The patient is an Arabain horse cross bought/rescued two years prior to the time of consultation.
The owner rang me in November 2004 after a few episodes of obstruction of the oesophagus. It happened the first time in the summer and then reoccurred with increased frequency. The episodes usually passed by themselves until the beginning of November when veterinary attention was needed. The vet could not find a blockage although all the typical symptoms were present. (Frequent swallowing of saliva that is brought up through the nose, mixed with food particles. There is usually also some mild distress. The horse may also continue to try to eat and drink which produces more discharge through the nose.)
He was given antibiotics but since this last episode he has not been well. His breath smells and he has a creamy brown discharge from his nostrils sometimes mixed with a little blood. There is frequently a guttural breathing sound in the back of his throat.
The owner tells me further that he had an accident in a trailer with serious injury to his shoulder which was much improved but was still not right. He is also very sensitive to the point that he even anticipates what you want him to do. He does everything the owner asks of him. He cannot stay on his own. He will jump out of his box unless you put a horse in with him. He will not stay on his own in the field and will shout and follow the other horses when they leave the field. He has a good friend in the field but does not mind being separated from him.
He has had a series of injuries since she had him and seems to heal less well now.
He was treated for this episode with a few doses of Pulsatilla which made not much difference.
A facial dermatitis due to the sun, that occurred a few months prior, was ‘cured’ with a few doses of Ranunculus Bulbosus.
At this point I had no idea what remedy to give. Phosphorus appeared to be a possible remedy but I was not very convinced this would be the right remedy.
Then the owner tells me that she is surprised that since the weather turned really wet and cold (it is November) he has seemed much better.
This last modality was rather unusual so I checked in my repertory under: Cold wet weather ameliorates. Only one remedy is present: Aurum Muriaticum. (Kali-s has been added recently by E and P Friedrich.)
The fact that even the owner was surprised about this modality gave it some extra value as a symptom.
Reading Vithoulkas Materia Medica, I felt there was some further justification for using this remedy.
Three doses of the remedy in 30C over 36 hrs resolved the consequences of the ‘blockage’ and also allowed the horse to improve beyond that which he had ever been since arriving at his new home. Two months later I was told that he was still improving from the initial dose and that even his voice had changed. A further update 6 months later was still very positive.
The owner told me how much more relaxed he became and that even his voice had changed.
It is difficult to attribute the typical knowledge of this remedy to the case to justify the prescription. (Aggravated, thinking about his disease/symptoms. Affection of the heart.) This is likely due to the fact that our understanding of this remedy, like that of many other remedies, is only partial.
We can find the following symptom in Hering to further support the prescription:
Frequent desire to swallow; feeling of a plug in throat; metallic taste; increased saliva.
And Vithoulkas writes:
Aurum muriaticum is a remedy with a great deal of feeling; it is the most passionate and romantic remedy, with particularly erotic feelings. It is a tubercular remedy par excellence, and may be said to stand between Stannum and Tuberculinum. You may find an individual who has suffered with tuberculosis in her younger years but has been cured by modern medicine. This person goes through a period of emotional stress later on in life – due to an unhappy love affair perhaps – and her health starts to decline. A hacking cough may appear out of the blue and show no sign of abating, shortness of breath can develop, and depression may set in sooner or later. The patient cannot sleep, loses her appetite, is restless, anxious, dissatisfied; her health declines fast and yet she does not want to admit that she is seriously ill, to the point where if somebody reminds her of this issue she becomes angry. She cannot face reality, soon takes to Valium and Tavor and you have a case in hand that looks like a serious case of anorexia nervosa with tuberculosis lurking underneath. If she does not take the remedy soon, surely you will have to put her in hospital with a very bad prognosis. In short you have a case that looks very much like the Lady with the Camelias.