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Annie: A Small French bull dog with a Big Problem

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It is nice to read successful stories, especially when the results have come swiftly and efficiently.

This story takes two years before the homeopathic solution is found. The case dates from the beginning of my classical homeopathy career.

The case has several messages:

– There is always hope for a positive outcome.

– Sometimes the solution is found because something new arrives/happens in the patient’s life.

– Very ‘overpowering’ symptoms make it sometimes difficult to obtain (or spot) other more ‘homeopathic’ symptoms.

– prescribing based on the ‘overpowering’ symptoms (diagnosis) is not always a good homeopathic approach.

– There are often several remedies to which the patient is sensitive. They can produce temporary improvements but that have no holistic homeopathic character. Repetitive use of these remedies can bring relief but through long term (over-) use they have a tendency to make the case more complicated.

– In chronic cases good homeopathic activity can be recognised by a steady improvement of the patient as a whole following occasional administrations of the remedy. The need for daily remedy intake usually indicates the lack of homeopathicity of a remedy for the patient

This is the story of Annie, a young small French Bull-dog bitch who was diagnosed with a 2 cm (1/2 inch) stricture of the distal colon at the age of 8 months. Going to stool became very painful and there was frequent rectal bleeding. A local specialist operated successfully, removing the stricture, but a few months later Annie’s problems came back with a revenge.

Anal fissures developed. Going to the toilet became very painful again. She also became incontinent and soiled the house wherever she went. On top of this, she developed the most awful smell. Stool, anus and skin became very smelly. Her owners really deserve a special mention for continuously looking after her while she soiled their apartment on a daily basis leaving behind the most awful smell.

I will chronologically relate the most important/striking symptoms that were taken over time and the remedies she received. Symptoms from before and after surgery were very similar. The unbearable smell started after the surgery.

Symptoms are generally given using the words (translated from French) and chronology the clients used.

Several consultations are left out because they did not add further information.

‘She cries terribly when she goes to the toilet. There is always some red colouring in her stools and they are small and soft. She is a comedian. When we apply the rectal cream with the canula the surgeon dispensed this does not seem to hurt her as much. There is an important skin rash on the abdomen which is getting worse. The skin rash has been there before her rectal problems started. She always holds her tail down. Her anus is grey and wet. She only washes herself occasionally.

She is a wonderful creature, she is pleasant to everybody. Although she is very obedient, she is difficult to control when people visit us; she is all over them. She had a severe worm infestation before her rectal troubles started.

When she is on her own she will destroy things; it is because she gets bored.

The more she goes to the toilet, the more the stools become red, the more she cries and in the end there is a little blood.’

On examination, several rectal fissures are visible and the anus is moist. I am not able to find many homeopathic symptoms in the case, everything seems overshadowed by the frequent stools and the pains. She is often incontinent and little soft faecal balls fall out of her anus.

Using varying combinations of the local symptoms, she receives the following remedies;

4 January: Sepia 200 one dose: she is worse. (not homeopathic!)

12 January: Nitric acid 7C twice per day 3 days

After these two remedies the skin rash disappeared but the smell aggravated.

20 January: Merc-sol. 15, two doses. Not much difference.

4 February: ‘She is adorable. She finds it difficult to get up in the morning. When she gets up she goes to the toilet and goes back to bed (she is a 15 month old puppy now). She eats her stools (relatively frequent in young dogs with ‘stress’ problems). Cold and warm do not make any difference. She jumps on another dog to play, when this one growls this does not stop her to come back. She has no fear and chases the cats. She runs after the birds to try and catch them. She loves going to the beach (English channel) but does not go in the water.

A dose of Sulfur 30 does not make any difference.

15 February she receives Muriatic acid 7C once per day 3 days (Rectum, haemorrhoids in children, unnoticed stool, pain during stool)

There is some good improvement. Over the next five months she receives several doses of Muriatic acid in different dilutions which seem to keep the problem at bay.

Then in August it is obvious that there is no homeopathic improvement at all and the situation was getting back to a previous state. (The necessity to repeat the remedy more and more frequently is a clear indication for this. But the owners had been happy because Annie displayed much less pain and they got used to the occasional messing in the house.)

A new consultation takes place:

‘The faeces fall from her when she gets up. Sometimes she even goes to the toilet when asleep. Her stools change all the time. There is less pain but regular bleeding. It is as if she is afraid of us now. She cries out when we want to touch her bottom to clean her. I think she eats her stools so we are not bothered with them. She hides in corners. Sometimes she sleeps in the paper bin.

She has come in heat. This all went normal. She knows she is dirty.’

Chronic piles, congested rectum, fetid stools, involuntary stools: I give Carbo veg. Several doses in increasing strength. No change.

Later prescriptions of Phosphoric Acid, Phosphorus and then Arnica do not make any further difference.

January: Teucrium marum verum improves her general being but has no effect on her local problem. She was becoming more and more retreated with her problem and this remedy brought her usual joy back.

