Homeopathy Repertory

The Genesis of the Veterinary Repertory

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As a veterinarian using homoeopathy, and therefore the repertory, it has been annoying that there are no specific rubrics for animals.  I always wondered, which remedies for cats that salivate while purring, which remedies for dogs that ate grass and vomited it out again. Having such references would be a big help in finding a good Simile.

I have experienced the disappearance of some of these symptoms in animals that I treated homoeopathically.  I kept statistical records, but the computer makes such a task much easier.  In Autumn 1996 I met Frederik Schroyens during a teachers’ seminar in Alonissos, Greece.  This is where George Vithoulkas lives and has built a wonderful academy for homoeopathy.

During this seminar we discussed my ideas and decided to make a concerted effort.  We planned a Veterinary Repertory built upon the human Synthesis.  After some organisational issues were addressed, we slowly began working on the project.  The database is assembled and we can present to you our joint effort.

May it bring some of the Greek sun into your consulting room.

—  Marc Bär

Why a Veterinary Repertory?

From Human to Animal – The Translation of Symptoms

by Marc Bär, DVM

1. INTRODUCTION

If we look at the state of our planet, it is obvious that humans are the strangest animals living on the surface of the earth.  This opinion would probably not be contested, at least not by ecologists.  In homoeopathy, this axiom holds true in reverse.

This is not really a surprise, as Homoeopathy itself is strange and peculiar.  In homeopathy pathognomonic symptoms are unimportant in finding the simile.  It is the other way round in Allopathy.  Another peculiarity is that remedy provings are done with humans.  That’s why we involuntarily impress members of animal protection associations.

All remedy provings have been done with the human race.  Consequently, the Repertory is a collection of proving symptoms verified in humans.  (Some symptoms come directly out of clinical experience into the Repertory, in cases where a symptom was repeatedly cured by the same remedy.)  The Repertory is clearly a book for human medicine.  If we examine Kent’s Repertory, this book is in reality a collection of symptoms in Americans before the McDonalds Era.  Thus, it is a bit restrictive to take such a book as a standard (I am talking of a standard for people of course).  Can we use for Indians or Inuit the same symptoms as for Americans?  How do we deal with Pulsatilla who should be blond and blue-eyed?  Are there any Indian Pulsatillas at all?  Can we take the symptom “desire for fish” as a General symptom in an Inuit?  In the end we have to ask ourselves if Kent’s Repertory can be used anywhere else than in the United States before the turn of the century?  Maybe only in the middle class?  Some concerns, such as specific symptoms for certain races, or the question of a modern language, are problems yet to be addressed.

2. SYMPTOMS THAT CANNOT BE USED

2.1 Subjective Symptoms
If we look at the symptoms, ” Back, heat, dorsal region, scapulae between” and “Abdomen, pain, stones, like sharp, rubbing together”, probably all would agree that the first symptom can be used in Veterinary Medicine, whereas the second one cannot be assessed in animals. Even if we limit ourselves to domestic animals, it is impossible to use the Repertory in the same way, rubric for rubric.  We have to look at individual symptoms in order to judge their validity.  As an aside, it has to be noted that veterinarians have used the repertory for a long time with good results.  It is just a question of how to use the book.  In order to be successful one has to have a sound knowledge of the repertory.  All too frequently this method is unsuccessful because the structure of the repertory is not known, or because one doesn’t know where and how to find a rubric, or which symptoms are relevant in Veterinary Medicine. I want to stress the point again: Without a sound knowledge of the repertory, it is impossible to utilize it.

The best way to learn is to take courses together with your Human Doctor colleagues.  If you learn along with a physician, you will examine rubrics that you wouldn’t look at otherwise.  I remember my first years. In the evening after the course, and later the supervision lessons with Dr. Jost Künzli had come to an end, I always had dinner with two human doctors and we went through all the chapters of the repertory.  This work turned out to be fruitful for all three of us.  I preferred some rubrics/chapters, they preferred others.  Without studying together, we would have missed many symptoms that are useful in daily practice.  Physicians tend to look at the subjective symptoms closely; veterinarians prefer the objective signs.  It is crucial to know both types.  That’s why a combination of vets and physicians turns out to be a wonderful thing for a course. We stick to this combination for the introductory courses in Switzerland with great success.  Of course, specialized courses are useful, but the basics are the same in homoeopathy – be it human or animal.

