Veterinary Homeopathy

A Case of Near Drowning in a Dog

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Homeopath Katja Schütt presents the case of her dog, who recovered from drowning. She also gives tips for dealing with drowning, including relevant remedies.

Dasha and Shiva are two young dogs who both love water and swimming. Knowing no danger, they jump into each lake and swim their rounds. But when we made our late evening walk at the Castle-Sea in the midst of the forest on a beautiful May evening, things unexpectedly went out of control. Dasha and Shiva were already swimming out into the sea. Making her games, Shiva was jumping on her comrade and did not leave her a chance to come to the surface. Struggling to get some breath Dasha became increasingly weaker. Less and less of her head was visible and she finally disappeared under the water and did not reappear. Watching the scene we tried to get Shiva to stop from jumping and called Dasha to come to the waterside, but our calls remained unheard. At a certain point hubby made the decision that Dasha won’t manage it by herself to escape from the trapped situation and went into the muddy water. At the second attempt he succeeded to pick her up from the ground and saved her in the nick of time. Back on the seaside she had regained consciousness. We lifted the dog and held her upside down to let the water flow out. Then we put her on her side with her head somewhat lower. The vital functions were intact but she was in a state of shock, apathetic and weak. Her hind feet were cold, she trembled slightly and was belching loudly. After bringing her home she got a dose of Aconitum 200C to counteract the ailments from shock and asphyxia. Then we put her in her bed wrapped up in a couple of towels. She got better and was back to normal after 1-2 hours.


Aconitum is frequently given on indication for ailments from shock. However, there are no specifics in homeopathy and each remedy will only work if it truly covers the patient’s symptoms. In each case the patient’s condition should be observed closely for proper case management.

My big thanks go to hubby and homeopathy, and for having the fortune that Dasha was allowed to stay with us. Both dogs bring so much joy into our life that it would be difficult not to miss them. Despite the incident, both dogs continue to love each other unconditionally.

Comments on drowning

Although dogs are naturally good swimmers, they can still drown. They may panic in a strong current or become exhausted if trapped in water or swimming too long distances. In emergencies like these it is always important to ensure one’s own safety. Be careful when retrieving your dog that you aren’t also caught in the water.

Once out of the water, the water from the lungs, trachea and mouth needs to be removed. Lift the dog, grasp the rear legs or hips and hold the animal upside down for 15 to 20 seconds, while giving her a good shake or thumping on her sides. Draining the water may be enough to get the pet breathing again. But water absorbs quickly into the lungs, so there may not be much water to come out. Check the vital functions and watch out for symptoms of shock, which include pale or white gums, a rapid heartbeat, or rapid breathing. If the dog is conscious, get the dog to solid ground and keep him warm. If the dog is unconscious lie the dog on its side, with its head lower than its lungs. Check for a pulse. Open the mouth and clear any objects. Pull the tongue forward. If the heart is beating but the dog isn’t breathing, give artificial respiration. Begin cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) if no pulse is found. Here is a good link on First aid tips for dogs:

When nothing works, acupuncture resuscitation may help or be performed simultaneously. Homeopathy is a great tool also to aid recovery in emergencies, but should not seduce us to omit other life-saving measures.

Homeopathy: A selection of possibly indicated remedies

Aconitum: Expression of anxiety, agonizing fear, great fear of death. Mental, physical restlessness. Palpitation. Excited. Ailments from fear, fright, shock. Acute, sudden, violent invasion with fear. Terror stricken. Pulse full, hard, tense, bounding, sometimes intermittent.

Antimonium tartaricum: Lack of reaction. Collapse with cold sweat, pale, bluish face, trembling and teeth chattering. Prostration which lack of pulse and aphonia, coldness of the body. Apparent death of drowned persons or newborn infants. Cyanosis, suffocation and depression of vital power. Apathy, consciousness wanes on closing eyes. Ant-t affects the respiratory system and especially the mucous membranes of lungs and bronchi. Rapid, short, difficult breathing, abdominal breathing, as if he would suffocate; must sit up to breathe. Dyspnea relieved by eructation, by lying on the right side. If the lungs are full of water. rattling in chest, coarse, like the death rattle. Great accumulation of mucus. Superficial respiration. Face cold, blue, pale, covered with cold sweat. Sunken face, nostrils are dilated and flapping. Eyes sunken, lips shriveled. Quivering of chin, lower jaw. Sleepy, much perspiration, head hot and sweaty. Expression of suffering and anxious despair. Pulse rapid, weak and trembling. Trembling of whole body.

