He doesn’t take any notice … He doesn’t take any nonsense…He doesn’t pay attention…. He is sweet and gentle. How to combine these?
The horse we will be talking about today is a 12 year old grey, tall cob, (castrated) who behaves like a 5 year old (I was told straight away).
As usual the case is written in the chronology of the anamnesis and more or less with the words of the carers.
He was having lameness problems and was ‘rescued’ by his current owner to sort out his feet problems by changing to a different trimming technique. (Strasser)
He had done really well and his feet are much healthier now but something is still not right with him. At first he made good progress but now the progress has stopped.
His worst leg is the Right hind one; “it is the one where everything is directed to.”
He also does not stop eating! His carers think he must have been starved when he was young; he puts so much food in his mouth at once that it falls out while he is eating. His eating habits got even worse since he had arrived. He is invasive and pushes everybody and everything out of the way to access any kind of food. He does not pay attention and once fell in a ditch trying to access to food.
“He has wrinkles on his face and his legs are not straight. He is clumsy, doesn’t think and stumbles on low obstacles.”
I am told that if he wants to turn to the left he goes to the right.
“He is happy being ridden and to jump. He is number two in the pecking order; he doesn’t take any nonsense. He is second by default. He does not take any notice. He comes to us when we call him in the field. All the mares love him, he only likes one of them. He is friendly and gentle. He always has a dry scab on the middle of his nose between his nostrils. The scab comes and goes. He is a tank and his only pleasure is food. He will eat anything.”
I ask what the main worries are about him? I receive the following answer: “His scab on his nose and his metabolism. He is night blind, when there is no moon. He will follow the other horses otherwise he runs into things. He is easily distracted. He doesn’t pay attention; he walks into you. It is as if he thinks somebody else will stop to look out.”
Compared to many horse cases, this one presents quiet an array of interesting symptoms although they are difficult to put into repertory language.
I therefore start by using the two symptoms that ‘surprised’ the carers the most:
Face eruption, nose, tip of nose
Stomach, appetite ravenous
In Radar 8.1, this produces a list of remedies:
Am-c. Anan. Asafoetida Calcarea Carb-an. Carb-v. Causticum Clem. Conium Kali-n. Lycopodium Mag-c. nat-c. Nitr-ac. Ph-ac. Podophyllum Rhus-t. Sepia Silicea Spongia
Going through the remedies, I stop at Clematis erecta because the first 7 don’t inspire me in the case.
I don’t know Clematis very well and have a look in a Thematic repertory/materia medica (RÃ©pertoire de thÃ¨mes et de matiÃ¨re mÃ©dicale dynamique by Dr. Guy Loutan from Switzerland- editor: ELH Belgium).
These are some of the comments he makes about Clematis: “It is best to count on oneself than to rely on others…wants to be strong without help…his moral force is supposed to help his reason to support his physical pains…wants his moral forces, his intellect and willpower not to diminish so he can accomplish his good actions.”
Two phrases out of Allen’s Encyclopedia are put forward to underpin these interpretations:
A3 “More excited than usual, his mood was very lively; he felt stronger and was more disposed to read and think than usual; this condition lasted nearly half an hour, followed by mental exhaustion, disinclination to read or think, and condition generally like intoxication.”
A15 “Loss of ‘moral strength’ so that he shed tears for more than half an hour, followed by a three hours’ sleep.”
To me, this all transpires in a search for ‘strength’ and a desire to accomplish this search on its own. It resonated rather well with the way the owners described the patient. His push for food (= energy = strength). He does not take any notice of anybody else (wants to accomplish on his own). His awkwardness (=lack of energy or lack of willpower). He only loves one mare although all the others love him. (= sign of want of reassurance? Usually male horses don’t mind taking care of several mares).
Didn’t the carers tell me straight away that he behaved like a 5 year old?
There is not much in the classical MM’s that underpins the selection of the remedy but when I told the owners that I thought of using Clematis to treat their horse, they immediately responded by saying, “That is quiet funny, on one spot during our hacks, there is a big bush of clematis growing and we have difficulties to drag him away from there.”
This observation gives some extra weight to the choice of the remedy.
He receives 3 doses of Clematis erecta 9C over three days and he changes. He becomes much more relaxed about food and everything else. The crust on his nose disappears and his feet pick up healing where it had stopped. Even his sight improved. There are also no more wrinkles on his forehead. The change is gradual over several weeks.
One year later he is still fine and did not need any further medicine.
This case illustrates some of the following points:
– Although there is a tendency to make homeopathic prescriptions more ‘clinical’ or ‘precise’, there are many cases that find their remedy because of the atmosphere rather than a precise repertorisation technique. The main purpose of the repertory is to give ideas. The repertory does not give you a mathematical solution for what is the best remedy.
– Small repertorisations increase the chance of finding a remedy that does not belong to the polychrests.
– The best represented remedy in the repertory is not always the right one. Clematis was only present in the first degree in each rubric. There were many other remedies presenting higher degrees of presence.
– In this case, the atmosphere created during the interrogation of the carer(s) in the presence of the patient, is a factor that increased the chance for the successful remedy selection.
– In veterinary homeopathy, just as in human homeopathy, we can increase the value of a symptom in accordance to the way it has been reported. A human patient may be astonished about or show ‘dis-ease’ with one of his/her symptoms. In veterinary medicine, carers (or even the observing homeopath) can be astonished about one or more features and can therefore add value to them. In this case, an unusual comment was made by the carers when I questioned them about what they thought was most important. I was somewhat surprised by the mentioning of the crust (only the size of a large coin!) on his nose, knowing they were not fussy owners who have a very natural approach to their horses and do not worry so much about their (the horses’!) looks.