We have mentioned two symptoms.  One is an objective and palpable sign, the other one a subjective feeling.  Even if animals do possess the latter, it is impossible to sort them out.  The absence of the human language results in a loss of roughly half of the existing rubrics.  If we look at the “Head” chapter for instance, we see that out of 94 pages, 71 deal with headache alone.  Rarely can we utilize a headache rubric in a repertorization of animals and we can never be 100% sure about its validity.  Maybe when the case is cured we will know that it was really pain in the head; before the first prescription, we cannot be sure.  With the qualities of pain, it is even more extreme:  We can never find out if the patient suffers from stitching or boring pains if they don’t say so.  Of course, there are exceptions: In a head-shaker for example, it may be from neuralgia of the Nervus trigeminus, and we would look under shooting or drawing pains.  It is due to these exceptions that vets have to know all of the repertory, even the subjective symptoms.  Some cases can only be solved in this way.  If you find a simile like this, it will be a case to remember.

Let’s consider the average case: Practically all sensations cannot be used in Veterinary Homoeopathy.  However, this is no reason to neglect studying the entire repertory.  You would otherwise miss rubrics such as Fear from heights (“Vertigo, high places”), or colic during the female oestrus (“Abdomen, pain, cramping, menses, during”).  Therefore, it would be counterproductive to remove half of the repertory for veterinary purposes, even if the book becomes less heavy and bulky.  Any one of us may discover important symptoms that nobody else thought of previously.  I would like to have an international network to communicate quality symptoms in veterinary homoeopathy.  This would enhance the further development of the Veterinary Repertory.

2.2. Species- and Breed Specific Disposition
We know that most subjective symptoms are of little value for animal patients. The second problem is demonstrated by the Inuit/Indian example. The difference between these peoples and Americans is definitely less than between animals and people. Of course, we cannot lump all animals together.  It is of no relevance to ask ourselves if dogs are closer to horses or to humans, or horses closer to humans or dogs.  There is the problem of Species-Specific Differences. Within a species we encounter clear Breed-Specific Variations, which result in the fact that certain symptoms are peculiar in one breed and common in another breed. Accordingly, we have to order symptoms according to genus, species, and breed.  This order is dependent on the animal’s Anatomy and Physiology.

Here’s an example: We treat an entire female Dachshund.  The dog dislikes thunder, likes to be tickled, sleeps lying on its side, likes to eat during the night, shows false pregnancy with milk and has an aversion to fish (with the exception of tuna) and fruit.  These symptoms may be appropriate for a repertorization:

A) Peculiar Symptom
1) Pseudo-pregnancy: Chest, milk, non-pregnant women

B) Mind Symptoms
2) Dislikes Thunder: Mind, fear, thunderstorm, of
3) Likes to be tickled: Mind, affectionate

C) Generals
4) Sleeps on side: Sleep, position, side, on
5) Likes to eat during the night: Stomach, appetite, increased, night
6) Small Breed: Generalities, dwarfishness
7) Aversion to Fish: Stomach, aversion, fish
8) Aversion to Fruit: Stomach, aversion, fruit

If we repertorize we get the following result:

Repert

Borax

Lycopodium

Phosphorus

Pulsatilla

Sulph.

Symp 1)

1

1

1

3

0

Symp 2)

2

2

3

1

1

Symp 3)

1

1

2

3

0

Symp 4)

1

0

2

0

1

Symp 5)

0

3

3

1

1

Symp 6)

1

1

0

0

3

Symp 7)

0

0

1

0

1

Symp 8)

0

0

3

3

0

Sum

5/6

5/8

7/15

5/11

5/7

From this repertorization, Phosphorus fits best. However, let’s talk about the symptoms in detail:

Milk in non-pregnant women was taken as a peculiar symptom.  If we know the ethology of wolves, it becomes evident that this symptom is not peculiar at all, it is common.  In a wolf pack, the leading female alone gives birth to the puppies, but the other females, which are all lower in rank, nurse them.  The real mother doesn’t feed them, the other ones get pseudo-pregnant synchronous to the birth animal and act as wet nurses.  Because of the dog’s physiology, the symptom is not peculiar anymore.  Hence, the symptom provides only a hint that our patient is not very domineering.  Of course, it is different if a dog in such a state loses milk because it drips to the ground.  Here we would take the symptom “Chest, milk, flowing”, as this is very unusual. Therefore, the rubric “Chest, milk, non-pregnant women” in dogs is usually of very little value.

