In the last decades phytopharmaceuticals have stabilized their significance in human medicine. The aim of this study was to obtain information about the present situation of phytomedicine in three German-speaking countries. For that purpose questionnaires were sent via internet to 2675 veterinarians in Austria, Germany and Switzerland and the collected 189 answers were statistically evaluated. As shown in this paper, there is an increasing interest in veterinary phytotherapy. Presently three-quarters of the veterinarians are using phytoproducts in clinical practice. Herbal medicinal products are only seldom used in eye and ear infections as well as in endo- and ectoparasitoses but more often in diseases of the liver, joints, kidneys, heart and skin. Generally, phytodrugs are more frequently applied in chronic diseases as well as secondary medication, whereas the time of treatment usually exceeds one month. Basic advantages of medicinal phytoproducts have been shown to be the low side effects and the acceptance of the pet-owners and the only disadventage has been reported to be the lack of information. This study clearly shows the upward trend in using herbal drugs by veterinarians but the results also point to the lack of scientific knowledge about phytotherapeuticals in animal health.
Animals Attitude of Health Personnel Austria Cat Diseases/therapy* Cats Data Collection/methods Dog Diseases/therapy* Dogs Germany Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice Internet Phytotherapy/methods Phytotherapy/veterinary* Questionnaires Switzerland Veterinarians/psychology* Veterinary Medicine/methods*