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Ayurveda in Veterinary Medicine

Ayurveda is a holistic science of balance and health.

According to scripture, Ayurveda in veterinary medicine has traditionally focused on animal welfare, treatment therapies, management and surgery.

In Rigvata (2000 - 4000 BC), treatments are described for both animals and humans. Shalihotra was the first animal healer, he wrote Ayurvedic Materia Medica in Veterinary Medicine. The first recorded veterinary hospital was opened by King Ashoka in 1463 BC, used Ayurvedic botanicals.

In fact Ayurvedic herbs and modalities have been in use for thousands of years with a safety efficacy.

Today majority of these Ayurvedic herbs are well researched, backed by clinical trials and can be easily prescribed to treat many problems.

Before talking about treatment, let's take a look at the basics.

In Ayurvedic understanding, the universe is composed of five basic elements: Earth, Fire, Water, Air and Ether.

The constitution of all living beings are made up of these five basic elements coming together in different combinations.

So in fact each creature is different from each other.

And the combination of these five elements in an individual creature create their basic constitution types:

1. Vata: air and ether predominate 2. Pitta: fire and water predominate, 3. Kapha: water and earth predominate

So one can either be of Vata, Pitta or Kapha constitution, a combination these constitutions (Vata-Pitta, Pitta-Kapha, Vata Kapha) or Tridoshic (Vata-Pitta-Kapha)

Every constitution has a separate set of physical attributes, habit and therefore a different diet that it needs to follow.

Vata in Animals

Vata constitution is related to cold (ike cold paws and feet).

They dislike cold climates, cold food and cold everything.

It is also related to movement, good and bad circulation and respiration.

Vata types are the most slender of the three body types.

They are usually either taller or shorter than normal.

Their chests are flat, with veins and muscle tendons visible.

Their nails are generally dry and brittle.

Their skin is cool, rough, dry and prone to cracking.

They have variable appetites and digestive efficiency.

Their urine is scanty and feces are dry, hard, small and little in quantity.

Their sleep is short and restless.

They experience high energy in short bursts; they tire easily and overexert energy.

They respond to stress with fear and worry when out of balance.

They would have mood swings and scattered thoughts.

Although they learn quickly, they have poor long term memory.

Full of joy, excitable, lively, fun and enthusiastic when in balance Vata is most powerful of the Doshas.

Hound breeds such as Borzoi, Grey Hounds and Afghan Hounds are said to be representative of Vata Dosha.

Pitta in Animals

Pitta constitution is a combination of fire and water.

Pittas usually have flushed skin and inflammation.

They tend to experience hot burning sensation in their stomach and can ve prone to liver diseases.

With a medium physique, their body frame may be delicate.

The Pitta animal shows a medium prominence of veins and muscle tendons.

The bones are not as prominent as in the Vata pets.

Their fur is usually soft and warm. C

They display a medium prominence of eyes.

Their sleep would be of medium duration but uninterrupted.

Pitta paws usually feel warm and they get easily bothered by hot weather.

Their claws are usually softer than other Doshas.

When exposed to excessive heat, they would emit bad odor, their breath would stink and excrete foul smelling urine and feces. They generally pass a large amount of urine.

With a strong metabolism and good digestion, they usually have a strong appetite and thirst.

As a result they tend to display irritability if they have to wait for their food or feel stressed.

They have sharp minds and good concentration. They are assertive, self-confident, aggressive, demanding, can even pushy when out of balance. Their competitive nature makes them enjoy challenges so Pittas actually make good pack leaders.

Some obvious Pitta breeds would be Rottweilers, Pit Bulls and Bull Terriers

Kapha in Animals

Kapha constitution is a combination of water and earth.

This constitution is usually related to being heavy - a constitution which may slowly lead to obesity as well as depression.

Kaphas are usually physically strong, slow-moving and graceful.

Although they have the most energy of all constitutions, this energy is steady and enduring - not explosive.

They tend to have excellent health, good stamina and a good resistance to disease.

They may sometimes have asthma attacks, show allergies in cold weather and suffer from sluggish digestion.

Their slowly evacuated soft stools is typically pale in color.

Their fur tend to be soft. They generally have “soft-looking”, large eyes.

Kaphas are long and sound sleepers.

They may be slow learners but they never forget.

Kapha animals are affectionate, loving, forgiving, compassionate, stable and reliable.

Easy-going, relaxed, slow-paced and happy, they can be possessive.

Bulldogs, Newfoundlands and Pugs are good examples for Kapha type.

Doshas for Diseases

Diseases can also be classified based on their constitutions of elements therefore their Doshas.

For example most diseases that are said to be Kaphas are related to sinusitis, bronchitis and lung congestion.

Kapha disorders originate at stomach.

Pitta type diseases are bile and liver disorders, gall bladder diseases, gi ulcers and acid reflux as well as inflammatory bowel disease. Pitta disease originates in the small intestine.

SomeVata type disorders are gas, colic, lower back pain, arthritis, scratches and paralysis. These diseases of vata originate at large intestine.


Not only the physiological but also psychological disorders of our pets can be related to their Doshas.

Vata imbalances may create fear, depression and nervousness.

Pitta imbalances may create anger, heat and jealousy.

Kapha imbalances produce greed, clinginess and passiveness.

So it would not be wrong to point out to the direct correlation between our pets' diet and their physical and emotional state.


Learning about our pets' constitution and Dosha, is the first step toward achieving balance in their lives.

Doshas are can be strengthened and/or balanced through a combination of dietary changes, herbal supplements and changes in life style.

Using Ayurvedic approaches together with allopathic methods in treatment definitely leads to an individual, holistic and *whole* support for our pets' wellbeing

As a Veterinarian, my opinion is that in the years to come, Ayurveda - backed with scientific research - will play a very important role in pet-care - not only when they are sick but also when they are healthy.


Uzman Veteriner Hekim İrem Meriç

İrem Meriç 1984 yılında İstanbul'da doğmuş 2005 yılında İstanbul Üniversitesi Veterinerlik Fakültesi'nde yüksek öğrenimini tamamlamıştır. Klinisyen olarak çeşitli kliniklerde çalıştıktan sonra Petklinik Veteriner Kliniği’ni kuran Meriç, 2008 yılında başlayan Yoga macerasında 2017’ den beri eğitmen olarak sürdürmekte, terapötik yoga / restoratif yoga / ayuryoga / meditasyon çalışmalarına devam etmektedir.

Kendi sağlık problemleri sebebiyle tanıştığı Ayurveda’da temel ve ileri seviye eğitimlerini tamamlayarak hem insanlarda, hem de mesleki bilgileriyle harmanladığı “Hayvanlar için Ayurveda” programıyla evcil hayvanlar için danışmanlık veren Meriç ayrıca geç teşhis edilmiş bir Çölyak hastası olarak kişisel deneyimleri, yıllanmış eğitim ve araştırmaları ile özellikle Glutensiz beslenme, çölyak ve gluten hassasiyeti olanlara özel eliminasyon programları ve işletmeler için glutensiz ve bitkisel temelli menü ve tarif danışmanlığı yapmaktadır.

Uzman Veteriner Hekim İrem Meriç, ailesi ve iki köpeği ile birlikte Muğla Bodrum’da yaşamaktadır.


İrem'i Instagram'da takip edin! @ohmygluten


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