Case Quizes

Revisiting: Molly Won’t Drink!

Did you guess Molly’s remedy? Scroll down for the answer.

Mom, are you there?  I have a lot of important announcements to make.


Hello, Miss Shana!

Mom, it’s time for yet another fascinating and exciting Hpathy Quiz!  But first to get a few announcements out of the way:  April is not only apparently Passover and Earth Day but my birthday as well.  I’ll be 32 on April 22nd and the ezine would probably be out by then, right?

Right!  Did you say 32?  I was 32 when I met Mr. Lewis—your father.  Here we are now in 1979:

Are you trying to say I have a lot of catching up to do?


I’m excited for my birthday week because on April 26th, Hulu is releasing “The Bon Jovi Story”.

 Oy vey!  I should have known!

Now, I should explain that this “present”, so to speak, is a new documentary about Bon Jovi that tells the story of the band’s career where the remaining band members participated for authenticity.

Dear God!  Shana, don’t look now, but, I seriously doubt that anyone cares!

Richie Sambora’s abrupt departure from the band is something that I’ve never heard discussed.  It’s also the band’s 40th anniversary this year which is why the documentary is so momentous.

If you say so.

My cousin, Jon, also has a new album coming out in June.  And by the way, Mom; Jon is much cooler than you are.


I don’t see it.

I believe we also were supposed to announce (because we forgot) that Walter Becker of Steely Dan passed away.

You’re right, Shana!  We talked about Steely Dan last month when we mentioned that Michael McDonald, formerly of Steely Dan, was back touring with the Doobie Brothers.  Let’s go now to our Maryland correspondent, Jon Gillespie, for the inside story.  Jon, are you there?

Hey, Elaine!  Walter Becker died 7 years ago.


 What a great guitarist!  I’m not too familiar with his career other than Steely Dan…

 OK, I will try to explain it then.  Steely Dan consisted mainly of its two founders, Donald Fagen (left) and Walter Becker, see below:

They met at Bard College.

 Walter was basically a jazz guitarist with lots of rock overtones….. Fusion at its best!  Just listen to the guitar solo in the song, “Bodhisattva”… so tasteful…

 I am nothing if not tasteful.

 …technical, and impressive!  A huge part of Steely Dan.

 What was striking about Steely Dan was their indefinability.  Were they a jazz group?  A rock ‘n’ roll group?  A rhythm and blues group?  Who knew?  They were simply one of a kind!  If you listen to this one (“Peg”) from 1977, besides Donald Fagen being on lead vocals and Walter Becker on lead guitar, you can actually hear Michael McDonald as the high voice in the background (but it may be a little confusing because the video shows 3 girls singing in the background?  But trust me, they’re just lip-syncing!)


And now, onto the

Hpathy Quiz!!!!!

 Who’s in the Quiz this month, Mom?

A Guinea Pig.


Hello Elaine,

Hello Laurie!

My Guinea pig is on the older side.  She isn’t feeling well and there is no place I can take her before Monday.

She is not drinking (but is eating).  So she is not urinating very much. Urine appears dark (brownish).

Sleeping and other activities seem normal.  When resting she seems to be almost trembling.

I am suspecting bladder stones as those are very common in Guinea Pigs.

I ended up giving her Calc Carb 30C.  I am not noticing any change. Maybe the focus should be the thirstlessness?  Do you have a suggestion for what to try?

I know she is very old and it could just be her time.  I honestly had just hoped to find her gone one day.  I am very sad.  She was supposed to be my daughter’s pet, but I have been her sole caretaker for over 7 years.

The urine has an odor that is foul.  Sort of smells like when urine sits somewhere a long time.

I cleaned her cage around 4:00 and she has not urinated since.  She has been lying in her cage now since a little after that.  No longer coming out.  She is not accepting water.

I just went to check on her.  She seems distressed.  She is moving around but is acting scared and trying to hide.  Her breathing is increased quite a lot.  She is going to die isn’t she?

I will follow up with you whatever happens.

