Monitoring the growth of dogs can be very useful for different purposes, not only to improve the chances of winning in dog shows :
- It improves gait and function
- It prevents some rheumatisms when the dog gets elder
- It allows the dog to have better ligaments and thus allows better hips, preventing for instance a clinical expression of hip dysplasia (a big problem in pedigree dogs)
- The necessary anamnesis is very quickly done, but needs some ethnological knowledge. If the vet doesn’t know enough about the dog’s breed, the breeder mostly can tell about this.
- Last but not least it gives the vet’s client the impression that he looks really well after the dogs when the puppy is brought for vaccination.
A. Reanimating the pup
Ridding the breathing orifices of all mucous and obstructing matter is the very first thing to do. If need be, some artificial respiration may even prove worthwhile. Take the pup in both hands, move his rear end up and down regularly. The weight of the organs in the abdomen will compress the diaphragm or liberate it. Cold thermal shock (the cold water tap open) on the head and neck, or opening the mouth with the same movement as yawning, may trigger a reflex inspiration and unwrinkle the lungs. If under your finger you can feel no heartbeat, there is definitely not much hope for recovery. You can still try Laurocerasus in one 5CH dose. Children’s drops will be favoured as they contain no alcohol – which unfortunately makes them difficult to keep.
1. Birth after a caesarean
a) Arnica montana
As for the effects of a ketamin based anaesthesia, prescribe one or two granules in 30CH.
This remedy is particularly useful to resuscitate pups born after a caesarean. Any diagnosis will be based on history, but when the pups are too calm, numb, do not wake up well and begin to show some anoxia, you should give them two granules in 30CH.
2. General case
The pup’s extremities and body are cold, but there is no cyanosis. Good signs for this remedy are diarrhoea and spasms. The breath of the pups is icy, they look haggard and anxious. They are cold, look dead or hardly breathe. The skin of the belly may be of a wine coloured red, as on a corpse laid on his stomach for a while.
b) Antimonium tartaricum
This remedy is indicated when parturition has lasted a bit too long and the pup has remained for some time in the uterine tract, detached from the placenta. In short, when his respiratory tracts are clogged with mucus, amniotic liquid and other matter. Remember that the very first thing to do is to clear the nose, mouth and pharynx of all the liquids and mucus that remain there. This remedy is called for when the pup chokes with mucus in his respiratory tracts. Under your finger, you can still feel a heartbeat but the pup looks dead. His mucous membranes are pale.
c) Carbo vegetabilis
Extremities and body are cold, mucous membranes are blue. The pup lacks totally in vital energy. He is in a state of collapsus and may even have a drop of blackish blood appearing on one or another of his body orifices. This is the last chance remedy, when the respiratory tract is no longer obstructed by anything and when Antimonium tartaricum has had no effect.
Pink bay trees contain a cyanogenetic component, which decomposes into cyanide (cellular poison that blocks the iron of cytochrome-oxidase and hence stops mitochondrial respiration). The face is livid with cyanosis, the body is cold with a tendency to collapse. There are both respiratory and cardiac problems. Ticks of the face and body will confirm the prescription. This remedy is to be used on pups when their breathing is hardly perceptible and their colour turns blue. If you can see spasms, thrusting the head backwards and shudders of the facial muscles, your diagnosis will be confirmed.
a) Born with a caesarean
General case : Op
Ketamin™ based anaesthesia : Arn
b) Difficult breathing
mucus in the bronchial tubes, pale tongue and skin : Ant.-t.
breathing problems, pale tongue, red belly, cold body : Camph.
c) Imperceptible breathing
cold body, blue tongue, general case : Laur.
B. Herpes virosis
Apparently, apart from prevention, very little can be done for this neonatal pathology. This will consist mostly in disinfecting the genital tracts of the female before coition and before labour (you may try a solution of quaternary ammonium, or a diluted iodine based solution such as Betadyne™) and in maintaining a rather high temperature (between 32º ê 35º Celsius) after they are born. Also, think of preparing a place for their mother to lie away from them and maintain a sufficient level of humidity in the atmosphere by leaving wet cloths in the room. Otherwise, the pups will dehydrate much quicker.
You can try giving together Natrum muriaticum in 5CH and Eupatorium perfoliatum in 5CH for 24 to 48 hours. At any rate, ensure the pups do not dehydrate (force feed them or inject them with physiological saline or Quinton plasma¬ i.e. diluted sea water)
C. Not enough weight at birth
Here we are talking of pups fully awake and well shaped. Treatment is not really necessary as, in most cases, the weaker ones when put on a good nipple will catch up with the rest of the litter, even more so when you start giving them food to prepare weaning. When the pup has a fat stomach, a slightly globular head and legs like match sticks, with a bright eye, when he is not too keen on sucking, you can try giving him a few granules of Silicea or Calcarea silicata in 7CH. The latter particularly when the pup looks stiff.
