Whereas cases presented usually detail the ‘one successful prescription’ (see interview with Jeremy Sherr) it is interesting to read a case with a longer follow up where more than one remedy was used.
I urge readers to send in cases to show the real face of homeopathy to the world.
This patient has already appeared in a previous edition of the E-zine (previous publication). Time has moved on and a new pathology has appeared in Gaby’s life: she developed an abscess of one anal gland 18 months after her last dose of Tuberculinum.
The initial write up is copied below in italic style.
Further on the next part of the story follows.
Detached and pushy.
Gaby is one of these lovely German Shepherd dogs, well bitch actually, she was a girl. She comes into the surgery and greets me generously every time. And she does this regardless of the fact that I have previously given her a general anaesthetic to take X rays of her elbow (6.5 months). At the young age of four months she became lame. It was one of these terrible genetic diseases we see in large breed dogs. The processus anconaeus in the elbow had not fused and started creating some inflammation and pain in this elbow. As soon as she exercised she became lame.
When she was 8 months old we gave her another general anaesthetic, this time to cut the ulna shaft to take the strain off the elbow joint and therefore diminish the irritation caused by this loose piece of bone. The idea is that by doing this, some union of the loose processus is achieved which reduces the lameness. The surgery was successful and the lameness reduced by 70 %. But every time Gaby had a run in the woods she still became lame. It was therefore time to call in some serious medicine.
At the time of the consultation, Gaby is 1 year old.
Who is Gaby? That is the question I often ask my clients.
(As usual, I give below the phrases in the same way and order as my client expressed them during the consultation.)
She is stubborn, she has to keep trying, she can’t wait, she will go back for more, she has to push it. You can’t give her an inch because she will take a yard. She is not keen to please, she doesn’t care. She is not sensitive. She doesn’t care about being told off.
She is calm and well mannered with other dogs, polite . She doesn’t push with other dogs. Keeps her place.
She has a calm upbringing in the house, she is calm about things. She doesn’t startle but is unsure about things sometimes but soon comes back to things.
She will come in when our other dog barks. She doesn’t back up, she works off the other dog. She is keen to go to work, she can’t wait to get in there. She is sociable. If she doesn’t want to play with other dogs she comes to me. She doesn’t push the issue.
She already started to police other dogs in the training classes, she is not behind for her age, she is an early learner. She always sits with us, she wants to sit with the pack.
She eats dog poo: her own and that of other dogs. Nothing stops her doing this. I even left one with loads of Tabasco on it! She just ate it. She has eaten dog faeces from the day I first had her .
She eats anything you drop. Difficult to train her to leave things. But she won’t finish her food dish if I fill it up too much! She eats the bread for the birds in the garden but she never steals. She doesn’t like parting from the other dog unless she is with me. She used to be very worked up when she was left on her own.
She is good in the car.
She used to chew her dew claws, like somebody who bites his finger nails. When young puppies are in a play fight she walks away from them, she avoids them.
She is VERY nosy. You cannot do anything without her sticking her nose in it. She doesn’t get stressed by noises or anything else in the house. She doesn’t react to things as if she doesn’t notice that they happen: this is when she goes out walking with us. She then has her nose in everything and goes her own way.
‘What sort of child would she be’ I ask the owner.
She would be an inquisitive child, slight rebellious, not an easy child.
‘Would you say she is never really satisfied?’ I ask.
The answer is a resounding Yes!
‘Would she smack her parents?’ Again this question is followed by another resounding Yes!
I suppose my questions give away my thoughts?
I did not repertorise this case. It was the general impression that made me think about Tuberculinum.
Gaby received one dose of Tuberculinum 200.
Her lameness disappears for 2 months. Then there is a re-occurrence of the same lameness. A new dose of the 200 dilution makes the lameness disappear again in three days.
When I see her 16 months later, Tuberculinum 200 solves a temporary state of lethargy.
Eight months later she is still fine.
Since she received her remedy, Gaby has become a very reasonable person. She works in the canine education club where she helps in educating dogs that show aggressive behaviour. She teaches them that aggressive behaviour does not pay by pushing them away in the ring and ignoring them. She is only very occasionally lame when she runs on hard surfaces like the road, etc. She can go for hours in the forest without showing any sign of lameness at all. She has become much calmer and obedient.
A few words on Tuberculinum.
Many people know that Tuberculinum burns the candle at both ends. They are usually turbulent children, somewhat in advance of their age and have a tendency to ‘slap their parents’. They don’t need to physically harm their parents, but there is usually some lack of respect. The restlessness and continuous drive of Tuberculinum is motivated by a desire to know. He also needs to move about to ‘detach’ himself.
I was given the remedy one day by a colleague (one 200k dose) and had a rather disturbing dream the following night: In the dream, cruel war fighting and sexual activity were mixed in an incoherent way. Some of the images where very explicit. I felt at the same time somewhat surprised from the horrible aspect of the dream, but also very detached from what happened. The cruelty of the images had not really had any effect upon me.
It was as if I had been somewhere where I usually don’t go. This ‘journey’ was not just a little investigation but a full blown experience lived without regrets or upsets.
In the case, the first two lines give away a large part of the remedy. Note that I said she came to greet me and later the owner says later she ‘is not keen to please’. The greeting is a form of pushiness. Most dogs greet you to make sure you are going to be nice to them or out of generosity. Gaby doesn’t. She greets you to push in. Because of that, right from the beginning the remedy came to my mind. Very often the first words in the consultation are the ones that show the remedy. Further on in this consultation the owner told me about some good sides of Gaby, reducing the chance of suspecting Tuberculinum as a remedy.