Thank you,


Laurie, I think the remedy is __________.

Last night I couldn’t tell anything.  This morning she came to me and I was able to get her to let me give her about a teaspoon of water from a syringe.  She ate her veggies as normal.  I washed them right before and left them very wet.  I ended up succussing the remedy 10 times and dropping some on her lettuce.

A few hours later, there may be a bit more urine in the cage.  Still dark.  It’s really hard to tell.

I am going to try and get her to take more water now and offer more veggies.  She is still very active in eating and seems to be awake and alert more today than she has been of late.  I am encouraged a bit since I cannot really tell all that much.  I guess my thinking that we are making progress would be increased urine that appeared more normal (not so dark) and her drinking on her own again.  So a ways to go, but her letting me give her any water at all was a relief.

Laurie, the urine is bound to be dark if she’s not drinking.

She just let me give her some more. I found new syringes.  She ate a little lettuce, but left a lot which is very unusual and is sitting in her hay now.  She still looks anxious.  She is grinding her teeth which is a sign she is in pain.  Breathing still fast.  I only have the 30c.

When was her last dose?

It’s been about 25 minutes.  She is back in her cloth tube.  She is still breathing fast, but seems calmer.  She doesnt have the wide eyes and isn’t trying to hide.  She just is sitting there resting.

Calm is what we’re looking for!  You can always plus the bottle 3 times and give another dose if you think she’s at a stand-still or relapsing.

Sorry for the late update.  Things are about the same I think.  She is calm.  She is eating, but not drinking.  Earlier I managed to get a little water into her in a syringe.

I am feeding a lot of veggies that I rinse in water and leave them dripping when I give them.

She is peeing a little and it is lighter in color and no odor, so that is good.

And you call this “no change”?  This is a big change!  When odors return to normal?  We always rejoice when bad odors are gone.  And the change in color away from brown?  A very good sign!  What about the accelerated breathing?  Teeth-grinding?

I did repeat the remedy once – she seemed a little anxious.

And did the anxiety stop after repeating?  What happened after the dose?

You’re right, she is doing better.  I’m sorry I’ve had a long day and I have been so worried about her.  I do still wish she would just drink.  She always drank water just fine.

She was always eating well.  She is rather enjoying all the veggies I imagine.  Last night I think the odor was gone.  I’ve been keeping her cage immaculate so I could tell if she was “going”.  I literally picked up the bedding that she urinated on to see and it smelled normal.  The color was somewhat lighter last night, but much more so today.

She has been calm the remainder of the day.  I am encouraged also when I check on her and she is up and about and lively.

OK, this is all very encouraging!

So here’s something.  I have not had to give Molly anymore __________.   She still wasn’t drinking but otherwise seemed to be doing well.  Then out of the blue, yesterday, the water level in the bottle was down!  I checked to make sure it wasn’t leaking.  Tonight it was down even further so I had to refill it!

Hi, Molly, I’m glad to hear you’re back to normal!


OK, everyone!  What remedy did Molly need?  Write to me at [email protected] and let me know.  The answer will be in next month’s ezine.







Yeesh!  It looks like everyone took one look at Molly and said, “A Guinea Pig?!  You must be kidding!” and walked off; cuz only four people answered!!!  But you know what?  We can learn a lot from what these four had to say.  Who’s up first?

Hi Elaine.  First I would like to wish Shana a Happy Birthday!


Thank you, Maria!

Your dialogues in the Quiz are epic!

Really????   😃

For the quiz about Molly, I struggled a lot between Ars, Bell and Gels.  Mostly between Bell. and Gels.

I will vote for Gelsemium but if it is not correct, I will try again.

Maria, Laurie thinks Molly is dying; in fact, she’s surprised she’s lived this long! So what remedy should immediately come to mind?  Also, we think of Belladonna in robust patients, like children with high fevers, throbbing headaches, etc.  Our patient is old and presumed dying so, Belladonna probably doesn’t fit.  Gelsemium is not known for restlessness, they usually just want to lie down and sleep.  (Stuporous, dull, dizzy.)

