This talk was given for the second international symposium on veterinary hospice care and the cd/rom of the conference can be ordered from http://pethospice.org/ This talk will also cover basic introductory concepts for homeopathy in general.
HOMEOPATHY AND NUTRITIONAL APPROACHES
FOR VETERINARY HOSPICE CARE
Christina Chambreau, DVM, CVH
I would like to begin with my cherished experience of the death of my favorite cat, Beasley. I adopted him at age 6 or 7. From 15 to 17 he seemed to have a slight increase in frequency of respiration that I thought was from a mild renal disease. I did no tests and he seemed fine in every way, still hunting chipmunks (I warned any I saw to leave our acreage), eating well, glossy hair coat, gleam in his one eye, etc. One day his respiration seemed a bit worse, so I finally decided to take him to the clinic to get blood drawn and there I listened to his chest and decided an Xray of his chest was the best diagnostic. His chest was completely full of fluid. I am amazed how well he functioned with his lungs pressed up to his back. That day and evening I treated him with the appropriate homeopathic remedies for fluid in the chest, and looking at his historical remedies. I was awakened at2AMand went down to find him gasping for air. Another remedy, then we laid on the screened in porch together and he was perfectly comfortable in the sphinx position, looking outside. At 6 AM he asked to go out and he circled the house, trotted up the 2 steps to the kitchen, circled the inside of the house, visiting each room, then lay down and gave 30 seconds of gasping and jerking motions, then died. I still feel so honored by his process and the life fully lived to the last day. I attribute this to homeopathy, though I know many animals who have lives fully lived withTCM, flower essences, conventional medications, intuitive healing and many other approaches. They all can be very effective.
Dr. Bittel (8.) says, “Currently, the majority of our animal family members are euthanized.” I would have missed this precious opportunity to see Beasley end his life in his way. Had I chosen to euthanize Beasley that would have been ok, too. In most holistic practices, animals often die on their own, often in their sleep.
Dr. Robin Downing (9.) says, “In 23 years of practice…the number of animals who die a natural death is few and far between. We have an obligation to let them [animals in distress] leave while they still know who they are and who their family is.” For most veterinarians this leads to encouraging euthanasia. Homeopathically trained veterinarians know they can use homeopathic medicines to allow animals to live out their full life with awareness and usually die on their own.
George Vithoulkas, a leading Greek homeopath, claims (11.) that every person has the right to “die with the minimum possible suffering and the maximum state of awareness.” I apply this to animals as well. While euthanasia is always an option, my soul rejoices when guardians, myself and the animal are able to interact in a way that allows for a natural death with minimum discomfort.
Dr. Bittel (8.) wonders about suffering in animals, saying ” We are all aware … it is possible to be in some level of pain and discomfort without wanting to die.” Many people have seriously wanted to die when they were very ill, even with something as mild as a flu or cold. Once well, they are thrilled that they did not act on that notion. As veterinarians we have been trained with two options – treat as long as possible with conventional drugs then euthanize if they are not working. This conference addresses other options of accepting physical problems, even some pain, while decreasing or eliminating suffering. Homeopathic remedies can address symptoms with the purpose of curing (rare at this stage), moving toward a cure or palliating, easing their last period of time with us.
These notes are very complete, covering 80% more that my talk did. Please do not be overwhelmed by them. Some of you are ready to delve into homeopathy to this depth, so just read the case examples (p ). You will have learned enough in the talk to begin working with homeopathic veterinarians or practitioners. Some of you will be ready to dig into this brief introduction to homeopathy.
Samuel Hahnemann, the founder of homeopathy, says, “The highest ideal of cure is the rapid, gentle and permanent restoration of health; that is, the lifting and annihilation of the disease in its entire extent in the shortest, most reliable, and least disadvantageous way, according to clearly realizable principles.” (Organon, aphorism 2).
History of Homeopathy
Although formally conceived in 1796 by a brilliant German physician, Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843), the roots of homeopathy go back to the early physicians (Hippocrates, Paracelsus, the Mayans, Chinese, Greeks, Indians (Asians & American) and Egyptians). All used the philosophy of like cures like (law of similars). A substance that can cause a set of symptoms in healthy individuals can also be used to cure that same set of symptoms in sick individuals. The principal is timeless because it is effective and Dr. Hahnemann’s basic textbooks, The Organon of the Medical Art, The Chronic Diseases, and Materia Medica Pura, are still the basic textbooks used today.
