases to select a remedy.
  • Prescribing for Animals – Use of Characteristics.  Some cases will give us characteristic symptoms — usually location, functional change, pathology, modalities or concomitants. These are the easiest to work with. It can often be that such indications come up after working with inadequate information for some time. We will examine some cases demonstrating that.
  • Study of Materia Medica for Animal Prescribing. Because animal cases have different information than those involving human beings, we do not have available to us sensations, types of pains, directions of pains, specific locations, and so on. Most of the homeopathic materia medicas give some emphasize to such information we cannot use. There can be useful information in provings that was not harvested for many of these books simply because of this emphasis on sensations which are a useful guide in human prescribing. We will look at how materia medica study can bring out useful information for our animal work.
  • Understanding Repertories.  These references which are so very useful to us take various forms. The authors of the books had a plan in mind, as to how to organize the information for easiest access. They often balanced this access with concern for accuracy. We will look at some of the styles used, how repertories have been put together and how they are best used for our work.
  • Resistance to Homeopathy. Though homeopathy has, historically, been dramatically successful in treatment of severe epidemics, has had miraculous seeming results in some cases often considered incurable, nonetheless it is often dismissed or ignored. It is interesting to look at why this happens as it points to the situation today that medicine is locked into a centuries old paradigm of materialism.
  • Food Poisoning. Food poisoning is not uncommon and today most often the concern is becoming infected with antibiotic resistant bacteria. A more common, often ignored, condition is the bioaccumulation of toxic substances through use of commercial pet foods. It has been reported that human beings are accumulating up to 200 chemicals in their bodies because of what is being eaten. There are few studies in animals, but a recent analysis shows that dogs and cats have higher levels of toxins per pound than humans. We will look at two of them — arsenic and mercury — as examples of this problem and how they manifest on a clinical level.

Meeting Tuition

Tuition for the 4 day meeting is $695 if by check (made out to ANHC Education Programs and sent to 7149 Lantana Terrace, Carlsbad, CA 92011). Canadians are asked to pay $556. If by credit card it is $723 and after you register you will be sent an email invoice with the option of paying through PayPal. (You need not be a member of PayPal to use this service.) Canadians are asked to pay $578.

Tuition for the optional day, Wednesday, is $174 if by check (as above), Canadians $139. If by credit card $181. Canadians$145.

Tuition for optional day + 4 day meeting = $869 by check (Canadians $695); or if by credit card $904 (Canadians $723).

If you register and then cannot make the meeting, you can receive a refund less $50. Please do let us know as soon as you can if you have to change your plans as the closer we get to the meeting, the more awkward for us in terms of meal planning.


There is a separate charge for staying at the ranch. They ask us to organize the lodging and collect payment which we then give to the ranch at the time of the meeting. The Pitcairn Institute of Veterinary Homeopathy does not add any charges to this (other than 4% for bank fees & bookkeeping) and the prices reflect what we will be paying the ranch for their service.

The prices listed below includes the lodging & meals provided, and also the tax and gratuity, so you will not have any charges beyond this. 

The choices are:

  • Triple rooms, price is $174/night lodging, meals & day use; $695 for 4 days; $868 for 5 days.
  • Double rooms, price is $192/night lodging, meals & day use; $769 for 4 days; $961 for 5 days.
  • Single rooms, price is $229/night lodging, meals & day use; $918 for 4 days; $1147 for 5 days (These single rooms are very limited and not always available.)
  • Day use only (including lunch), price is $43/day or $172 for 4 days; $215 for 5 days.
  • Children, ages between 7 and 17, price is $93/night lodging, meals & day use; $372 for 4 days; $465 for 5 days.
  • Children, ages 3 to 6, price is $37/night lodging, meals & day use; $149 for 4 days; $186 for 5 days.
  • Children under age 3, no charge.

There are a limited number of single room options so the way we organize this is to get your preference for lodging recorded and then about 3 weeks before the meeting we organize all of this and assign you to a room. At that point you will need to make payment for the lodging and for this it is necessary for you to make payment by check or credit card before the meeting. You will be sent notification of this by email invoice.

Note: We veterinarians practicing homeopathy have focused on the goal of alleviation of suffering in our patients and many of us, along the way, have come to the realization that for this goal to be achieved this focus must include all of our brothers and sisters. We cannot be partial in the sense of extending compassion to certain animals while ignoring what is happening to the rest of the animal kingdom. While not all have taken this step, those of us putting on this program have chosen to make the gesture of providing a primarily vegan menu at the ranch. There will be some choice exceptions for those not ready for this, but almost all the dishes will be made without requiring the suffering or death of animals. We have offered this menu the last two years and those attending have found it quite enjoyable.

It is also an option to stay off ranch if you would rather. Closest is Fountain Hills (8-10 miles from the ranch). However, rates in March tend around $129-$159 or higher, so the rates at Saguaro Lake Ranch which include meals may be a better option. I searched in Google for “hotels in fountain hills arizona” and found about 7 hotels listed there. Phoenix is farther, about 45 minutes or so, depending on traffic.


If flying, come to the Sky Harbor Phoenix airport. The ranch is outside of Phoenix proper, about a 30-40 minute drive and one option is to rent a car. However, once at the ranch there is really no need for a car so it may be easiest to use the available taxi services.

George Transportation, (602) 509-6669, charges by number of people, so check with him on rates (last time it was about 80-100 for a group, one way). A limitation will be the amount of luggage you have so I anticipate 2-3 people sharing that ride is a practical limit. By appointment.

Onyx Express (Fountain Hills), Stephanie Czopp, (480) 837-8577. Sedan service (1-3 people, split cost) = $110. Larger vehicle (6 person) = $140. Big van (14 people) = $160. www.onyxexpress.com. By appointment.

If you are driving, the address for the ranch is 13020 Bush Highway, Mesa, AZ 85215. You can check their web site for information and a map.


You can register for this meeting by using our registration form (not active now because meeting is over, will be activated again towards end of this year, when next meeting scheduled)


Contact Kathy Combs at (760) 230-4784