When the pup’s temperature sinks too low, the bitch rejects it. I have sometimes tried to warm them up, bottle-feed them and put them back. I never had real success.
D. “swimming” pups
In general, this affects the fattest, the most solid and gluttonous ones. The fore legs spread on the sides and make a right angle with the chest, the rear legs do the splits. The belly is flattened as a ball of freshly kneaded dough. In short, they look like they want to become carpets. Bulimic and fat, with short limbs, they are not very active and show a tendency to constipation (when the bitch does not encourage them to defecate), they have difficulties in standing, and resemble the Calcarea carbonica pathogenesis. When prescribed in 5CH, 2 granules in the morning and evening for four or five days, it will save these otherwise lost pups. I personally like to tie together the two rear legs with sticky tape to prevent them from bending outwards. Such “assistance“ gives them back some mobility, so they can get to their mother’s nipple and feed alone. This device, useful for pups is to be avoided on piglets, who would tend to stop moving altogether, get crushed by the others or starve.
This is when you’re better off forgetting homeopathy. Today allopathic antiparasite drugs are quite efficient and will generally get rid of the problem. Homeopathy, at best can only achieve a balance between the host and its parasites. So, in order to avoid perpetual recontamination on both humans and animals, revert to standard medicine.
F. Other Parasites
For demodex, scabies, mycoses etc. there is only one efficient remedy i.e. the Simillimum.
II. WEANING TIME
1. Pups under their mother
Check that she carries out her tasks correctly. Defecation and miction reflexes in the first week of their life are triggered off by their mother’s licking, usually during or after sucking time. It may happen that too tired or just lacking in experience, she does not lick them where she should. If this is the case, use a bit of cotton wool soaked in hot water to replace the bitch’s tongue.
2. Foreign body: obstruction of the intestinal tract
A very efficient trick (cures 2 out of three such cases) is to give every other hour, first Alumina 5CH and the second hour Opium 7CH. It would seem that both remedies rehydrate the intestine contents and that Opium starts to make it move again. However, be very careful with this treatment and always check the overall state of the pup. Should you wait too long before surgery if needed, you may not be able to save your patient.
First ensure the diet has not been altered too quickly. Shifting from mother’s milk and food supplements to actual weaning must be a step by step process (generally taking about a week). If you have been too quick, go back one or two steps and things should get back to normal, with no need for medical treatment. Remember it is not diarrhoea itself, but the dehydration that results from it that kills. Granules or drops may not replace the fluids and ions gone with diarrhoea. Have your patient drink or ensure they receive these fluids one way or another. Use a drop tube, a tea spoon, a syringe, even a rubber bulb to force the ingestion of water diluted with two spoonfuls of salt per litre. The remedies you may use to help are too numerous to be detailed here. Furthermore, they vary a lot, depending on the cause of the digestive problem. So I will only detail the most frequent ones, and in my opinion the most useful. Do not hesitate to combine them with gastro intestinal ointments or activated charcoal (in tablets or granules).
2. Some of the most frequent remedies
a) Magnesia carbonica
The pup has a sour kind of smell. He is hypersensitive to any noise and contact. He either shows constipation or green, frothy and watery stools charged with blood and mucus. He cannot digest his mother’s milk, which he either vomits clotted and undigested or gets out through the other end. The stomach is bloated and the skin is unhealthy, shows pruritis and eruptions, furuncles.
Shows a watery diarrhoea, yellowish, with a foul smell, coming out in jets. The anus tends to show prolapsus, and most incidents take place when the pup starts growing his teeth.
Particularly indicated when the suckling bitch has been given drugs. The pup’s stomach is bloated and hot with congestion of the liver. Stools come out profusely, in a watery and sometimes jelly like way. The pup may not even notice he is defecating and gets rid of his stools while walking. When a bit older, he licks his bottom to relieve the pain resulting from his efforts to pass his stools.
Diarrhoea is generally accompanied by nausea and retching. The stools are watery, fermented with a sour smell, sometimes with gas bubbles and blood. Diarrhoea often occurs after a meal too rich or too fatty. Nausea is acute and usually comes with the inflammation of some other mucous membrane (keratitis, gingivitis, coryza, bronchitis). The tongue remains clean. Shivers, fever and erratic movements are often noted when the animal falls asleep.
e) Eichhornia crassipes
Water hyacinth can be very handy for all the pups who tend to have diarrhoea whenever their diet changes. In very low or low dilution (6DH or 5CH), it multiplies 100 to 200 times pancreatic enzyme secretion and will help fight without antibiotics or injections a lot of diarrhoea cases, as well as pancreatic insufficiencies. Beware : don’t guve it if there is a pancreatitis (Contraindication)
C. Food induced problems
1. After ingesting frozen or icy food
Continuous agitation and the search for heat are the basic symptoms for this remedy. All secretions and excretions produce a very bad smell (as of a corpse).