Dr. Hahnemann experimented on himself in 1790 by taking cinchona bark (used even then to make quinine to cure malaria). He developed symptoms similar to that of malaria and when he stopped taking cinchona, his health returned. He concluded that the therapeutic effect of cinchona was because it was able to cause symptoms in a healthy person that were similar to an individual with malaria. This was the first proving (from the German word “pruefung” meaning to test). This basis of homeopathy is called “like cures like”. He roped in friends, students, colleagues, any healthy person to test the action of substances so he could use them in his practice.
Hahnemann started to administer material doses of these proven substances to ill patients. When he administered a substance that was similar to the individual’s disease symptoms, he often observed severe, almost life threatening reactions to the remedy, followed by a cure of long term serious problems. To avoid the severity of the primary effect, heexperimented with diluting and succussing the substances.
Since Hahnemann’s time, provings on new substances have continued. The results of the provings with all the properties of the remedies tested are compiled into books or articles. Then summaries of the properties as experienced in a practice, along with which clinical symptoms resolved with each remedy were written into Materia Medicas. Many provings follow the strict homeopathic guidelines and many match FDA requirements for new drug testing. As you read the provings you will realize that some are not carried out with the rigor you would wish to rely on for remedy selection.
Basic Principles of Homeopathy
The basic principles of homeopathic practice are:
- Knowledge of disease: The sum total of all the symptoms, past and present, represents the underlying imbalance that needs to be corrected. Even when an animal is in the last stages of life, we still need to see what is individual, to know as much as possible of the past. Case taking supplies this information. The information collected needs to be understood to know what is “disease” and what is not. When a person is experienced in Hospice care they will know that many animals exhibit the same symptoms, so these would be given less importance. Over the years veterinary homeopaths have observed that many symptoms experienced by animals are early warning signs that the vital force is ill, yet they have come to be accepted as normal. While hospice animals may be past these symptoms, if they begin to heal with the correct remedies, they may show some of the following.. This will help you know you have selected a correct remedy. Cats vomiting hairballs, red line on the gum above the teeth, dirt or stool eating, “doggy” odor, bad breath, shedding are a few symptoms that most people do not think indicate ill health. They are part of the complete picture of the individual disease. You can find a complete list at www.ChristinaChambreau.com.
- Knowledge of medicines: Homeopathic preparations of plants, animals (very animal oriented – only one bee gave its life to make 100 years of Apis), minerals, waters and more ethereal substances are tested on humans who report all changes occurring as a result of taking the homeopathic remedy. You learn about the remedies by reading the books and journals and most importantly, using remedies and studying their effects in real life.
- Ability to match the remedy to the individual in the right strength (potency), amount and frequency. Materia Medica and Repertory study are used here.
- Knowledge of the possible outcomes of treatment. This is key regardless of what mode of therapy you use. When doing hospice care, you may actually want to palliate, rather than cure, or at least be happy with palliation.
- Knowledge of obstacles to recovery: For each individual, learning what practices are detrimental to continued health such as poor nutrition, vaccinations, environment, other drugs and toxins, changes, emotions, etc. Anitra Frazier (7.) speaks to the stress factors that can worsen a cat’s illness, especially when they are struggling with end of life illnesses. She emphasizes that the job is to identify which stressors are affecting your cat, then trying ways to eliminate or decrease those stressors. In addition, she suggests specific dietary supplements that can lessen stress for the cats (A, D, B, C, Ca lactate). She then goes on to give wonderfully detailed instructions on how to work with the cat for many tasks needed when a cat is in hospice – administering medications, communicating therapeutically, cleaning and treating the eyes, ears, nails and nose; fasting and force feeding and much more.
- The remedy itself does not heal – it stimulates the body (vital force) to heal itself to whatever amount of healing is still possible.
The following are a few cases who may have been considered hospice who went on to live a much longer life than expected, with the use of homeopathy that will demonstrate what we just covered.
