This is a small selection of veterinary cases by different authors that have been published in French and were translated to appear in my book called ‘Homeopathy. What to expect?’. They illustrate the reality of veterinary homeopathy in daily practice.
Edward De Beukelaer (ISBN 1-41204509-6 In translation to German for end 2007)
Caring but weary! ( by M. Brunson)
Kitty is a little 5.5 months old kitten. Rather small for her age she is the smallest of the litter. She has recurring cat flu resulting in the production of a bilateral thick discharge from her eyes. These symptoms appeared for the first time when she was only a few weeks old.
“She is always full of life, never discommoded by her chronic disease. Although she is small, she is very adventurous and protects another kitten that lives in the house. When this one goes out too far she brings it back to a safe place. She is always out and about on her own.”
She does not stay in the owner’s arms that much any more. Cuddling is not her favourite pastime. She will wiggle until she is freed from their arms.
“She likes looking out of the window where she always seems ready for action. The flies have a rough time and don’t know where to hide. She likes to sit in high places.
She is very caring towards the other kitten, which is allowed to eat out of her dish and sleep on her legs. Kitty doesn’t like to be taken care of: she will fight and jump out of our arms. She is intelligent, attentive and agile.
She is very cautious when new situations occur, she is startled by noise. She sleeps against the hot radiator. She likes all dairy products but will not eat anything else from our table. She is not a big eater.”
The image that radiates from the case seems to make it a classical indication for the prescription of Nux vomica. She receives two 30C doses but the remedy produces no result at all.
Kitty is presented again three weeks later.
When she enters the consulting room she shoots through the door, has a good run around and installs herself at the window where she observes with great interest all that happens outside.
“She is still very bouncy, she continues to take care of the other kitten, which is not allowed to go outside. She does not like to be taken in our arms and claws to free herself. She still loves the hot radiator.”
The following symptoms are used: Vivacious, anxiety for others, heedless, warm stove ameliorates, nose purulent discharge.
Kitty receives Hepar sulfur 30K once. She got worse for a few days and then the chronic disease cleared.
Six months later she has a blocked nose again. The same remedy is repeated with the same rapid result. No further prescription has been necessary.
Hepar sulfur is more than a remedy for control and treatment of abscesses and suppuration. It has a picture of its own. Vulnerability is quite central, whether one considers oneself vulnerable (Kitty did not want to be held in the arms) or whether one is sensitive to the vulnerability of others (Kitty protects the other kitten).
And in the farmyard… (by A. Duport)
The vet is called out for a calf born the day before. The farmer had left it a little late to help the cow give birth and her calf has suffered from a lack of oxygen. This lack of oxygen has affected the calf; he cannot stand up and finds it difficult to lift his head. Also his lungs are filled with amniotic fluid; ‘he drowned in his water’ as this is usually described. In a farmyard these cases have a poor prognosis; therefore efficient medicine is required.
The vet observes the following: the calf has dragged himself to the side of the stable, his jaws are clenched together, his legs are cold and his tongue is drawn backwards in his mouth. There is no sucking reflex when the vet puts his finger in his (the calf’s!) mouth and he bellows (not the vet) when moved around. He doesn’t even react when a little milk is poured in his mouth.
The farmer told him that mother cow was very ‘stressed’ when she was moved from the field to the stable after the calving. She has adopted the calf normally. It is now impossible to approach her and she kicks in all directions when the farmer and vet come close to her.
The vet chooses the following symptoms: Jaws clenched together, lack of reaction and fear of strangers (symptoms very strongly present with the mother and also with the calf).
Ambra grisea is selected and given to calf and cow. This is followed by a rapid improvement over a period of 2 days. Calf and cow both returned to normal.
It such early life situations, the symptoms of mother and baby can be combined in the selection for an appropriate remedy.