Consider the Mind Symptoms.  Is the rubric “Fear of thunderstorm” correct?  We have to discriminate between fear of noise and fear of thunderstorm.  In the first case we have to take the rubrics “Mind, fear, noise, from” and “Mind, anxiety, noise, from”.  Only if we are sure that the thunderstorm is responsible for the fright can we use this symptom.  By the way, this is the reason Pulsatilla can cure “Fear of Thunderstorms”.  The remedy is not in the rubric, but in the rubric, “Anxiety from Noise”.

The next rubric, “Mind, affectionate” cannot be used without more information.  It is certainly incorrect to take it as a symptom if a dog likes to be petted.  Only if the strokes are sought actively is it a valuable symptom.  A passive toleration of affection is not the meaning of this rubric.

Let’s look at the first General Symptom.  How should a dog sleep, if not on its side? This symptom is obviously a poor choice and not worth thinking about.  If, on the other hand, an animal (maybe not a turtle) predominantly sleeps on the abdomen, this would be a good general symptom.  The symptom in the repertory is:  “Sleep, position, abdomen, on”.  One remedy that doesn’t show in the original Kent (but is in Synthesis), and is frequently encountered in connection with this symptom, is Medorrhinum.

The next rubric in our repertorization is “Dwarfishness”.  What Dachshund isn’t small?  In symptoms that are related to specific breeds, we have to consider the Indian/Inuit Rule.  I know this topic is frequently discussed in Veterinary Medicine.  There are good homoeopaths who say that, in small breeds, this rubric has to be taken into consideration in order to find a simile.  However, what about small species?  Does the same argument hold there as well? Don’t Phosphorus or Pulsatilla Dachshunds exist (two remedies that are not in the rubric)?  The reason why people try to take these symptoms is bound to our anthropocentric philosophy.  Through the knowledge we have in ecology, we know that mankind is not the centre of the earth.  We have to give each species and breed its space and its own normality – this is especially true in homoeopathy.  Otherwise, you would use the rubric “aversion to fruit” in carnivores.

“Appetite which is increased during the night” is also misleading.  Any animal that seeks shelter will favourably eat and digest during its rest time. Of course, the rubric is appropriate if a dog only eats in the night.  Domestication has changed animal eating patterns; they usually eat when they get something.  The last rubric, “aversion to fish” cannot be taken into consideration if the dog eats tuna.  If the symptom were characteristic, no fish would be eaten.

What is normal for humans cannot be taken for granted in animals. What is peculiar in a horse, doesn’t have to be special in a cat.  Always consider the value of the symptoms chosen and don’t just take a rubric because you found it.  How would you perceive masturbation in male dogs (“Genitalia Male, masturbation, disposition to”).  If a dog exaggerates this sexual activity, it is certainly a general symptom.  If the masturbation occurs from time to time this is normal, most dogs have no other way to explore their sexuality.  How would you treat horses that sleep with the head on their faeces?  Can one take the rubric “Dirty”; “Skin, filthy”?  Probably not, as they tend to do this in winter, perhaps to feel warmth.  The same holds true for coughing after drinking in a river (“Cough, drinking, after”) with dogs.  Too many dog species do this, thus it is not a peculiar symptom.  An eversion of the lids (“Eye, eversion of lids”) in Great Danes is a breed specific point and unimportant for homoeopathy.

If symptoms have a genetic or social cause, they cannot be taken into consideration for the analysis of a case.  As homoeopathic veterinarians, we have to understand about ethology, species and breed specifics.  If one is unsure, it is always possible to ask the owners, often they know a lot about their type of animal.  It is never a sign of stupidity not to know everything.  The more you know, the better you will be able to discriminate between valuable or worthless rubrics.