From De Buchaeler’s (5.) book come two great cases. An “old gun dog” appeared a few months prior at a farm, then developed severe heart failure. Sudden lack of energy. Can hardly walk. The heart was very enlarged heart and the EKG demonstrated severe arrhythmias. He gives the impression, sometimes, that death is near. Dignified, Haughty. Growls/coward. Sings in front of radio, watches TV and pushes on the remote control. At 6AM – wakes them, at noon he goes to the table and calls them. Arrogant. Punishes himself before I can punish him. He wants to be perfect. Crusty growths on eyelids. Clean teeth. Never drinks water. Will not walk in water. Craves sugar. Sleeps on his back. Only will eat his food burning hot. We have two aspects to this case that are striking – the sudden onset of heart disease with specific physical symptoms and the many unusual mental and emotional symptoms. Some veterinarians would recommend euthanasia at this point because of his age and unknown history. The dog would be considered terminal within 4-6 months. One approach is to start with drugs to treat the enlarged heart. The treatment plan would be continuous drug therapy with frequent re-evaluations of the arrhythmia and size and function of heart using EKGs, Ultra sound, and/or X-rays. My experience is that the dog would decline in many ways, especially emotionally. Another approach is to treat this dog with homeopathy. The results with homeopathy can be a complete cure with no more treatment needed, or a continuous treatment of the symptoms (like with drugs) including the mental symptoms, so the dog will usually feel much better emotionally and have more energy to participate in the household. There may be occasional veterinary consults or more frequent ones if the “best” remedy is not found. Usually animals who are successfully treated (few doses or continuing to find different remedies) will die quickly, in their sleep or at home. Dr. Rouchoase gave homeopathic Aurum 9C every two days. After two doses, the owner reported a complete change. “…no more capriciousness, no more fear of water and excellent physical condition…. One year later he is still fine. In the case of severe heart failure this is quite a remarkable result.”
“Oldie” is 13 and has been coughing for 5 days. He has recently aged with many senile behaviors – refusing to stay on his own; destructive when alone; hides when afraid; afraid to stay outside; does not sleep well; disobeys all the time; ravenous, especially for sweets; thirstless. These new behaviors and his age may put him into the hospice category. As a conventional veterinarian, I would see dogs like this who had to be euthanized because the owners could no longer sleep, or be able to tolerate his new and destructive behaviors, nor feel that it was fair to him to “suffer” the feelings that seem to lead to these behaviors. I would have been frustrated because I knew the dog was not ready to leave this planet, yet there were no temporary guardians available to work with the new symptoms appearing in “Oldie”. The owners, and maybe myself, would rationalize that he had had a long life, so it was ok to euthanize. Other guardians would spend hours, maybe even to their detriment, to care for a dog who had slipped into this state, using drugs to help the behaviors. Dr. Brunson was able to find a homeopathic remedy that moved this dog out of the hospice category. One dose of Lycopodium 30c resolved the cough in a few hours and he was not seen for 18 months. His behaviors had also resolved, so there was no need for further treatment. (he is now nearing 15 and will be staying with the parents for the holidays and they want to prevent the coughing that often occurs there, so a Lycopodium LM6 is given and there was no coughing. 5 months later the owners report that Oldie is losing his hearing (often one of the symptoms that needs to be managed in hospice situations) and is still startled with noises. He is back to eating a lot and staying thin; has a wart on one eyelid; is very bothered by the heat; is very thirsty. Sulphur 30K is given once and while he feels better overall, his cough comes and goes. 8 months later the cough and other symptoms have become worse and the Sulphur is repeated to no deep improvement and a month later he is even worse with senile symptoms and the cough. Phosphorus 30c is given and he becomes much worse in a few days. Psorinum 12c is given with great improvements, so is given at a 30c eight days later. One year later (17 now) the cough returns, Psorinum 30c does not help, but LM6 does. The deafness continues to worsen, but all other symptoms, even the behavioral ones, have resolved. He dies 6 months later in his sleep.
Dr. Jensen comments (1.), “Countless cats have been euthanized in their teens (and even earlier) after that dreaded-and-all-too-common diagnosis of chronic renal failure.” Dr. Chambreau had a cat present at age 16 because two veterinarians had recommended euthanasia because the symptoms of renal disease were severe – vomiting, weight loss, inappetence, poor hair coat, lethargy and a behavior that did not allow sub-cutaneous fluid administration (had to be deeply tranquilized to draw blood). The cat, when I took the case, was very fearful, very chilly, very fastidious and even liked to drink warm tea, so I prescribed Arsenicum album 6c daily. Within a month the cat had returned to normal and went on, with some repetition of the Arsenicum album, to live to 22. She became ill and no remedy seemed to help her and she died within a week.
Steps and Reference Materials for Successful Prescribing
- Case taking (Knowledge of disease): When an animal is presented to you for hospice care, you will first ask about the current complaints in great detail. The guardians are also questioned about previous ailments, and about their life in general – preferences for temperature, specific foods, behavior changes, etc. If possible ask the client to give you a time line of how different illnesses and treatment occurred, especially when vaccines were administered. When an animal is very aged, and very ill, you may not ask for a detailed history until they respond to the remedies. It is still important to find out specifics about the current symptoms and maybe what seemed to cause them, if not merely old age. This goes back to the knowledge of disease – in your hospice experience, what makes you say, “Hmm, not all hospice animals have this symptom.”