Shy, submissive and dependent, the Pulsatilla continuously looks for human contact to be reassured. He is a bit of a pain in the neck and generally sits with his back against the human leg that can tolerate him. Generally he is not thirsty, but may be feverish or have diarrhoea. His external physical symptoms vary a great deal, and so do his stools (he never produces twice the same one). Mating was made difficult, because of irregular heat times and fear of coition. Parturition took a very long time, as if the bitch had other things to do to start with, and then with spasms and weak, erratic and inefficient contractions to finish off.
2. After ingesting gone-off or toxic food
a) Arsenicum album
Richard Blostin from the Société Homéopathique Vétérinaire (French society), did some great research on Arsenicum album in cases of intoxication. As soon as there is a foul smelling diarrhoea which looks like urine and the animal shows some agitation, he advises to give Arsenicum album in 15 or 30CH, and put the cage away in a calm and dark area (there is no point in leaving the animal under more stress). As soon as the dog starts getting agitated and shouts again, the same drug may be given again (with a perfusion if needed).
III. POST WEANING TIME
Homeopathy on its own does not generally solve hernia problems. However, such a symptom, because of its laterality (idiosyncratic to a few remedies) and its presence will help in making a more accurate diagnosis on other affections in the same animal, without negative side effects. Osteopathy is another discipline to consider in cases of hernia.
1. Inguinal hernias
Common remedies are: Aurum, Lycopodium, Nitric acid and Nux vomica.
A hernia on the right side calls preferably for Aurum and Lycopodium.
A hernia on the left side calls for Nux vomica.
2. Umbilical hernias
Common remedies are: Calcarea, Lachesis, Nux moschata, Nux vomica and Opium.
3. Strangulated hernia
Repertories mention Nux vomica (see this remedy), but in my opinion, surgery is often required. If surgery is definitely needed, never forget to warn the owner of a male dog that unilateral castration will prevent the dog from winning prizes at dog shows. You can also try to maintain the problem testicle in place during the surgical act.
B. Fontanel persistence
1. Open fontanel
The Apis pup does not drink much and pees as little. He suffers from a hydrocephalus or has oedema somewhere. He staggers along and is generally unsteady, screams and complains as if he was manifesting acute cerebral cellular pain. He is more clumsy than standard.
b) Calcarea carbonica
Plump, stout with short large limbs, he is rather introverted and tends to be constipated, with, from time to time, a sudden diarrhoea in reaction to something. This is the most common remedy for such affections.
c) Calcarea phosphorica
d) Calcarea silicata
2. Persistent hollow fontanel
b) Calcarea carbonica
C. Dental problems
1. Late teething
a) Calcarea carbonica ***
b) Calcarea fluorica
c) Calcarea phosphorica
d) Fluoric acid **
See the typology further down.
e) Magnesia muriatica **
Weak and agitated, especially after meals, very aggravated by milk, even his mother’s, the pup suffers from digestive problems. The sclera is yellow and the tongue may show the imprint of the teeth. The liver is big and congested. Stools are grey, hard, in crumbles and difficult to pass. He gets diarrhoea with very little milk. Emptying his bladder is something he achieves after difficult efforts.
f) Phosphorus *
Very affectionate and active. Seeks and gives consolation. Bleeding tendency of bright red blood or hæmatomas
g) Silicea ***
h) Calcarea silicata
See above. This remedy is not mentioned in this rubric but I think it also belongs here considering its two components.
2. Persistence of milk teeth
a) Silicea **
b) Calcarea silicata
In my knowledge, this flaw is not mentioned in the repertories. In case of prognathism of the upper jaw, you can try Calcarea fluorica or Fluoric acid. I have personally seen such prognathism disappear spontaneously, but never when they were on the lower jaw, particularly not when the lower fangs were already placed in front of the upper ones.
D. Tracheal Collapse in Yorkshire terriers
In such cases, the first thing to do is face the emergency caused by their coughing and their possible choking. Use two granules of Aspidosperma quebracho in 5CH right during the fit. This remedy will allow better oxygenation of the blood. Also use Conchiolinum in a low dilution (5CH) morning and evening for about ten days. You can combine with Equisetum extracts. As they are rich in silica, they will favour mineralisation.