Arsenicum, then?

Yes!  It is Arsenicum!  OK, so my first clue was that Laurie used the words “old” and “dying”.  Arsenicum is one of our main “end-of-life” remedies.  Then she said Molly was restless and anxious.  Well, is that not Arsenicum?  What more do we need to know?  What more in the way of clues could we ask for?  Is anybody else here?  Oh look, it’s the gang from Slovakia!

Hello Elaine and Shana,

Hello Miroslav and Jitka!

Our solutions to the April quiz are as follows:

Miroslav answers briefly:

I think the patient was given Pulsatilla.

Jitka answers as follows:

I tried to find a common remedy for scanty offensive urine, kidney stones, thirstlessness and “last aid”.  I focused only on two symptoms: lack of thirst and last aid. Among thirstless remedies I was thinking about Pulsatila but in the end I choose from the trio of last aid remedies since it was assumed that the little animal might be dying: Arsenicum alb.

You are right, Jitka!  Even though I don’t know what you mean by “last aid”?  But maybe you mean “end-of-life”.  But that’s exactly what went through my head too!  The animal is old, possibly dying, and on top of that was “Restless and Scared”!  What better way to describe Arsenicum?

Now, let me just caution you: With mentals being part of the case, we don’t have to concern ourselves with things like “kidney stones” (which were only an assumption anyway), offensive urine, scanty urine (and of course, if she’s not drinking, the urine is bound to be scanty, so, that’s not even a symptom) because, remember our Hierarchy of Symptoms?  The mentals over-rule whatever Particulars there might be.

So, once we saw a remedy image of Arsenicum?  We didn’t have to go any further; we didn’t have to ask ourselves, “Does Arsenicum have kidney stones?  Does Arsenicum have bad smelling urine?”  We can just give Arsenicum and not even concern ourselves with that.

So, remember, don’t start at the bottom of the Hierarchy of Symptoms with the Particulars.  Trying to match the Particulars to a remedy when you know there are mentals in the case?  Why even go there?

I see this happening all the time; people make a long list of all the local symptoms, when it should only come to our attention if there is no etiology, no delusions, no mentals, no emotionals and no generals because all those things over-rule the Particulars.  You might need them as tie-breakers; but, otherwise?  No.

Thanks for the thorough explanation of another quiz story.  As we say “repetition is the mother of wisdom”, hopefully this will help us to proceed less chaotically when solving cases.  As for the expression “last aid”, I came across it in a homeopathy article and I thought that it was correctly said in English.  In our language, I too would use “end-of-life” or “dying”.

Yeah, I never heard the expression “last aid” before.

Thanks again, I will share the revision with my quiz classmate.

Very good.  Oh, and Jitka, are you the one who requested a Quiz on Columbo?  It will be in the May issue.

Hey everybody, Vamsi’s in the house!!!!!


Hi, Elaine,

Here it goes.

Striking Symptoms – Urine Retention, eating but not taking water…

Vamsi, you’re starting off at the bottom.  Remember our Hierarchy of Symptoms?  Start at the top.  If there are mentals, we may not even get to the bottom!  Remember, the remedy has to cover the mentals.

Do you remember my “Kitchen Sink” article?

Acute vs. Chronic Remedies, the Hierarchy of Symptoms, and the Kitchen Sink


Remember this part?  The bee sting that was cured with Aconite because it matched the mentals?

…a story told by our friend Barb about a family reunion of sorts in which one of her guests got stung by a bee….  Barb gave Apis, being very sure of herself, and it didn’t work!  What?  She was shocked–-and embarrassed because everybody was watching!  (I’m shocked too!)  Finally Barb had the presence of mind to notice that the victim was scared and apparently very afraid of bees!  Barb gave our famous fear remedy, Aconite, and it worked immediately!  Why?  It matched the mentals!

In other words, you can give the remedy that matches the mentals, and it may match nothing else in the case, and it will succeed nonetheless!