- Remedy selection (Knowledge of medicines & Ability to match the remedy): First, ponder the individual animal – what seem to be the most important aspects of the problem: Is the disease primarily physical, primarily emotional or a combination? Is this animal curable, terminal or you think it is unlikely to be cured? With hospice animals, until you have more experience, assume there is a chance of cure unless they are very close to death. Even then amazing things can happen. Dr. Ed Shaeffer was called out to give a death certificate on a downer cow. Instead he gave 10M Phos and she lived 8 more years and was best milk producer of the herd. Make a list of all symptoms and focus on those that are bothering the animal or the guardians the most and those that are most peculiar. The homeopath then looks up all the symptoms in a Repertory (index of symptoms). This process narrows the choice from thousands of remedies to a few. These few are then researched in Materia Medicas (books about the provings and clinical usage of the remedies) to find the best matching remedy. The goal is to find one that, when given to a healthy person, stimulates the production of the same set of symptoms as in this ill animal. Even when it seems that more than one remedy fits the symptoms of an animal, a good homeopath will choose only one to give at a time, even in hospice situations. Treating cancer may follow that approach or one that uses several remedies.
- Posology (Ability to match the remedy): The homeopath then decides on the correct strength and repetition of the chosen remedy, what method of administration is best and chooses the time for re-evaluation depending on the condition. If an animal has had diabetes for the last 4 years and now is showing signs of senility, you would expect for the signs of senility to resolve quickly with the correct remedy, but the diabetes to takes months to even a year to resolve, if ever. .
- Evaluation of response (Knowledge of the possible outcomes of treatment): We then wait for the body to react to the remedy, carefully evaluating to see if the remedy is stimulating movement towards a cure, merely palliating or even suppressing current symptoms with worsening overall. The curative goal happens when the susceptibility to illness is eliminated or changed so the animal remains healthy—or becomes healthier. Animals treated successfully with homeopathy usually stay alert, agile, interactive and relatively symptom-free until they have a final illness and die within a short time. This is a goal worth striving for. An example of palliation and moving towards the cure in an animal who could have been moved into hospice follows from De Beuklar’s(5.) book. At age 13, Donovan began coughing and not being able to walk very far. With no interest in homeopathy, conventional medicines were sent home. At this point he would not be considered a hospice case, even given his age. The dog is being at best temporarily helped, but the illness progresses. . Over the next few months the cough worsens in spite of conventional drugs and they seek homeopathy “There is severe lung oedema, especially in the right side. His heart is weak and in severe trouble; he is very lethargic. Causticum 30 K was given twice and he worsened. Incorrect remedy and the disease progresses. Dr. Brunson then gives Ammonium carbonicum 30K every 15 minutes for 3 hours (that frequently because he was so severely ill and near death at this point). Much improved within 3 hours, and with a few more doses over the next 6 months, he goes on for another year with no treatment and dies in his sleep when he is fifteen. He has been moved towards a cure because the disease does not continue to worsen. His vital force is allowed to live out its span and the dog has good quality of life.
- Second, third and more prescriptions: If the first selection does not cure, rather than assuming homeopathy does not work, go back and look again for what is unique in this animal and what new symptoms appeared and then select a different remedy, focusing on the new symptoms. If there were no new symptoms, try one of the other remedies that appeared promising.
Learning the homeopathic perspective of how the body becomes ill and what is possible in health has empowered many veterinarians and animal healers to finally be able to improve the quality of life of very ill animals, often giving them many more years of quality time with their guardians. Books on principles and philosophy of homeopathy will guide you in the possibilities of health, how to evaluate your cases and which symptoms are important. Studying philosophy books (Vithoulkas, Ullman, Dooley, Herscu, Kent, Hahnemann and others) or the philosophy parts of animal books (Day, Hamilton, Pitcairn, Saxton, DeBeukler and Wolf) is critically important to both master homeopathy and expand your ideas of health for animals and people.
Principles of Illness and Healing (Knowledge of disease):
- The body tries to heal itself by producing symptoms.
- There is first an energetic imbalance, then physical manifestations.
a. The energetic imbalance is observable only at an intuitive level
“My dog is sick, I sense it. There are no symptoms.”
b. Functional disturbance
“My dog itches.” “My cat goes to the litter box frequently.”
c. Inflammation – heat, pain, swelling, redness.