E. Perversion of the appetite
1. Eats sand
a) Ferrum metallicum
The pup gets angry easily when he plays and shudders at the slightest noise. His appetite is changing (he goes from eating an awful lot to anorexia) and throws up full bites of his food when he does not simply vomit everything immediately after eating. His tongue and gums go from pale pink to crimson red at the slightest effort, sometimes even during clinical observation. There is a marked tendency to hypochromic anaemia (due to a lack in iron). Constipation may lead to anal prolapsus. Enuresis takes place during the day rather than at night.
b) Tarentula hispana
The pup is very agitated, nervous, always in motion and a bit of a pain in the neck. He is good at digging the nicest plants in your garden and may remove the grass on the surface to eat sand. He is very sensitive to music which he enjoys a lot and comes running as soon as you switch the TV on. He is easily sexually aroused and difficult to control then, especially when he is male. Epilepsy or chorea may come next in the picture.
2. Eats wood, stones and clay
Everything is dry: the mucous membranes, the skin, the eyes, the mouth, the stools. His swollen eyelids barely hide a chronic conjunctivitis, sometimes even squinting. The nose is chapped and the pups rubs it against the carpet. His hair is without shine and easily falls. The stools are hard and long winded. Even when they are soft, they are difficult to pass. The pup eats anything: wood, earth, stones and he sometimes refuses meat. He cannot bear wearing a coat, which he finds extremely itchy.
b) Calcarea phosphorica
The pup is slender, rather lively and extroverted. He is the opposite to Calcarea carbonica. Vomiting, particularly postprandial occurs easily. He does not like damp cold and draughts and is always hungry. He burps a lot with a sour smell.
Think of a verminosis or possible coccidiosis (coproscopic analysis). Don’t forget that dogs naturally like to eat dung of other kinds of animals. Be sure that eating his own fæces is not the only way the doggy has found to hide his fault.
a) Veratrum album
The pup eats away his own faeces and sometimes those of others. Nausea and vomiting is frequent, with a tendency to constipation or, more often to a choleriform diarrhoea with weakness, bluish mucous membranes and syncope. The body is cold and a hippocratic expression suggests coming death. He is thirsty for cold water which he vomits immediately after swallowing.
b) Carbo vegetabilis
This remedy is usually met in older dogs, with a fat stomach, full of gas, eructed or coming out in flatulence with the usual foul smell. The dog is tired, apathetic, shows blood pressure problems and a tendency to cyanosis. He looks for fresh air. Digestion is slow, and the food seems to rot inside the bowels instead of being digested. Possible dark blood haemorrhage.
F. TESTICLE ECTOPIA
The multifactor side of the aetiology for such an affection, and its definite lack in genuine symptoms does not allow for a treatment limited to homeopathy. This is why many practitioners, and I count myself among them, revert to a more complex prescription, combining Oligosols and organotherapy with one of the “H” remedies listed below. The prescription may take the following form: Copper and Zinc in Oligosol, one phial every morning on an empty stomach + Orchitinum 5CH, 2 granules morning and evening + “H” 5CH, 2 granules morning and evening. The result is not extraordinary but the result is positive in one or two cases out of three or four (which is still much better than what I could obtain with standard treatments). At any rate, always confirm your prescription with as many symptoms as possible for the best efficiency.
Aurum; Aurum muriaticum; Calcarea carbonica ostrearum; Calcarea phosphorica; Calcarea silicata,; Silicea; Psorinum; Syphilinum ; Tuberculinum;
Results are seldom as good as expected, but remember that whatever the therapy you choose (homeopathy only or a combined treatment), it will prove useless in an animal older of a few months when sclerosis is too advanced to allow any slackening of the seminal cords.
2. Description of the remedies
a) Calcarea carbonica
Obtained with chalk from oyster shells, its typology recalls its origin. Under any kind of stress, the animal closes down. On the other hand, he is rather fat, not very mobile and has short bones, he is squat. Always hungry he leaves a sour smell behind. When he has diarrhoea, it smells a bit like milk gone off. Cow’s milk does not suit him well. In short, he is the baby pup at birth, contrary to the herbivore young, with thin legs and big head who sometimes need to run to save his life on the very day he is born.
b) Calcarea phosphorica
This is a more slender type, with longer bones. The animal is more vivacious and extroverted. He heats up quicker, and reacts promptly to noise and contact. He often shows affections of the respiratory tract. Cold and damp weather make him sick. He shows good appetite and an significant thirst with a strong desire for salt: the pup tends to lick the sweaty arms and feet of his owner.
This is a very different picture: there is a marked tendency to nanism with a persistence of milk teeth and fontanels. The stomach is big, bloated, full of parasites and the legs look like match sticks. The hair is dull and often grey. The claws show clear stains and are often crooked. Yet the eye is intelligent and lively in a small face that looks more than its age. Stools may seem to go back where they came from when the animal stops his efforts to pass them.