So, listen, if this is true, if this is how it works, then why start at the bottom?!  Why start with the physical symptoms if there are mentals?  Let the above example be a forever guide!  Never forget: the mentals rule!  Only a strong etiology can over-rule the mentals.

Secondly, Molly doesn’t have urinary retention.  She’s not urinating because she’s not drinking; so, if you’re not drinking, don’t expect to see a lot of urine.  So, that’s not even a symptom.

“Eats but doesn’t drink”, that simply means “thirstless”, that’s all that means.  And “thirstless” is so large a rubric, it’s just not going to be a good place for us to start.  There are 166 remedies listed under “thirstless”.  And again, this is a physical-general; our case has mentals, the mentals over-rule the physical generals.  So why start there?  Start at the top.

Mentals – Fear, Scared , Distressed, Anxious, and pain expressed by teeth grinding

OK, you were right to notice fear.  Pain is not a mental.  And it’s too general to help us as we don’t know where it’s coming from!  Teeth grinding has over 100 remedies in it and there’s no subrubric “Tooth Grinding, Pain, from”.  So, that’s of no use to us at all.

Suppressed Urine,

No, we have no information for this.  Our only information is that she is thirstless and not drinking.

Scanty Dark Urine, Retention from Shock,

OK, wait.  Scanty urine and dark urine are two separate symptoms:  “Urine, scanty” and “Urine, dark”.  But if she’s not drinking, then urine being scanty is expected and therefore, not a symptom.

“Retention from shock”, we don’t know this.  Yes, urine is dark, but again, this is a “Particular”, why start the case with a Particular?

Also, “Urine, dark” has over 150 remedies, so, not very helpful, won’t get us anywhere.

Fear, Anxiety, Pain… Calmness after first dose…it should be ACONITE.

Well, Aconite is a good guess but, under “mentals”, you left out “Restlessness”.  What do you think of now?

Yes Elaine, I went by Mentals and felt Aconite would be a good remedy.

Though I have listed the Physicals, mentals were in my mind when selecting.

Vamsi, stop listing the physical particulars, as they were completely irrelevant and could have even thrown you off.  You have a bad habit of starting out that way; but so does just about everyone else too, because people think that all symptoms are equal.  This is just not true, and it shows why so many cases go unsolved.

But yes, Aconite is also one of the Restlessness remedies among the Restless Trio…Aconite, Arsenicum and Rhus tox.

Taking Thirstlessness, then I would go for Arsenicum (as Aconite has marked Thirst for cold water.)

That is true.

And there is also an element of fear in Molly, and Arsenicum has a fear factor too… So please let me know if it’s Arsenicum?

Yes, it is.  Arsenicum is more likely to be a remedy in the elderly, and this guinea pig was old and presumed to be dying.  Arsenicum is our main remedy for “end-of-life”, it was my first thought when Laurie said, “She’s dying, isn’t she?”

Yes, Elaine, I shall take care.  I shall list the mentals first henceforth.  That is a good pointer, and is well taken from my end too.  And it’s also true that “Fear of Death”, too, points at Arsenicum.  Yes, I get it perfectly.  Such a keen eye is required to really zero in on one remedy and there is always something to learn from you.  Thank you soo much….And your Birthday is coming soon……..❤️

Oh, you’re right.  Aaaaah!!!!!!!



OK, do we have a winner this month?  Yes!  It’s Jitka!  Come on down, you get the highly-coveted Gold Star!

See you again next time!


Elaine Lewis, DHom, CHom

Elaine takes online cases.  Write to her at [email protected]

Visit her website:








About the author

Elaine Lewis

Elaine Lewis, D.Hom., C.Hom.
Elaine is a passionate homeopath, helping people offline as well as online. Contact her at [email protected]
Elaine is a graduate of Robin Murphy's Hahnemann Academy of North America and author of many articles on homeopathy including her monthly feature in the Hpathy ezine, "The Quiz". Visit her website at: and

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