New episode: starts in July 2006
For no known reason, Gaby develops an anal gland abscess on the right side. Such abscesses are often successfully treated with an anti-biotic. When I first saw her, and because she has been so well, I start by giving her another dose of Tuberculinum but the problem does not subside.
An ulcer/fistula has formed. There is a bloody discharge. Gaby licks the area a lot but she is not bothered in any other way. The only thing is that it is very difficult to examine the area. Gaby will not allow us to do a proper rectal examination and throws herself all over the consultation room when an attempt at proper examination is made. After a few attempts she does not even allow us to lift her tail. There is no aggressiveness but the examination is not possible.
Colleagues then treat the problem with an antibiotic.
Fourteen days later no progress is made. We sedate Gaby to examine her properly and take a swab in case there is an anal furunculosis. (Very aggressive streptococcus skin infection around the anus, common in German Shepherd dogs which is very difficult to treat and very uncomfortable for dog and owner.)
We discover that the other anal gland is normal and that the right gland has scarred and terminates via a fistula into large and deep ulcer with slight hardened, irregular skin edges. The bacteriology comes back negative for Streptococcus.
After one more week of antibiotics (awaiting the lab report) the owner prefers to turn back to homeopathy.
Three local prescriptions of Paonia 6X, then Nitric acid 30 and later Phosphorus 30 do not make much difference.
Two months later, Gaby is still licking her bum; there is still a small ulcer and some discharge appearing. No pain, no discomfort and no problems with going to the toilet.
At that time, Gaby hurt her leg again. She had a very playful and crazy day and started limping again on the right fore elbow. There is swelling and pain on pressure. Because the last dose of Phosphorus had somewhat improved the ulcer, I gave her two doses in 200K that day and order strict rest.
Ten days later. The swelling and local pain have gone but Gaby is still lame on her elbow.
I then allocate a little more time to fully assess the case homeopathically.
More than a year ago Gaby had become a regular school and hospital visitor since she passed her Golden Citizen test.
The owner told me:
‘130 kids stroked her yesterday during a school day. She is so patient and completely relaxed. She passed her Citizenship test perfectly and everybody is always happy to see her when we take her out visiting.’
The owner then follows on by saying:
‘She is a pushy little mare.’
Tell me more:
‘She pushes you to see what you are doing. She always has to push that little bit further and can’t wait.
She is VERY patient with all other dogs. She has a tendency to be in their faces. She has no sense of personal space.
She learned about other dogs’ personal space through her work as an education dog. It is not natural for her. There is no malice there.
She has matured a lot. She is inquisitive, she wants to meet the other dogs and get them to play. If they don’t play she doesn’t mind.
She won’t sit outside on her own. She has to be with us.’
I ask how close she is to the family:
‘She is not sensitive to things that happen in the family, she doesn’t notice.
She still eats dog poo.
She has only recently learned to bark and now has barked 5 times in her life (she is three and a half years old).
She never loses her cool. When another dog barks at her she stays calm. She is very confident. She occasionally stays behind when a very confident dog comes in the ring when she works to teach other dogs to behave.’
This combination of not being able to be on her own, being in the face of others and the sense of inconsiderate attitude to the family looks like a parasitic behaviour that calls for the remedy Coccus cacti.
Gaby takes 3 doses of the remedy in 30C.
Three weeks later I learn that that the lameness disappeared within a week and the anal fistula has become softer and less discharging.
She receives one dose of the Coccus cacti in 200K dilution.
Two and a half months later, there is still a tiny fistula. Gaby only licks very occasionally (previously she licked at it daily).
The owner, together with some friends had checked videos of Gaby and they all concluded that she was now walking and running much better than five months prior.
She is a little milder in her behaviour but is still in your face.
Ten days of Coccus cacti LM1 and the fistula healed completely within that time.
There is a little flare up one month later which soon corrected with a few days of LM2
Six months later again, Gaby got told off by another dog. This frightened her. She had started to find it difficult to stand up to this dog.
As a consequence, both the lameness and the anal gland fistula had reappeared.
One dose of Coccus cacti 200 and the lameness disappeared again in 2-3 days. The fistula also disappeared to reappear again after a month and then disappear again after a few doses of the remedy in LM3.
I did no repertorise this case. The reflex for the prescription comes from what I learned from a case and presentation of the remedy by Dr. Pierre Deroche at a congress in Liege (Belgium).
He writes: the remedy adapts to all circumstances, is very conservative.
Sadly I lost the notes from the study but I remember how a comparison was made with the symptom of the sensation of a foreign body in the eye after a splinter was removed and the nature of the substance.
Coccus is a little insect/worm (Dactylopius coccus) that lives as a parasite on a cactus in Mexico and South America. They are collected for the production of dyes for food and cosmetics. Being an obligatory parasite, he is one with his host and therefore does not recognise the identity of his host. Typical behaviour of Coccus cacti patients is that they behave as if the others do not exist. They talk to others without expecting a response.
It is interesting to see that the patient Coccus who does not seem to recognise the identity of others, suffers from the sensation of a foreign body in the eye or an irritation in many other body parts: throat, larynx, chest, urinary organs and genitals (as if a foreign body?) = something not belonging to him/her being inside.
The selection of this remedy as ‘coming out of a magic box’ is a testimony to the validity of remedy pictures and the exchanges that can take place between human and veterinary homeopathy. The finding of the remedy in this case was also only possible because somebody else presented a successful case of the same remedy followed by his vision of the nucleus of the remedy.
This should be an inspiration for all to present cases for publication. You will learn from writing up and therefore reviewing your own cases and so will others. Everybody will progress for the benefit of homeopathic medicine.