3. SYMPTOMS THAT CAN BE USED

3.1. The “Mind” Chapter
With the veterinary repertory, depending on each species or race, we need a very specific and distinct book.  In nearly every chapter, one has to be careful about anatomical and/or physiological peculiarities.  The exception to this rule is the “Mind” chapter.  Of course, there are racial characteristics here as well: E.g. the rubrics biting (“Mind, biting”) or killing (“Mind, kill, desire, to”).  Generally, though, this chapter can be as useful for animals as it is for humans.

From everyday experience, one finds that animals can have exactly the same emotions as man.  We observe fear, suppressed anger, fastidious behaviour, ailments from grief, jealousy etc.  Another thing is that animals don’t tend to hide their feelings, and are not as much diverted from natural reactions and honesty as people are.  That is why they usually show their emotions more directly then we do.  In the animal kingdom, fear of other animals is fear of other animals; there is no necessity to call a psychiatrist to find out if the animal is telling the truth.  That is the second reason why the Mind chapter transfers very well from humans to animals.

3.2. The “Mind” Chapter in the Repertory
Our problem is that the human language of the repertory has to be translated.  Some symptoms are obvious, e.g. fear of thunderstorm if we consider the restrictions stated in 2.3., anger from contradiction (“Mind, anger, contradiction, from”) or an aversion to strangers (“Mind, strangers, presence of, agg.”), except in a Chow-Chow.

A second group of symptoms can be adjoined to behaviour per definition.  Once this is done the homoeopath knows what the animal is doing and subsequently can use the adjoined rubric.  As an example, we can take individuals that ignore their owners when they return from a holiday.  This is resentment and the appropriate rubric is “Mind, dwells on past disagreeable occurrences”.  We can also define the animal that bites out of fear: “Mind, anger, ailments after anger, with anxiety”.  There are many such rubrics and the more veterinarians practice homeopathy, the more numerous these rubrics/symptoms will be.

A third group of symptoms are not that easy to find in homoeopathic language.  Either they are not explained yet, or they are so individual that one can only use them in particular cases.  Take a horse that regularly jumps out of the paddock and visits all the stables in a radius of 20 miles.  This symptom can be translated as “Mind, travel, desire to”.  Of course, a dog that loves to go with their owners on holiday would not be covered by this rubric – that’s just a normal social behaviour.  A more difficult example is a cat that always turns around and looks scared.  In such a case, it is worthwhile to try and imagine yourself being this cat.  Try to understand what might underlie such a reaction.  It might sound a bit strange, but the more one gets used to thinking like this, the easier it is to do.  In the aforementioned cat, it probably meant that the cat felt persecuted (“Mind, delusion, pursued, enemies, by”).  If, after administration of a remedy from this rubric, the behaviour subsides (along with other problems), one can assume that the interpretation was not far off.  However, bear in mind that every species and breed shows its emotions in a different way – you cannot take a full-blooded horse and expect a cold-blooded one to show the same intensity of emotions.

Therefore, we have to have certain rules to translate psychic symptoms:

A) Try to put yourself in the patient’s situation and form a feeling for the individual problem. In this manner, you should be capable of finding a reason for the behaviour that:

1.  explains the behaviour satisfactorily.
2.  is based on the totality of the chosen behaviour, without neglecting any details.
3.  is based on pure observation and not on interpretation.

B) The result must be a rubric that:

1. contains the remedy which is a simile to the whole case.
2. contains a remedy that covers the peculiar, mind, and general symptoms of the patient.
3. can only be the last piece in a puzzle to solve the case.

This means that the translation of such symptoms should be the last step in solving the case; otherwise, the danger of being misled by fantasy is too great.

3.3 Somatic Symptoms
As mentioned several times already, it depends on the species and breed to determine which symptoms are peculiar.  The rubric “Abdomen, pendulous” is definitively not the same in a cat or a Saluki.  The dwarfishness of a Friesian horse compared to the size of a pony is particular, but not in a Shetland pony of the same size.  A dog that dislikes sausages (“Generalities, food, sausages, aversion to”) has a peculiar symptom, but not a cat with the same aversion.