“My dog’s skin is hot, red, swollen, painful.” “My cat has pain urinating, he
can’t pass urine properly and the urinalysis shows red and white cells”
d. Pathology or tissue changes
The skin is lichenified (thickened) and hyperpigmented. The bladder wall is
thick and there are stones. Most of the hospice animals are at this level. You
will know you are choosing correct remedies when they show some earlier
- There is one on-going “disease,” not just separate, acute episodes.
Be sure to ask about all prior illnesses, for they are clues to the remedy needed.
- To really heal, the totality of symptoms must be addressed, not just the current problem(s). Again, depending on the level of illness you are treating, you may begin with the current symptoms only and be satisfied with mild improvements. This treats the underlying imbalance (one disease). “The curative capacity of medicines therefore rests upon their symptoms being similar to the disease but with power that outweighs it … disease is …annihilated…only by a medicine that can engender…a totality of symptoms that is the most similar to the …disease The medicine does need to “exceed the disease in strength.” (Organon, aphorism 27). This applies to helping heal mental, behavioral, emotional and physical problems in any patient, hospice or not. The best match will make the animal the most comfortable, even at the point of death. Most drugs, and the incorrect remedy, are dissimilar and two responses can happen. “If …the two dissimilar diseases [the medicine and the animal’s vital force] are either of equal strength, or the older one happens to be stronger, then the older disease will keep the new one away from the body.” (Organon, aphorism 36). You give a remedy and nothing happens. If “the new dissimilar disease is stronger…the weaker disease the patient already has is postponed and suspended…until the new one has run its course…and then the old one comes forth again uncured.” (Organon, aphorism 38) You give a drug or a remedy and the current problem dissipates for a time and returns, often more severely. An example is when Dr. Harrison (1.) carefully finds the best remedy for a 14 year old cat in severe renal failure (E & D being considered) she became healthy enough to not need fluids or other conventional treatment for the next two years. At some point multiple other body systems became ill, she no longer responded to any remedies and the client euthanized her at 19. The initial remedy moved her towards a cure, though the pathology in the kidneys was too severe for a total cure.
Preparation of Remedies:
The United States Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia gives exact directions for the preparation of the tinctures (different for every remedy) and the subsequent potentization (the same for every remedy), that are followed by the homeopathic pharmaceutical companies. Thousands of remedies are made from plants, minute amounts of animals, minerals, waters and more ethereal substances. Nosodes are remedies made from diseased tissue (rabid dog saliva, tubercular lung tissue, sputum from a dog with kennel cough).
There are 3 dilution forms: centesimal or C, decimal or X and LM (Q). The centesimal potencies are made as follows. One drop of the tincture is diluted in 99 drops of diluent (water or alcohol) and shaken or pounded on a firm surface (succussed). This makes the 1c potency. One drop of this is diluted in 99 drops of diluent and shaken to make a 2c. One drop of the 2c is diluted in 99 drops of diluent and shaken to make a 3c, etc. The further the potentization process is carried out, the stronger or more potent the remedy. A 1M potency of a remedy has a very strong energetic effect on the body compared to the milder potency of 6c which has more of the drug effect.
The decimal dilutions are produced by diluting one drop of the tincture with 9 drops of diluent, (instead of 99), and shaking to make the 1x potency. The process continues, producing common potencies of 3x, 6x, 12x, 30x. By the time the dilution is at 30C, there are no molecules of the original substance left. This dilution is greater than 10 to the minus 24th, which is more than Avogadro’s number, beyond which there are no molecules from the original substance.
The LM (Q) potencies which may be the best for hospice use are made by a completely different way which has been described only in the sixth edition of the Organon, 270 & footnote. Hahnemann goes into specific details, but the summary is that the final dilution is 1:50,000 – hence the moniker, LM. A 3C triturate is made by first grinding a drop of the tincture with milk sugar, then putting one grain of that one-millionth attenuation into 500 drops of alcohol and water and succussing it. The substance is potentized to a 3c, then one hundredth part is taken and this is diluted in five hundred parts of twenty percent proof alcohol. #10 globules are then moistened and one is put into 100 drops of spirit and succussed 100 times to make an LM 1.
All remedies are dispensed in only a few forms: alcoholic dilutions of 20%, 40% & 87%, and milk sugar globules #10, #12, #20 and #35 (poppy seed size to BB sized) & triturate or compressed tablets.
