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Tidbits 55: Here’s Lucy! (the dog) Important Lessons in Case-Taking!


Diabetes was the last thing on my mind; the chief complaint was biting and aggression!

I could present this just because a case of diabetes got results with homeopathy, that would be reason enough!  In fact, the vet wasn’t sure if it was diabetes, Cushing’s Disease or cancer, any one of these would have been horrible!  But the case had all the symptoms of diabetes.  Diabetes is supposedly an incurable disease, right?  But I’m submitting it here because of what we can learn about case-taking.  I was presented with a case that, by all rights, seemed like a mental case!  This just goes to show how you can be completely misled.  What I’ll do is let you read the case, and I’ll jump in along the way with my remarks:


Elaine, I’m wondering if you could help with my mom’s dog, Lucy.

                                          (Lucy on Jan. 27th, 2018)

Yes, I’ve had animal cases.

Afraid it is facing death at the vets.  How do you decide if it is an acute or chronic case?

I will attach the questionnaire for pets.  It’s the same as for people.  It doesn’t get any easier just because it’s a dog.  Probably harder because dogs can’t tell you what’s wrong.  I would have to conclude, if the dog is dying, it’s a pretty serious case!

Thanks.  Will look at the questionnaire.  The only reason the dog is facing death is because my mom will not be able to afford to treat it.

Oh well, of course, it’s like any other hospital bill–through the roof!

Believe if I could adopt this dog I could help it myself.  But I have a 15 year old dog currently that is all I can handle!

Yes, your hands are full.

Just thought a dog case could be easy because you can control their diet.

True!  But taking the case, managing the case, same as with a person.  For example, see dog case below from the hpathy discussion board, you’ll see how tricky case-management can be:

“Please Help This Dog”:

Questions Patients Ask – 13

Thanks for sending that link.  Very interesting.  I am so torn about my mother’s dog and whether to get involved.  Of course, I have not been asked to help even though I am the one with a fifteen year old dog who hasn’t been to the vet in 10 years and has no plans to visit one.

Smart decision!  People are killing and maiming their pets with allopathy [standard medical practice], just like they’re unknowingly doing so with their children!  See last month’s cartoon:


My mom has another appointment at the vets on Friday.

There’s nothing the vet can do anyway!  They can’t cure a single disease!  Just like in “people medicine”, all they do is suppress symptoms.  What is wrong with the dog?  How old is he or she?

I have to admit, I considered trying to find a remedy myself for it.  I got out all my reference books and started reading.  I’m a bit dangerous with this new homeopathy emergency kit!  Realized I don’t know what I’m doing and gave up.  Ha.

She is nine or ten years old.  She got aggressive and bit my dad.  Started peeing in the house.  Has the shakes.  Tearing up the trash.  All these things are out of character.

[OK, biting?  Tearing up the trash?  Getting aggressive?  Naturally, the first thing I’m thinking is, When was her last Rabies shot!?  I’m thinking the dog might need Lyssin or Stramonium!  My first question is going to be, When did she get her rabies shot?  You know, in homeopathy, we’re always trying to find the etiology–the CAUSE–of the patient’s behavior.]

Vet suspecting Cushing’s disease, diabetes or cancer.

Why would any of these things cause destructiveness and aggression?  Did it start after a rabies shot?

[I’m not gonna let this go!]

More tests are planned for Friday. 🙁

This is a homeopathic case.  There’s nothing the vet can do except MAYBE find a cause.  Did it come after a vaccine or some other drug or event?

How is her thirst?

[I’m thinking if she needs a rabies remedy, she might be thirstless.  That would help confirm my theory.]

When was the last vaccination/s and for what?

[I keep pushing for an answer, I’m so sure!]

Lucy is drinking more water.

[Uh-oh, I didn’t expect to hear that!]

She’s also bloated.

Where are you seeing the bloat?  Is she urinating less or more than usual?

[Urinating less and drinking more, that would not be good news for her kidneys, and diabetes often ends with kidney failure!]

I’ll ask my mother.  Would like to dose this morning if possible.  Only 48 hours til the vet appointment.  Have the red 30C homeopathy emergency kit.  Don’t know if I bought the right thing.  Tiny pills.

Yes, tiny pills are good, that’s what I have.  You only need to tap the bottle into the cap and whatever falls out is a dose.

Finding out now that there were shots last September!

I’ll need to know what they were, how the dog was prior, and how the dog changed afterwards over the next few months.

[You can tell, I’m really suspecting ailments from vaccinations here!]

Mom is sending me info now.  Will forward ASAP.  Lucy is drinking noticeably more lately.