A second category of good symptoms is very distinct modalities.  If an animal only eats during the night (but not a bat), then the rubric can be taken into the repertorization as a general symptom.  A horse that only coughs during foggy weather (“Cough, fog agg.”) is perhaps Sepia (because the rubric covers only this remedy).  If the cough is only slightly worse during fog, the rubric cannot be taken into consideration.   A kitten that only gets diarrhoea when fed with fat food (“Rectum, diarrhoea, food, fat, after”) shows at least one good symptom.  If on the other hand fatty food, milk, meat and so on all lead to diarrhoea the rubric has to be dropped.

A third category is changes compared to a previous status quo that cannot be explained by pathological, anatomical, or physiological reasoning.  If, for example, a Labrador retriever gets an eversion of lids during diarrhoea, it is peculiar.  In addition, dandruff (“Head, dandruff”) in a cat after a cough is a particular symptom.

One should of course take into consideration, that even mind symptoms can be peculiar and therefore upgraded according to § 153 of the Organon (6th Edition).  This holds true if the symptoms are very marked, if they show a peculiar trait of behaviour.  As an example, an Alsatian that never wants to work (“Mind, work, aversion to mental”), but not a pug with the same attitude.

4. THE STRUCTURE OF THE VETERINARY REPERTORY

From the above information, it is clear that we don’t want to create a completely independent repertory.  We want to include all the human information in the Veterinary Repertory.  The aim of the Veterinary Repertory is to help the homoeopathic veterinarian.  This is done in several ways, but always by adding information to the normal repertory.  Thus, the basis of the Veterinary Repertory remains the normal human repertory and is not a separate entity!

4.1. The Concepts
The symptoms that are linked to rubrics we called “per definition” (see 3.2.) are organized in the Veterinary Repertory by the way of using Concepts.  Concepts are the link between veterinary symptoms and rubrics in the (human) repertory.  We are positive that the use of Concepts will be a great aid to the practising Veterinarian in choosing good rubrics and therefore in determining a good simile.  This novel approach structures the veterinary knowledge and creates an interface between it and the existing homoeopathic information in the repertory.

4.2. Adding New Rubrics
The human repertory is not complete for animals.  Many symptoms are limited to a specific species and/or breed.  These symptoms aren’t found in any of the existing repertories.  This is especially sad as some of these symptoms are very important (think of all the oestrus problems, of castration and its related symptoms, of the different anatomy and physiology in ruminants).  They are central to the animal’s anatomy, physiology, and behaviour.

We would like to share our species and/or breed specific symptoms with you.  Some of these symptoms have no remedies yet.  However, they are reminders that with your help, we can complete them and eventually have a good knowledge of animal-related rubrics, and therefore of animal-related materia medica.

4.3. Adding Remedies
Many of the new rubrics already have remedy additions.  Considering the relatively short amount of time we spent in creating the Veterinary Repertory, we know that most of these rubrics are not complete as yet.  On the other hand, the additions are very reliable.  All additions of remedies that are not derived from well known, already printed veterinary literature are well documented.  This means that the entries that come from our own sources are linked to a specific symptom in a specific animal.  Therefore, we can state that our Veterinary Repertory is a very reliable source of information.  Every new release will be more complete.  With everyone’s contribution, we will soon have a complete and useful tool.

ALGORITHM TO JUDGE THE VALORISATION
OF PSYCHIC SYMPTOMS IN ANIMALS

SOUL

1.

directly recognizable symptoms

2.

not directly recognizable symptoms

rubric of the repertorytry to understand the animals’ feelings and explain the behaviour satisfactorily

–          based on the totality of the chosen pattern

–          based on observation and not interpretation

symptom cannot be explainedsymptom can be explained

·         rubric of the repertory

·         remedy that fits to the whole case (including peculiars, mind- and general symptoms

·         last piece of the puzzle

Unusable symptoms

1.  Sensations +/-

2.  Species- and Breed-Related Differences due to Anatomy, Physiology and/or Social Patterns that are genetically fixed

Usable Symptoms

1. The Chapter “Mind”

·         clearly recognizable symptoms

·         symptoms that are related to a rubric per definitionem

·         other symptoms that are translated individually by the practitioner

2.  Somatic Symptoms and Signs

·         untypical for the species or breed (also in psychic symptoms)

·         distinctly present symptoms

·         alterations in comparison with the status quo ante (also in psychic symptoms)

Complete table at end !!!!!!
Acknowledgements

First, I want to thank my wife Lotte for tolerating all the time I spent at the computer, in the surgery, or behind books.  Without her support (the best cuisine!!), both conceptually and generally, the Veterinary Repertory would have never been realized.