I then stumble by accident on Thiosinaminum. The remedy is indicated in the treatment of scar tissue (Boericke and Clarke). A 6D [also known as 6X] dilution given on demand helps her through the month of February without any rectal problems until beginning of March: catastrophe after having taken a bath.

Back to square one. Thiosinaminum picks up the pieces again but not as good as before.

We are now in April. Things are not too bad, she is lively again but the local problems persist.

“When she runs her stool becomes normal. The incontinence is there usually during her sleep. It runs out of her just like out of a tap. When she gets up a piece falls on the floor. She is less incontinent in the house. She holds it up and when she goes she produces a large amount. Whether her motions are loose or firmer this makes no difference to her incontinence problems. She still smells very bad. It is not only her stools. The smell is worse when her anus is inflamed.”

Because she is small compared to the rest of the litter (three of them are known to the owners) I use Dwarfishness, affectionate, stricture rectum: Borax is one of the remedies present. A dose in 9C is taken twice per day for three days. She takes a few weeks to gradually improve and two good months follow.

She breaks down in June.

Things were not perfect because any change in quantity or quality of food would cause some of the problems to reappear shortly. Too much exercise and the next day she would have a bad day.

She receives a new 9C dose in water and is good until September.

In September, they tell me that the smell never really fully disappeared.

Borax 15C two doses in one day. She improves but not really.

She then takes Borax in various dilutions LM6 and 30C but her general state regresses again.

January: more than 2 years after the first consultation; in a human life this could mean anything between 6 to 14 years.

“She started urinating in the house, mostly at night. She eats anything: she is hungry and picks up anything she finds on her walks. We cannot control her diet anymore and her toilet control becomes irregular again. She urinates in front of our visitors sometimes. We cannot get through to her, she doesn’t listen (she always has been a self-minded little dog). When she is unwell she is sad. She is often sad. She will sunbathe.”

Podophyllum is tried based on Rectum excoriation, Perspiration odour offensive, Rectum worms (=that is how it all started). To no result.

End of January, she goes on holiday with her owners to the south of France. On their return they call me to say how good she has been there.

I had already been told that when they went to the seaside of the English Channel she did not do that well there and now in the dry warm weather in the south of France she had been perfect: no incontinence, no smell and very happy.

She was a constant sunbather so warmth was certainly an issue.

I selected two smaller rubrics: Generals, warmth, desires and Rectum, perspiration . One of the remedies present is Psorinum. She smelled so bad all the time giving the people living with her all the reasons to exclude her; this would certainly argue for psorinum as a remedy. Also the hiding has always been present. (She did not need to hide because her owners never punished her for her soiling.) The hiding could be seen as a subconscious effort to hide her state; psorinum is the remedy prepared from scabies. People with such disease used to be ‘excluded’. It was their ‘appearance’ that excluded them. They were then afraid to show their state. ‘Despair’ seemed to be a good definition for how she behaved during her hiding sessions. (Psorinum gets upset by the least small skin scab that becomes visible: Mind, despair from itch.) Annie only has a small problem: irritation/inflammation of the rectum but that has great consequences.

She receives one dose in 30C.

The curing process is slow but steady. The smell disappears first together with an improvement of behaviour. No more hiding which she always continued to do to some extend even when she had good periods.

After one and a half month she still looses some stools from time to time but no more smell and a changed personality. She receives a further dose of Psorinum 30 and two months later she is a normal dog again with no relapses for more then 5 years now.
A few things about Psorinum:

Dr. Axelle Fanciola (French homeopath) resumed the remedy as follows: Has a high idea of what he has to accomplish/be. His appearance reflects its interior. Every decision or step he takes could be fatal for his image or health. (This statement is an indication towards the dynamics of this remedy and should not be applied to the letter.)

Psorinum has a lack of reaction (Physical and psychological), weakness, coldness, despair about his appearance (great despair about details), delusion is poor or cannot achieve his goals, offensive discharges, hungry.

The case is not an example of brilliant homeopathy but reflects several realities with which we have to deal on a daily base: the difficulties to find or spot homeopathic symptoms (for repertorisation), the reluctance (lack of time?) to search for a more appropriate remedy, the tendency to reach for common remedies and, the tendency to concentrate too much on the overriding pathology that stops us from spotting the dynamics in the background, in all: the art of case taking.

Also, there is not much point in repeating a remedy more then a few times. Repeating may achieve temporary satisfaction but does not warrant real homeopathic cures.

Let this also be a message for beginners: never give up and never be afraid to use a remedy that does not appear to be ‘indicated’.

About the author

Edward De Beukelaer

Edward De Beukelaer, DVM mrcvs, practices classical homeopathy for animals in the UK (Wiltshire and Gloucestershire). 5 St David's Way Marlborough SN8 1DH 07786213636 c/o Riverside Veterinary Centre, Marlborough, Wiltshire, 0167205140875 Severnside Veterinary Group, Lydney, Gloucestershire, 01594 842185 Visit his websites: and

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