I should be important. (by P RouchossÃ©)
This old gun dog ‘arrived’ by himself one day, 6 months earlier at the client’s house and settled in. He still has no name and is called ‘The Dog’. Since a few days ago he cannot run anymore, he stops and has to lie down. On auscultation there is an significant cardiac arrhythmia with extra systoles. X rays show an enlarged heart; ‘The Dog’ suffers from severe heart failure.
The owner explains:
“He does not finish his dish, he is scared, he is a scared dog. He growls at other dogs but runs away. He is very dignified; one could even say ‘haughty’.
He does not like to be on his own but sometimes disappears for two or three days. He cannot stand to be locked in: he will do whatever he can to get out. He overturns his bowl to eat his food from the ground.
He growls at bearded old people. One day he completely wrecked the broom; we think that a bearded person must have hit him with a broom.
He growls at people that are unpleasant to me. Nobody is allowed to do any harm to my family or me. He is contradictory: sometimes full of life and sometimes without energy. He just does what he wants. He growls at people behind the gate but when they enter he runs off to his bed: he doesn’t like anybody to come into his territory but he is rather cowardly.
Sometimes he gives the impression that death is near.
When I punish him, he doesn’t eat for three days. He punishes himself. He is a rambler”
The impression the dog gives to the vet is both dignity and sadness. He has very clean teeth but has a very old look about him. His age is not known. He has crusty growths on his eyelids.
The vet asks: ‘How is he with females?’
“When he has adopted a bitch, she becomes his property. When the other dog is not there he is the boss. He is very possessive and he is selfish.
He never drinks water; he refuses to drink water. He only drinks powdered milk. He eats everything prepared with gravy. He loves sugar; he would do anything for sugar. He drinks coffee, eats chocolate, nuts, eggs and salad.
He acts like a human: he sings in front of the radio, he watches television and pushes on the remote control (!?). In the morning at six, he stops the alarm clock and wakes us. At twelve he goes to the table and calls us.
Everything is appearance with him, unless he gets cross and then he may harm you. If there is a fly in his dish, he will not eat. He growls at people who wear strong fragrances.
My dog is arrogant!
He punishes himself before I punishes him, he wants to be perfect!”
The vet: ‘And his sleep?’
“He has his own bed. You cannot take it away: one day I washed it and then he shredded it to pieces. I have given him another one; he takes it everywhere with him. He always sleeps on his back.
He is afraid of water; he will go miles around a puddle. He hates the cold. If we’d keep him in for three days he would hold back from going to the toilet.
He only eats hot food, nearly burning. When it cools down, he pushes his bowl to the kitchen to have his food reheated.
There are some people he hates.”
Compared to many cases where one searches desperately for homeopathic symptoms, this case seems to have too many. What symptoms to choose? What is it that makes this dog really original?
The vet’s approach was to classify the observations into groups to obtain the following: conscientious about trifles, haughty and cowardly, remorseful and sulky, aversion to water, changeable mood, sensitive to odours, desire for coffee, desire for warm food.
A large number of remedies that have these symptoms/themes in their pathogenesis present themselves as candidates, Aurum has been chosen for the desire to excel: the owner did say that “he thinks he fails in everything and makes many efforts to achieve his goals.”
One dose of Aurum met. 9C every two days. The third day his owner rings to say that he is completely changed: no more capriciousness, no more fear of water and excellent physical condition. (He only received two doses.)
One year later he is still fine. In the case of severe heart failure this is quite a remarkable result.
My suffering is atrocious! (by E. De Beukelaer)
A 4 weeks old calf suffers from typical yellow calf diarrhoea. He has been on antibiotics and re-hydration treatment for two days. His condition does not change. Four other calves that had the same problems are all on the mend with the same treatment.
I ask the farmer what strikes him in the case.
“When we go into his pen he is very frightened and crouches against the back of his pen. He trembles with fear and looks very panicky. Otherwise he stands with his head down and munches some straw without any purpose. We rarely see him lying down. He hardly drinks any water or milk.”