Second, I want to thank the late Dr. Jost Künzli, with whom I had the pleasure and honour to study.  Without him, I could have never developed my homoeopathic knowledge as it is.  Dr. Künzli was a very gifted and honourable teacher, and certainly the best one to teach the use of the repertory.

Jose Ramon Torres added all the information from the veterinary literature and included the works of veterinary authors such as Henri Quinquandon, Flavio Briones, George Macleod, Christopher Day, and Jaques Milleman.  His compilation was a big step in the process of creating the Veterinary Repertory.

I also want to thank the IAVH (International Association of Veterinary Homoeopathy) and its repertory group.  Working under Dr. Bernhard Hornig, they gave us a great deal of input on how to organize the veterinary symptoms.

Finally, I want to thank the Archibel team: Frederik Schroyens, Katelijne Vanhoutte, Phillippe Santantonio, and all the others who helped wherever possible.

Dear Marc,

In addition to this very interesting presentation of your work I would like to ask a question:

What is your message to the fresh veterinary homeopathy students who wish to use this new addition to the human repertory.  May they not be tempted to rely too much on these additions and not acquire the more artistic use of the repertory that we, of the old guard, needed to learn to use it successfully?

I fully agree with you.  I think you have to know the repertory very well to make the most of it.  Believe me: I was brought up with Repertory-milk (lac-rep 🙂 by Künzli who was my longtime teacher, to whom I owe most of my homeopathic gratitude.

This said, I advise all beginners to use the revised (original) Kent first.  Once you know this repertory, you can proceed to newer versions, since you are then capable of choosing to use the information in these new versions that you assume to be correct.  I still repertorize every patient with Kent’s revised repertory as well as with the Millennium version of Synthesis.  This is very easy in Radar, as you can change from one version to the other.  And it is not uncommon for Kent to be superior.

This said, I am aware that using only the revised version you will miss some good remedies because of the lack of additions.  Don’t think only of remedies such as Carcinosinum.

If we talk about the VetRep there are two issues involved:

1)   In the concepts you find a lot of vet-specific symptoms (and a few disorders) with the link to the relating rubrics (e.g. a dog that always hides bones -> delusion poor, fear poverty …)

2)  The additions and new rubrics are obviously only a beginning of a never ending project.  I am astonished however, when I add new patients, at how often a current vet addition or rubric turns out to be correct.

I would therefore advise the following: for home study, the VetRep is not a suitable tool. But as soon as they work with animals I believe it can be of considerable help.

Thank you for these additions.  It is interesting to hear you say that you find the Kent repertory to be superior in many cases.  Marc Brunson keeps reminding us of this every time he gets the chance.

© Dr. Marc Bär, Zürich, May 2001

SOUL

1.

directly recognizable symptoms

2.

not directly recognizable symptoms

rubric of the repertorytry to understand the animals’ feelings and explain the behaviour satisfactorily

–          based on the totality of the chosen pattern

–          based on observation and not interpretation

symptom cannot be explainedsymptom can be explained

·         rubric of the repertory

·         remedy that fits to the whole case (including peculiars, mind- and general symptoms

·         last piece of the puzzle

Unusable symptoms

1.  Sensations +/-

2.  Species- and Breed- related Differences due to Anatomy, Physiology and/or Social Patterns that are genetically fixed

Usable Symptoms

1. The Chapter “Mind”

·         clearly recognizable symptoms

·         symptoms that are related to a rubric per definitionem

·         other symptoms that are translated individually by the practitioner

2.  Somatic Symptoms and Signs

·         Untypical for the species or breed (also in psychic symptoms)

·         Distinctly present symptoms

·         Alterations in comparison with the status quo ante (also in psychic symptoms)

About the author

Marc Bauer

Marc Bauer

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