Could be why the doctor thinks she has diabetes.

[I’m slowly coming around to the vet’s assessment.]

But that wouldn’t make her bite people!  Maybe you can describe the dog’s behavior more fully.

My mother is 90, trying to take care of my 92 year old Dad.  Has her hands full.

OMG!  She certainly does have her hands full!

Would like to know how to tell my mom simply what to be looking for after the remedy.  Would you have time to write a very easy short explanation?

I wrote an article called “What To Expect After Taking A Remedy”, click below:


What to Expect After Taking a Remedy (An Introduction to Hering’s Law)

Well Elaine, here goes the vet visit from September:


DAPPv – 3 years

Bordetella IN annual

Fecal exam-with vaccine IH

Heartworm Test-Antigen IH


Is the dog exhibiting any fears?  When did the involuntary urination start?  Was any drug given in advance of that?

[Now I’m suspecting any drug at all!]

What about body temperature?  Is she colder or warmer than usual?  What about appetite, has that changed?  Any signs of pain?

Lucy is drinking more water.  Also bloated.  Believe the bloat is the abdomen area.  Urinating in house but don’t think it is less or more.

Is it passing unnoticed?

No, not passing unnoticed.  This dog is generally a very sweet dog.  It is cowed by my dad who is very strict with her.  Or at least he use to be.  She is very submissive to any person or other dog.  Overweight.  Very playful until she started acting different.  Have seen her sleep with legs sticking straight up.  Always rolls on her back if approached.  Loves walks but never gets to go out.  That’s why she loves to see me come in.

I need to know all the ways that she’s different.  Is she growling?

No, not growling.

[It’s getting increasingly difficult to justify a remedy like Stramonium or Lyssin or even Belladonna.]

Does she not want to be touched, petted, approached, anything else that might be striking?

Does not want to be approached.  Not being playful like her usual self.  She fears riding in a car and thunder or fireworks. The urination is voluntary but she is going in the house.  This  just started very recently with the other odd behavior.  She has been shaking but not certain if she’s chilly or nervous.  Don’t think there were other drugs being given.  Appetite has been elevated even before this odd behavior started.  Still is always hungry.  Thinking she does have some pain and that is the reason she bit my dad.

Try to find out when she got her last rabies shot.

[Still trying to confirm rabies vaccine theory.]

My mother says it was a year ago.

[Oh no, a year ago????  Now I’m at a loss!]

Is she bloating from gas–flatulence–or edema (water retention)?

So she not only drinks more but eats more?  More reason to suspect diabetes but I don’t think that would make her do a bunch of crazy things.  Is your father the only person she’s bitten?  Was it just one time and not the norm?  Did he scare her?  Was there some reason for it?

[See, with rabies vaccine now an unlikely etiology, I have to question the premise that she’s aggressive and a “biter”.  What if it only happened once?  What if someone scared her?  Maybe all she really has is diabetes!]

Lucy was asleep and my dad approached her to put a blanket on her when she bit him.  He thinks she got startled.

What???  Startled???  Well geez!  That doesn’t count at all!  So what do we have left, then; tearing up the trash?  Is she still doing that?  I’ll tell you what; the excessive drinking, urinating and eating?  That’s Phosphorus.  She also startles easily–that’s Phosphorus; fear of thunder?  That’s phosphorus.  If she has diabetes, that’s Phosphorus!

[As soon as I realized the dog only bit one person and only one time, I realized I had completely gone down the wrong road!]

What do they feed her?

They feed her bad dog food and junk food.

What???  Junk food?  OMG!  Well hey, look no further!!!!  I’m afraid to ask what “junk food” she’s eating!  But clearly the dog has diabetes!  It means all her markers are off–blood pressure, triglycerides, uric acid levels…they call it “metabolic syndrome”.  There’s nothing the vet can do about it, it’s all about diet.  Are you familiar with Shirley’s Wellness Cafe?  It’s a great website: natural healing for people and animals, have a look:

Meanwhile, give Lucy a dose of Phosphorus 30C.


First day (January 27, 2018) – dosed Lucy with Phosphorous in the morning.  Slept a lot that day.  Started shaking that evening.

Second day – Lucy slept later that morning than usual.  But was a little more energetic later;

Good sign!

and shaking still.

Third day – (today) sleeping more still.  Just found out that she actually played with her toy a little on day 2 but does not feel like playing with it on day 3.

Barbara, she needs all the junk food cut out of her diet, and her diet needs to change.  See this article on what to feed a dog to restore his or her health:

She has had only one dose thus far.  Shook bottle 10 times.  Did I shake too much?