Lively, fiery, hypersensitive and angry when contradicted, his eyes are red and inflamed. His cornea is hypereuangiotic and there is an important photophobia. Ear catarrh with a foul smell is also part of the picture and often result in a very painful otitis. Tendency to bone cavities on small bones. Orchitis or testicle atrophy are also possible.
The pup is dirty and looks dirty. He seems happy enough, is always too hot and can be smelt from a distance. Body orifices tend to show a red colour (eyelids, gums, anus, etc.). Lazy and always tired, he is also hungry and selfish, grumpy at times, and always shivers when he falls asleep. He easily shows assimilation disorders and sometimes looks older than his age.
He is the best escapist and the most unstable of the lot. Slender, skinny, he often has a history of ear, nose and throat or respiratory affections. Aggravated by effort, movement, cold, damp, draughts or strong wind, he nevertheless feels better in the open air. He may show a smelly ear catarrh.
IV. Adolescence time
A. ears that remain down when they should stand
Very close to Calcarea carbonica, this remedy obtained from mother-of-pearl may easily replace the former to cure cartilage pathologies. It is also made of lime carbonate in the form of aragonite imprisoned in a protein mesh (chondrine for cartilage, conchioline for mother-of-pearl).
B. Pains when growing up
1. General principle
In all cases of pains when growing up, with these episodes which, in the human species, make an individual suffer although there is no lesion, Voisin advises a systematic use of Conchiolinum. When the pains are located next to the epiphysis and aggravated by heat and movement, he advises Guaiacum. And if the pains are aggravated at night and in damp weather, Manganum aceticum will have to be favoured. For erratic pains, Calcarea phosphorica is indicated. And after a marked growing up period, when the individual is tired and rather indifferent, Phosphoric acid will be the efficient remedy.
2. Main remedies
Low potencies( 6 XH to 5 CH) stimulate the growth and formation of cartilage, high dilutions (30 CH ) acts more like a brake. sudden pain located in diaphysis wandering to epiphysis
Aggravated by heat, movement, exertion touch, and rapid development according to Boger, ameliorated by local cold, he often has tonsillitis or a dry cough. He yawns and stretches often. His joints are painful, stiff and swollen.
c) Manganum aceticum
< night, < damp ; erratic pain
d) Calcarea phosphorica
weak, no appetite, slender, extrovert.
e) Phosphoric acid
After a rapid development or moral or sentimental tiredness, the indication of Phosphoric acid is confirmed when the subject has given up and is indifferent. Dozing off during the day, he often passes a painless whitish diarrhoea or whitish urine charged in phosphates. Emotionnally worn out, indifferent.
f) Natrum muriaticum
Introvert, solitary, vindictive, all the misery of the world has been dumped on his shoulders. He is always very hungry, loves salty food and drinks like a fish. He often shows disorders of an osmotic origin which show some desiccation (constipation, clumsiness).
C. Patella dislocation
This is the only remedy that shows a spontaneous knee cap dislocation in its pathogenesis. And actually, administered in 9CH, two granules in the morning, it often helps solve the matter without surgery. This remedy has proved very efficient in my practice with dwarf breeds (Yorkshire terriers, small poodles) and in giant ones (Pyrenees mountain dog), provided you can put the knee cap back into place when elongating the corresponding limb. When the tendons on the dislocated side are already retracted and show sclerosis, this treatment is unfortunately useless and surgery is called for (tibial crest transplant). This remedy is useful in case of an accidental dislocation, even if the ligaments are touched, and it is also useful when there is a hereditary factor. In this latter case however, try avoiding using the individuals affected for reproduction, as the second generation may not react so well.
2. Fluoric acid
Given after Gelsemium, it seems to consolidate the results. Never give it before as it seems then to compromise any chance of success.
D. Some clinical typology
Calcium salts are the main ingredient for the solid structure of the organism, namely the bones. These are determined on the one hand by heredity, via the chromosomes and on the other by the environment, i.e. food, physical exertion and training. The bones are the somatic translation of a complex enzymatic and neurological process and hence constitute a morpho-physiological reflect of an individual personality.
If you want to remain pragmatic, use the Dechambre typology which makes a distinction between medium lines, long lines and short lines. Consider that there are three main types and that all other types are derived from these three. As the limits between these types are blurred at any rate, any intermediary type may exist, as will be shown later. This summary typology has often allowed me to monitor the growth of pure breed dogs just when they were brought for vaccination. Duration of treatment depends on tha age of the pup. A few days were enough for 2-3 months, about 10 days when they were about eight months. Don’t forget: one can only pilot a ship in motion. When the growth is achieved, you need surgery to correct the building.