I can imagine a calf being afraid of the farmer after having received one or two antibiotic injections but this seems a little over the top. This, alternating with his dull state, is also peculiar.
The following symptoms are used: fear of being approached, dullness during fever, thirstless during diarrhoea.
Three remedies cover these symptoms: Belladonna, Ignatia and Chamomilla.
Chamomilla is selected because of the over-exaggerated reaction of this calf.
One dose in XMK and 12 hours later all is back to normal.
In this case the dilution used was very high. This was because I did not have any other dilution of this remedy with me at the time of the consultation. Generally it is not too much of a problem to use such dilutions in real acute diseases as long as they are not repeated too often. In any case it is more important to use the right remedy than to worry about the right dilution.
One should be very wary of using them for chronic cases because they can really shake up the patient and sometimes cause unnecessary aggravations of unpleasant symptoms to the patient. They can also hide a further aggravation in the patient’s health state.
I have an unusual problem, I need an unusual remedy. (by M. Brunson)
Uton is a 5 year old West Highland White terrier. Two weeks ago both of his front legs became paralysed. His hind legs are normal: he uses them to push himself forward, rubbing his chin on the floor. No specific diagnosis has been established for this very unusual infirmity.
The first day he seemed completely lost and became agitated when he tried to get up. There has been no fever. At the same time infected and painful patches have appeared on the skin over his spine and on a few places on his left flank.
Steroids and antibiotics solve the skin problem but not the paralysis.
Uton is then presented to the homeopathic vet.
The owner explains:
“He still eats normally. His thirst has increased since the steroids. When he wants something he barks. He adapts his barking depending on what he wants. He is still happy and wags his tail.
Before he appeared delicate when he was eating. Now it looks as if he has more strength in his jaw.
He is mild, cautious, dynamic, affectionate and intelligent. Very regularly it seems as if he talks to us.
He is stubborn. Some things we have to repeat over and over again. He repeatedly urine marks one corner in the house. When he urinates against a tree he goes around it to make sure his scent is present on all sides. He hates the rain. During the summer he likes the sun. The first day of his illness he was very restless.”
Rhus tox 30C one dose.
Two days later, not much change but Uton is brighter and he receives a second dose of Rhus tox 30C.
Another two days later he seems brighter again: Rhus tox 200K.
Uton’s mobility improves but the front legs stay paralysed.
A new remedy selection is made and Plumbum 200K is administered a week later.
After three more days, still no change in his front legs.
There is a new symptom: “his voice is modified, he barking has become weak.” The owner also tells that before he used to lie on his abdomen when he felt too hot.
A new repertorisation is made using paralysis upper limbs (this is uncommon in dogs), skin eruption suppurating, skin eruption painful and voice weak.
This produces 16 remedies. The author eliminates one after another because they don’t seem to fit the case. There is one remedy out of the sixteen that attracts his attention: Baryta sulf.
Baryta carbonicum is known for its paralysis of the upper limbs and Sulphur fits some aspects of his behaviour. The combination of the two under the form of Baryta sulf seems interesting. (The author explains he has no experience or particular knowledge of this remedy).
Baryta sulf 200K once. Over the next days Uton regains the activity of his front limbs. After ten days he is still very weak on them and the progress is stagnating. A further 200K dose and he recuperates completely from his illness.
There is not much comment to make on this remedy that is not especially well known. The case is a further example that all efforts must be made to base a prescription on what the patient ‘tells’ us. Homeopathy answers to the patient and not to set rules. The case also shows how useful it is to persist in searching for the appropriate remedy. In many occasions after some time, a new symptom or observation helps in finding a more appropriate remedy.
Hell breaks loose in the consult room. (by B. Heude)
This is a story about a case of kennel cough, an infectious disease in dogs which is reputed to be difficult to treat.