Camphora: Collapse with chills, coldness and lividity. Asphyxia, respiratory failure, shock from injury. Lack of reaction. Unsuccessful reanimation. Great anxiety and extreme restlessness. Surface of the body cold, yet aversion to covering. Face pale, blue lips, livid, profound prostration. Coldness, cramps, convulsions. Cold hands and feet. Mental anguish.

Carbo vegetabilis: Disintegration and imperfect oxidation. Collapse. Coldness with prostration. Coldness of the body, breath and sweat. Coma, collapse, fainting. Sluggish, indifferent, restless, oversensitive to noise. Useful at the extremes of life. Puffy, bluish face. Air hunger, gasping for air, wants to be fanned hard. Blueness of parts, venous stasis. Laborious, quick, short breathing. Great debility. Hoarseness.

Coffea: Coffea is an important palliative remedy for drowned or suffocating persons which require a rapid stimulation of the vital force. Fear, fright, bad effects of sudden emotions. Unconsciousness after emotions. Unusual activity of mind. Excitement. Fear of death. Oversensitive, all the senses more acute. Painfully sensitive skin. Prostration. Shock from injury.

Ipecacuanha: Injury. Foreign bodies in wind pipe causing suffocative attacks. Rattling cough. Disposition to cramps, spasms, convulsions. Cough dry, spasmodic, constricted, incessant and violent, with every breath. Threatened suffocation from mucus. Violent dyspnea with wheezing and anxiety, constant constriction in chest. Cold sweat. Thristlessness, clean tongue. After mechanical injuries. After former bleedings have weekend lungs.

Lachesis: Ailments from fright. Apparent death of drowned persons. Shock from injury. Worse from everything that blocks circulation. Foreign bodies in trachea causing suffocative attacks. Suffocation from the least thing coming near the mouth or nose, interferes with breathing. Desires fanning, but slowly and from a distance. Suffocative, constrictive feeling, must take a deep breath. Violent palpitation, restless, trembling. Blueness of skin and mucous membranes with collapsed condition. Extreme prostration. Hot skin, bleeding tendency. Great sensitivity to touch especially on throat and abdomen. Sensation of constriction everywhere, suffocative feeling. Tongue trembling.

Opium: Lack of reaction with insensibility and sleepiness. Sopor, stupor, coma from injury, fright, apoplexy. Complete loss of consciousness, apoplectic state. Involuntary and unconscious passing of stool and urine. Flushed face, deep red, dark, hot, intoxicated, swollen, veins distended. Looks dull, besotted. Hanging down of lower jaw. Ailments from fear or fright which remain. Sweaty, hot perspiration. Snoring respiration. Difficult, slow and intermittent respiration. Unequal, rattling, stertorous respiration. Breathing stops on going to sleep. Pulse full and slow.


Antimonium tart, Coffea, and Lachesis are listed in the rubric “Generalities, death, apparent, asphyxia, drowned persons, of”. Remedies listed in very small rubrics might be invaluable – provided they cover the characteristic symptoms of the whole case. It is to considered that the rubric is possibly incomplete, so the larger rubric should also be considered, so as not to miss the indicated remedy. Generally, the prescription is to be based on the totality of symptoms. Prescribing on indications is most likely to fail.

About the author

Katja Schuett

Katja Schutt, Msc, HP, DHM, PGHom, DVetHom, has studied homeopathy with several schools, amongst which David Little’s advanced course stands out as it offers a really deep insight into homeopathic philosophy and materia medica ( Her current focus lies in working with animals and studying history, the old masters, and research.

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