Short lines : Carbonic type (eg. the Newfoundland)
Medium lines : Sulfur type . Can be fat or skinny (eg. : Akita inu, melanie shepherd dogs)
Long lines : Phosphoric type (eg. Sloughi, Greyhound)
Asymetric, ligament slackness : Fluoric type (eg. Bull-dogs)
Dwarfish, ligament stiffness : Silicic type (eg : Chihuahua)
But never forget that a type is not a symptom! It is the difference between the breeds average type and the pups type, that gives the symptoms when this difference is marked (25 – 30 % for instance).
1. The Carbonic type
a) Calcarea carbonica
Short, squat, plump with short limbs. He looks a bit like a new-born carnivore or primate, extremely dependent on his parents in the first days of his life. His mother’s milk favours development, is very rich in fat and proteins, but lacks in sugar which is readily used by the organism. His front teeth are short and strong and placed on a semi circle. He works on the economy mode, with hypohormonism. He has a big appetite and will accumulate supplies in his body to the detriment of speed of reaction. His sizeable volume is a passive defence against cold. His metabolism, not too oxygenated will be prone to fermentation and will produce secretions and excretions of a sour smell. Easily constipated, he is capable of long and strong efforts. This whole picture is a Calcarea carbonica pathogenesis. A good example for this is the Newfoundland dog breed.
2. The Phosphoric type
a) Calcarea phosphorica
Our model here is the new born herbivore with a big head and long legs. From the very first day of his life, he must be able to run to save his life. His mother’s milk is not so rich in proteins and fat, but full of sugar, readily used for any effort. There is little storage in the body and mainly of glycogen. His metabolism, more aerobic is more hyperendocrinian and requires more oxygen. Blood and lungs take a lot of space because of the importance of respiration. The front teeth, longer and cutting are placed more in line. In short, our character recalls the Calcarea phosphorica pathogenesis. This animal was made for speed and not for endurance. A good example of this type is the greyhound.
Built like Calcarea phosphorica, he needs still more oxygen. Proud and lovely he is a real leader but not always the chief. Directing the others is of no interest to him. He begins the run and the others follow him. Tall and slender he is unable to stay a long time alone. Sympathetic, ameliorated by consolation, he likes to drink cold water but vomits it sometimes 10 to 15 minutes after drinking.
3. The middle type: Sulfur
This is a standard type, without a particular morphology, at ease with his mind and body, he will show two different subtypes: fat sulphur and skinny sulphur.
4. The bent asymmetric type : Fluoric
a) Calcarea fluorica
This is the most frequently encountered remedy and applies to about 80% of all pups showing asymmetric development disorders. The clinical picture is as described above. Its physical type is average for breeds with a carbonic or phosphoric dominance, but asymmetric; front teeth are not on line, bones tend to bend, ligaments are slackened, joints are not stable and the feet tend to let go, go inwards or outwards.
His moods are not very stable and he tends to escape even more than the phosphoric type.
b) Fluoric acid
This remedy is particularly adapted to the pup who never tires out, is always in motion. When going with his owner on a bicycle ride, he runs three or four times the same distance, and as soon as he is back home he fetches his ball for another game. He is always hungry, always thirsty and always hot. His a hyperactive fluoric type, hyperthyroidian, always full of energy and very tiring to live with.
c) Calcarea bromata
This one applies to the fat, grumpy pup who reacts half an hour after you have tread on the tip of this tail. He is very much of a coward, shakes easily and is dominated by any other animal in the family. Do not forget that bromium is a halogen with a big, heavy atom, less reactive than fluoride which plays a part in the constitution of teeth, bones and ligaments.
d) Manganum aceticum
Cramps and stiffness, and particularly a strong aggravation at night will have you prescribing this remedy. It has helped me correct the posture of sizeable breeds such as Newfoundland dogs who looked like they were walking on their elbows. He too is aggravated in damp weather. Bones and cartilage are sensitive. The animal is very sensitive to the weather and has difficulty walking. He is capable of howling in tune with a sad melody.
I would say this remedy is rather close to Manganum aceticum without the nocturnal or weather aggravation. Is particularly efficient in very young horses.