The client has a small breeding holding with a variety of breeds living peacefully together. The people are very good with their animals and there is a nice atmosphere in the big dog family. They don’t vaccinate against kennel cough.
After a weekend at a dog show, 5 dogs start to cough on the way home.
” They cough when they get excited; they cough when we come home and when we leave. They never cough when they run or play. Rouza has a little cough when she rises. Isthar tries to expectorate something when she coughs. Iron has a dry cough, often two attacks, followed by a fruitless effort to vomit. Fred has a dry cough, mostly two or three attacks. He also has swollen tonsils”
Nervous cough, cough two or three attacks, swollen tonsils indicate phosphorus. A 30K dose twice per day for four days.
Two dogs get better in one day and two take four days before the cough disappears. A few other dogs that develop the disease from contact with them also get better quite rapidly with the remedy.
The case is not an example of spectacular homeopathic activity but the result can be judged satisfying, no antibiotics have been used and none of the patients have become chronic coughers, which happens frequently.
The owners don’t follow up the recommendations of their vet and neglect to prevent contact between the coughing dogs and the rest of the pack. The disease is allowed to spread but it happens quietly.
For more than a month all seems fine. Then suddenly a litter of 7 week old Staffordshire pups start to cough.
When they are brought to the surgery, they ‘invade’ the consultation room, piddle and poo everywhere and attack all the chairs and the table. They have a loose cough, six or more attacks, which doesn’t stop their hooligan behaviour for a second.
“They were vaccinated by your colleague four days ago. The coughing started one evening, two days ago, when there was a cold northeastern wind. They continue to scoff down their food. None of them has a temperature. When they cough they make a snoring noise, they sound engorged. We wormed them yesterday, they were full of worms.”
It is tempting to use the same remedy that produced good results on the previous expression of kennel cough. This outbreak can be regarded as being very closely related to the one that happened the month before; there has been no exchanges with dogs from outside the kennels. For completeness the author decides to make a new repertorisation to give the pups the best possible chance.
Cough wind (east and north), vaccinations after, worms, rattling cough. Sepia is best represented and given in 30C dilution twice in 12 hours.
Followed a noticeable aggravation of the cough for a few hours. The next day they were all fine except for one pup that continued to cough for a week.
One more example to show that it is possible to treat pure infectious diseases without the need for antibiotics. When groups are treated it is common to have a small percentage of individuals that doesn’t respond to the remedy.
Charlie the protecting ‘father’. (by JP Spillbauer)
Charlie suffers with chronic infectious dermatitis of the ventral part of his body from head to tail. He is a 2 year old German Shepherd dog. He has been treated for a long time with conventional medicines.
“He was one month old when we had him. Two other pups from his litter we see regularly also have skin problems, just like their mother. When she had her puppies she was tired. Her owners sold the puppies early because the bitch lacked milk.
Charlie is a nice, gentle and playful dog. He is very good with our other dog, a poodle, which tries to dominate him. When it goes too far Charlie just stops him.
Charlie is like a father to the poodle; as soon as he runs too much, Charlie stops him. If he goes out too far, Charlie brings him back. It is the same with us; if we go too far away, Charlie takes us by the arm and brings us close by.
He seems bored. He is alone during the day. It is better since our son comes home during lunch hour. When I take the poodle with me to work, Charlie is not jealous at all. He is tranquil.
He loves children. He doesn’t like loud noises or when there is too much activity in our house. Generally he is playful and happy. His skin problems don’t seem related to anything at all.”
Question from the vet: why did you say ‘he is like a father to the poodle?’
“That is really him; if my son wants to ride his go-cart, Charlie stops him from doing so and bites the wheels. He doesn’t want him to go on it. It has always been like this. I have the impression that he is trying to protect us from getting hurt.
When we play fight with our son, he intervenes to stop it. He has no aggressiveness whatsoever; he comes up to us and whines in the hope that we stop. He always seems to prevent us from being hurt although nothing has ever happened to us.”
