Clinical Cases

Lac Caninum in Diphtheria

lac caninum
Written by Philip Rice

The author is successful in three cases of Diphtheria when he recognizes the keynote symptoms of Lac Caninum.

Dr. E.P. Anshutz : The late Dr. Samuel Swan had a proving of this remedy, dog milk, in the Materia Medica he attempted to publish, but of which only one volume appeared. The work is now very rare. The following clinical cases were contributed by Dr. Philip Rice to the Medical Century, Vol. IX, No. 24 – 1900.

Preparation – The fresh milk from a bitch is triturated in the usual way.

Lac caninum is a remedy of undoubted value, though not very thoroughly understood and consequently not very extensively used in this dread disease. And since a proving has never been made, and since we have to depend entirely upon clinical reports, I feel it my duty to report a few cases in which a clear demonstration of the value of this remedy was made.


Case 1 — B. McG. age, 15, dark hair, gray eyes, spare habit, rigid fibre, nervous, quick, active, called at my office in the evening complaining of sore throat, worse on right side, and on swallowing. Headache dull and heavy, slight fever.

Inspection revealed tonsils and fauces congested and angry looking. On right tonsil a patch of membrane the size of a split pea was seen.

Lycopodium 30X was given. The next morning the entire trouble seemed to have gone to the left side; with it had come, also, stiff neck and tongue, profuse flow of saliva, temperature 10 1 F. Membrane somewhat larger. Mercurius ruber 30X was given. In the evening the trouble was worse again on right side, the membrane now entirely covering both tonsils, temperature 102 F. Limbs ached, back ached, and patient was restless. Remembering the symptom, “membrane alternates between right and left sides,” and this having been so characteristic, I gave Lac caninum in the 30th potency. Improvement began immediately and at the end of the third day the membrane was entirely gone and case discharged as far as medicine was concerned.


Case2 — Louisa McG., age 13, in temperament exactly like her brother, the preceding case. Was irritable and listless for two days, but owing to the fact that the fair began in a few days, to which she was determined to go, she did not complain. The third day, however, her mother noticed that she was truly sick and, there being a number of cases of diphtheria in town, looked into her throat. She found both tonsils covered with a membrane. I was called and as no other symptoms could be elicited, I gave Sulphur 30X and told them I would call again in the evening, which I did and found symptoms rapidly developing. Aching in all the limbs, headache, pain in the throat on swallowing, worse on the right side, neck and tongue stiff, membrane just the same. Temperature 101.5 same remedy continued.

Next morning the membrane was the same. Pain now in left side, throat internally and externally oedematous, fauces glossy or varnished in appearance. Temperature 102, urine scanty, no thirst. Apis 30X was now given. In the evening pain back in right side again. Temperature 102.5. Membrane spreading, stiffness of neck and tongue more marked and saliva profuse. Not having seen the case till the membrane had quite generally formed, but the patient being in temperament like her brother and the pain shifting from side to side, as in his case, I decided to give her Lac caninum. Improvement began immediately and at the end of four days the membrane was entirely gone.


Case 3 — The servant girl in the family where cases one and two had been, Anna B., age 17. In temperament the very opposite to the other cases, being fat, fair and flabby. Complained of pain in right side of throat on swallowing. Neck stiff, tonsil slightly congested. Felt as if she had a bad cold. Advised her to come to the office and get some medicine. She had, however, some “dope” on hand and said she guessed she would take that first.

Next evening I was called and found her with throat much worse. Membrane covering left tonsil entirely, also a narrow strip of membrane on posterior wall of pharynx, pain in left tonsil on swallowing, neck and tongue stiff , saliva quite profuse. Temperature only slightly above normal. Lac caninum 30X was given. Patient never went to bed and at the end of the second day no trace of membrane could be seen.

Now the symptoms common to all three cases and the only ones characteristic in each case were, first, both pain and membrane shifting from side to side;  second, stiffness of neck and tongue ; third, profuse saliva ; fourth, aching in limb marked; fifth, entire absence of prostration; sixth, character of pain was as if throat was burned raw. Now, the question will arise in the man’s mind, was this real diphtheria ; were the bacteria present? I will answer candidly, I don’t know. I never looked for them.

From : New Old And Forgotten Remedies – Ed. Dr. E.P. Anshutz – Circa 1900.


About the author

Philip Rice

American Homeopathic Physician circa 1900, whose cases were published in the Pacific Coast Journal of Homeopathy and in New Old And Forgotten Remedies Ed. Dr. E.P. Anshutz.

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