5. The biaised dwarfish type : Silicic type
Never take a type for a symptom. In typology, it is not only the late development that matters, but the pathological side. I would put in this category breeds such as the Chihuahua or the smallest Yorkshire terriers. This helps understand that the rubric “Nanism” in the repertory counts more remedies than the ones quoted here, and notably Calcarea carbonica, Calcarea phosphorica or Sulphur.
a) Calcarea silicata
See above. Resembles Silicea a lot, but stiffer.
b) Baryta carbonica
Mind and physical delays. The animal is excruciatingly dependent and panicky.
c) Calcarea carbonica
d) Calcarea phosphorica
? N.B.: Remember that the type of the dog does not make a symptom and that your prescription should be based on individual symptoms, rather than on the usual characteristics of a dog breed. It is the standard distance of an individual to the breed average that may become a symptom, and then only when it is notably marked (the difference must be at least 25 to 30%).
E. Osteochondritis dissequans
A very rapid development and repeated microtraumas cause micro effusions in the fragile area between bone tissue and joint cartilage tissue. Repeated blood effusions spread and make micro haematomae which gradually separate the bone from its cartilage. One more trauma and a mobile lump separates the two, and this is commonly known as osteochondritis dissequans. Such an aetiology helps in preparing an efficient homeopathic treatment, as long as the lump is not detached from the two areas. After this stage has been reached, surgery must be considered.
The dog must be put to rest and if taken for a walk, he will be restrained on a leash. No jumping or games will be allowed for at least two weeks to avoid any aggravation. A helpful medication can be administered, with first Ledum palustre, followed by Ruta graveolens 5 C. One can give both remedies together with the same chance of success.
1. Ledum palustre
Will help resorb micro haematomae quickly. Its action focuses on blood pressure and its favourite targets are fibrous tissues (periosteum, joints, tendons, etc.). Aggravated by heat and movement, but ameliorated by cold.
2. Ruta graveolens
Will complete very well this healing process on the fibrous tissues, cartilage, tendons and joints. Its modalities are a bit different from those of the previous remedy. He is ameliorated by heat and movement. Be very careful with it as its effect will make the pain disappear and will encourage the patient to start getting very active again and risk falling into the same pathology again.
F. Posture and ligament slackness
At last, some authors have started admitting that hip joint dysplasia is not only due to heredity but also to the environment, and that especially food plays a great part in its development or appearance. I have noted that on giant breeds, in which I am particularly interested, food rations when too rich in proteins, or worse in minerals and vitamins, easily induce ligament slackness. On a mechanical level, the space given to the joints will favour speedy wear, a bad joint development and then hip joint dysplasia. There are at least fifty different homeopathic remedies that may prove useful for such disorders. But fortunately, with only a few of them and common sense to guide you, you can pilot efficiently the animal’s body development and avoid too great a ligament slackness. Your diagnosis will be based on several symptoms which are:
- the pup sagging on his wrists.
- slackening of the eyelid (especially the lower one) (ectropion).
- spreading of the fingers with a tendency to go sideways.
- lips looking like saliva fountains.
- a tendency of the joint hock to go sideways or to the front (easy to spot when the animal walks slowly on a leash).
The first thing to do is to put the animal on a diet. Industrial giant puppy food contains between 32 to 38% proteins and this can lead to catastrophes, if you don’t limit the amount of food you give the animal (this is precisely what some dog food manufacturers advise, but very few owners are willing to underfeed their dog). I generally advise in big and giant dog breeds to gradually switch at three to four months of age from one food to another, containing at the most 25% protein (sometimes called by the manufacturers diet dog food). As it happens, these breeds are consequently in a better shape and their posture is much improved. Avoid any food supplement containing minerals and vitamins. Wolves and coyotes never used any and still grow up normally. Furthermore, most manufacturers add too much vitamins to guarantee that by the sell by date, the minimal amount is still contained in the tins or bags.
If needed, use one of the remedies listed below, but remember that clinical results will be all the more convincing when the dog is still growing up. I tend to avoid complex formulae which, because they are meant to cater for all physical types, generally mix opposite remedies such as Calc, Calc-p., and even Silicea. Prescription is quite easy when based on clinical typology combined with the ethnological knowledge of the practitioner and sometimes of the owner. Most breeders accept naturally questions such as: “For a Newfoundland, is he more calm, bulimic, agitated, etc. than average ?”.
The inwards and outwards posture (as shown in the picture) can be treated with fluoric type remedies added to Lycopodium (found in the Synthesis rubric “Extremities Curving and Bowing”). Continue the prescription as the dog gets older: when aged 8 months, a mastiff has already reached 80-90% of his adult size and does not respond so well to treatments aimed at monitoring his development. I usually give two granules morning and evening in 5CH for five days when they are 4 months, and for a fortnight when they are 8 months. After 12-15 months the result is not guaranteed. You may also administer one dose a week in 200 K for two months.
Monitoring the posture presents several advantages:
- You can check on the dog during his regular vaccine injections.
- The pup’s resistance and rusticity is improved.
- His performances in dog shows will be better (beware of the maximum size allowed).