No, that’s fine.  Barbara, her diet needs to change.

Ok.  Having my mom changing her diet gradually from her dog food to some homemade meat and cooked veggies.  And no more junk food.  Also, she is going for short walks if she feels ok.

Have your mother read the article I linked to above.  Lucy needs raw food.  You can introduce it gradually.  Real bones would be good for her–lamb shanks–lightly cooked.  Dogs LOVE these bones!!!!!  Cod liver oil would be very good for her too!

So I need to redose tomorrow?

Barbara, there is no way to determine when to redose other than basing it on whether or not the case is relapsing or moving forward.

Talked to my mom this morning (January 30th) and she said Lucy is starting to act like her old self.

Really?????  This is only 3 days after Phosphorus!  Wow!  This is great news!

She’s barking to go outside again to go to the bathroom.

Wow!  I wasn’t sure if Phosphorus would fix that!

One day she barked at the birds outdoors.  More energy.  Sleeping a lot.  Never gave second dose but will watch closely.  My mom thinks maybe Lucy is not as bloated.  Not drinking more water than usual either (January 31st).

Sent: Sun, Feb 11, 2018 3:00 pm

Subject: Lucy and Sparky

Hi Elaine. Got a text from my mom just yesterday which reported Lucy was no longer shaking.

Have heard nothing concerning anymore continued bad behavior.  Thanks for your help.  Very happy.

Lucy today, wagging her tail.  February 13, 2018



What can we learn from this case–besides, hey; great (apparent) diabetes case, right?  And I say “apparent” because it would seem that the “Friday vet appt.” was canceled.  But the vet suspected diabetes and we do have all the symptoms of it.  But what else should we learn from this case?  The importance of verifying what the client is telling you!!!!  This dog actually was not aggressive!  We have to learn not to run with our first impression!  Wait, ask questions, look for confirmation.

Now here’s the other thing; this patient has had only one dose of Phosphorus 30C–it’s been 2 weeks now!  When I look at other people’s cases online, I’m seeing, typically, a lot of high potencies and a lot of unnecessary repetitions–and not surprisingly, a lot of aggravations!  Look at what a single dose of Phosphorus 30C has done!  Remember our motto?  The “minimum dose”?  There’s nothing wrong, per se, with repetitions and high potencies, but just make sure they’re needed!  Everyone’s got a dosing “protocol” it seems; this case shows why no one should have such a thing!  What if one dose cures the whole case?  Why should we have a “schedule”?  No; “as needed” should be our “schedule”, and as long as there is continued improvement, no further dosing is necessary.  Wait for some sign that the case is either stalling or relapsing.

OK, that’s it, I have to do the dishes!


Elaine Lewis, D.Hom., C.Hom.

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


  • Case taking is really a difficult job but case taking of Pets is remarkable. Very good.
    Now going out of subject I want your comment. A dose is based on Law of minimum dose. If taking a single pallet is enough as a single dose whatever is potency. I like Your observation that “Yes, tiny pills are good, that’s what I have.  You only need to tap the bottle into the cap and whatever falls out is a dose.” Only few drops saturate numbers of globules. One globule say #40 has just a fraction of remedy. My observation is why certain homeo remedies supplier write
    “Take one pill or five drops of the remedy every 2 to 4 hours” Why 5 why not one”.

  • Dear Aslam, you’re asking why remedy bottles all seem to have conflicting and arbitrary dosing instructions on their bottles? Instead of saying, “Take one drop or one pellet”? Do I have that right? Most egregious of all is the dosing directions on Boiron’s Oscillococcinum bottles; the directions say to take THE WHOLE BOTTLE as a dose! Seriously! That must be 1,000 #10 pellets per half-dram bottle! Boiron’s other bottles, like Nux vomica 30C for example, say to take 3-5 #40 pellets as a dose and to take 3 doses a day but not to exceed 3 days if you’re not getting any better. Clearly, I would say that Boiron just wants to sell as many remedy bottles as possible. And there isn’t a lot of room on those little bottles to put the kind of dosing instruction on them that ought to be there. As Hahnemann says in The Organon, “Any striking improvement precludes any further dosing…” which is what we saw in Lucy’s case. One dose of Phosphorus, and we saw no need for any further dosing. I hope that somewhat answers your question.

  • Another excellent column in clear concise language that teaches important lessons. Thanks Elaine!

  • So glad Lucy has recovered! How interesting that a dog can have a TB energy and need Phosphorus. Like Lucy, I startle too easily myself. I continue to learn about homeopathy and dosing from your cases, Elaine. Thank you!

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