In the consulting room, Charlie has a sniff around and seems uneasy.
“He wants us to open the door so he can leave. He is very patient, he was easy to educate. He adapts very easily everywhere.
He protects us but he is no guard dog. He doesn’t stop people from entering the house, but people are afraid of him.
Even when the skin is at its worse, he is quite well. The weather has no influence on him. Once when we went to the sea with him, his coat became shiny again. He loves swimming.”
The author is surprised by the emphasis on the fatherly character by his owners.
In the thematic repertory (G Loutan) under father figure, comes Arnica as a remedy.
One MK dose and all his skin problems disappear. He is seen again seven months later. He only needed a mild cleansing of his ears. The skin is perfect and shining.
Arnica, remedy for bruises? There is more to homeopathy! Also remember that in an earlier case there was a cat that protected the other kitten in the house but the remedy that worked was different; one symptom is not enough to decide on an appropriate remedy.
When strange observations are made, often unusual remedies appear and prove effective. (by P. Froment)
Sometimes the patient can be a group of animals. This time the group consists of a herd of 32 milking cows that live in a picturesque valley in southeast France. In the summer they graze the lush hillsides and in the winter they are tied up in old fashioned stables.
This herd had already benefited from homeopathic prescription 5 years prior, for recurrent respiratory problems. Natrum muriaticum was a very successful remedy. The remedy had been repeated effectively several times for other problems but stopped working two years ago.
The complaint this time is lameness. It had started two years ago at the beginning of the winter. Several cows developed swelling and infection of one or more feet. This is a common affliction in cattle and caused by penetration of specific bacteria under the skin that forms the connection with the hoofs. Hygiene in this herd is managed correctly. The cattle buildings and bedding are always clean.
Vet: ‘What can you say about your cows?’
Farmer: “They are stiff, they are stiff all over. It is as if the whole leg hurts. They have a good appetite. They don’t want to walk on the hard soil; they choose to walk on grass or on the manure. Once they are ill they don’t want to lie down. The soil seems too hard for them.”
The vet observes that a few of the lame cows have a dull and dirty skin compared to the others. Their feet are red, the hoofs seem fragile and form cracks. Some of the young cows lick the soil, walls, the manure, the plastic buckets.
Vet: ‘what else can you tell me?’
” The problems always arise very quickly; suddenly their legs swell up. They seem apprehensive about walking. They are reluctant to lie down, they seem to lack in space, they want to lie down further to the back where there is more soft bedding. Once they get up from lying down, their legs tremble as if they lack in strength. It seems that they have to find out how to walk.”
The vet observes that during the consultation there are lots of blanks. The farmer will in a few sentences deliver a large amount of information and then suddenly stop talking for a while and even walk away to come back later.
The first three attempts are not successful (one dose of medicine is given to the entire herd)
Physostigma 30K one dose (capricious appetite and slowness walking) worked very well on two cows but not the rest of the herd.
One month later: Nux vomica (stiffness, bed seems too hard, swelling of lower limbs, dirty skin) one 200k dose. No change.
Three months later: Nitric acid 200K one dose (desire indigestible things, cracking nails, inflammation toes, resignation). No change.
Six months later, a new start of the winter: Hydrogenium 30C one dose and the winter passes without any problems. Next year, Hydrogenium 200K and all goes well again.
What made the vet decide on this remedy?
Repertorisation: sudden appearances and inflammation foot; Hydrogenium is one of the few remedies that appear. Its remedy picture contains the resignation that was sensed in the cows suffering but also the sentiment of detachment (puts things off to the following day) that was sensed in the attitude of the farmer during the consultation.
This does not mean that the farmer is the cause of the problem, it is just an example to show that if the homeopath uses anything that is peculiar or contradictory during the consultation, this may help in selecting the most appropriate remedy. In the case of a herd of milking farm animals there is often a close link between the farmer and his stock.