- The pup will be less prone to suffering from rheumatism, hip joint dysplasia and other such diseases.
N.B. As this may help the dog develop his genetic potential, he may then grow in size beyond what is accepted in the breed standards.
3. Remedies for the usual problem
a) Calcarea fluorica
b) Fluoric acid
c) Calcarea bromata
d) Manganum aceticum
4. Remedies for bow of the bones
I must admit here that the results I have personally obtained have not proved satisfactory. Was it due to a bad prescription? An aetiology not fully understood? An interference with the animal’s diet. I will let you decide and give you the remedies listed in the rubric.
a) Calcarea carbonica
b) Calcarea phosphorica
G. Pathological ligament slackness
Herein you can have very nice successes by homeopathy.
1. Clinical diagnosis
Characterised by a slackening of elastic and tendon tissues, this is a first step towards genuine hip joint dysplasia. It may be diagnosed thanks to several symptoms together. The eyelids seem to fold and either give an entropion or ectropion, when not an en-ectropion. The lips are saliva fountains. The dog sags on his wrists, his fingers spread and end up bowing sideways. Folds of skin appear, even when not imagined in the breed standards.
At jogging speed, there is something like a click in the movement. The angle of the hock goes to the front in slow walking, when it does not go sideways in a movement that does not look natural. On X-rays, tendons are longer and the spreading of the joint cap enhances the muscular relaxation induced by anaesthesia. The image can actually show something that looks like a hip subdislocation with no deformation of bone surfaces and no exostoses (stage D of dysplasia). Some heavy mastiffs look like they are walking on their elbows.
2. Homeopathic therapy: possible remedies
We have just described what looks like a fluoric diathesis and we may hence use a treatment justified by this fluoric type to try getting the animal back to his original type. All in all, the remedies already mentioned before will be:
a) Calcarea fluorica
b) Fluoric acid
c) Calcarea bromata
d) Manganum aceticum
Results are best when the pup is still young: the remedy will be given in 5CH, morning and evening for five days (pup aged 3-4 months) or up to two weeks (pups aged 8-9 months). If needed, repeat the treatment 15 to 30 days later. I personally like to help this therapy with the administration for one or two months, once a week (say on Sundays), of the bottom remedy of the animal, or if not known the remedy for his original type (carbonic: Calcarea carbonica, or phosphoric: Calcarea phosphorica) in 200 K.
4. Oligo element treatment
This is an altogether different treatment, but it may be combined to homeopathy with surprisingly good results. This had first been suggested to me by Mr. Bernard Heude, unicist veterinary surgeon. The method consists in giving successively and alternatively the oligo elements essential in the development of tendons.
The prescription will be as follows :
Fluoride Oligosol¬one box of fourteen phials. One phial in a bit of water, Mondays and Thursdays, morning, on an empty stomach. Sulphur Oligosol¬one box of fourteen phials. One phial in a bit of water, Tuesdays and Fridays, morning, on an empty stomach. Manganese Oligosol¬one box of fourteen phials. One phial in a bit of water, Mondays and Thursdays, mornings, on an empty stomach.
5. Results and Discussion
The point is not to try to cure genetic flaws imprinted in the chromosomes of an animal, but it is always very surprising to see the obvious difference between two X-rays taken in a two month interval. On the first picture a subdislocated hip joint (officially stage D of hip joint dysplasia) with bone surfaces showing no deformation and on the second, the same hip is back to stage A (showing no dysplasia). This is always a source of satisfaction to both the vet and the owner. Maybe we should try to stop labelling ligament slackness dysplasia and consider that this term should be limited to actual lesions.
Genuine hip joint dysplasia
Under the rubric “Extremities; hip-joint”, the repertory lists some fifty remedies. I think this list is not even complete and can only allow a gross first selection of the best remedy for an individual. The sub rubrics “right” with Led*** and Phyt ** or “left” with Stram ** are not to be trusted on their own anyway.
Two other rubrics (in Synthesis) may prove interesting:
Extremities: Dislocation, hip, spontaneous : bell., bry., Calcarea , Calcarea flour., Causticum, Coloc., lyc., puls., Rhus-t. , sulph., Thuja , zinc
Extremities: Exostoses : aur., aur-m. , calc. , Calcarea flour. , dulc., hekla , mez. , ph-ac. , rhus-t. , ruta , Silicea , staph., sulph., syph.
Your best bet is once more to pluck up your courage, and prepare first a complete anamnesis, then open your repertory if need be. Most of the time you can then postpone a surgical intervention or cancel it altogether. Always try to find the Simillimum!
Quite a few problems may occur during development and a good many of them are solved by homeopathy when most of our colleagues find themselves in a dead end.