All remedies are kept in brown tinted glass, to protect them from light. If kept away from areas where they would get hot rapidly, or from strong odors – aroma therapy, camphor, or mentholated gels, etc. – remedies last forever. Dr. Gaby Rottler has seen people use the remedies from Hahnemann’s First Aid box (made over 150 years ago). I have seen the kit of remedies that Dr. James Kent hand made inSt. Louisaround 1900 and has been told that people ask for a dose of Dr.Kent’s remedy for themselves. If there is a lot in the vial, the request has been granted. Most people felt it worked better than modern remedies. Ignore that expiration date on the label…and the dosing suggestions…and what the remedy cures. The only words with meaning on the label are the name and potency of the remedy. Having a stock of amber, glass, 1 ounce bottles is important as you will see later. Though you will purchase remedies from pharmacies (see Resources), you will sometimes need to prepare dosing bottles.
Treating animals with homeopathy, step by step
First you take the case, then you find the remedy that most closely matches and select the best potency and decide when to re-evaluate. Finally, you evaluate the response to the treatment by comparing changes from the previous case taking and eliminate obstacles to cure.
Taking the case of each individual animal
Hahnemann says: “The individual examination of a disease case, demands nothing of the medical-art practitioner except freedom from bias and healthy senses, attention while observing and fidelity in recording the image of the disease.” (Organon 83). Remember symptoms heal the patient and are clues to the remedy needed to heal.
Categories of symptoms:
- Mental/Emotional: difficult to evaluate in animals
- Physical (lesional)
Each symptom can be characterized or described as
- General – applies to the animal as a whole – anemia, convulsions, abscess (could find in specific body parts, but that is only useful if the abscess is not from an injury or foreign body), ailments from fright, prefers to be warm, is worse in the spring, etc.
- Particular – apply to a specific part – cough, diarrhea, hip dysplasia.
- Common – symptoms shown by most animals, symptoms seen only with western diagnostic criteria and disease descriptions. For example, common symptoms would be: thirst with renal disease or diabetes; diarrhea and vomiting with parvo, desire to eat dirt.
- Strange, rare and peculiar: those where you say—“Really?” “She wakes up every morning at4 AMand farts loudly?” “Her arthritis is worse in warm weather?”
- Strong, clear
- Modality – things that make a symptom better or worse (better from cold weather; worse from a long walk)
- Causation/Etiology – is sick for 6 months after her vaccinations; when we go away he gets diarrhea; ever since the other cat died.
- Concomitant – symptoms that occur at the same time, to usually different parts of the body (diarrhea with ear disease; lameness and excessive drooling.)
- Sensation (difficult to assess with animals)
Most importantly, especially if you are treating your own animals, is to write down everything. Also very important is to quantify each symptom so you can tell in the future if it is really better or worse or just different. Measure the tumor, count the sneezes, smell the discharges, use a scale of 0-10 to grade the problem or otherwise be quantitative. We promise that you will thank us for emphasizing these rules.
You have a list of symptoms – now what? The first text book to use is a Repertory, an index listing “rubrics” – symptoms along with the remedies that have caused these symptoms in the provings or have cured these symptoms in clinical cases. The purpose of the repertory is to narrow the choice of remedies from 2000 to 2 – 10. Because you are using multiple symptoms, you do not have to be 100% correct, since you are only narrowing the possibilities. There are also “therapeutic Materia Medicas” which give a disease or problem and a few remedies known to help that condition. These may be your first steps into homeopathy.
An excellent resource to help you learn, and keep learning, how to best use the repertory is A Tutorial and Workbook for the Homeopathic Repertory. The second edition has animal additions and cases. If you use this Tutorial as a course, you will learn enough about the repertory to begin treating animals and people. You will need classes for this.
Materia Medica Study
Then you read about the remedies you selected in the second type of reference books, the Materia Medica. These books are written with the symptoms from the provings, the author’s clinical experience and often include the author’s compilation of other peoples’ Materia Medicas. The Materia Medica gives the details needed to make the final decision as to which remedy most closely matches the individual animal.
There are several categories of Materia Medica and the more you own the better. See the Resources section for more details on the books.
1. One of the following 3 is critical as they are closer to the provings, so more applicable to animal symptoms: Hering (10 volumes); Clarke (3 volumes) or H.C. Allen (1 big volume).
2. Another group are comprehensive books written from the practitioner’s clinical experience, includingKent, Vermeulen, Morrison, Murphy, Boericke, and many more.
3. Then there are quick reference books looking at key symptoms, again filtered through clinical experience. Boger, Nash, Allen, and more.
4. Finally there are therapeutic Materia Medicas for animals (Chris Day, George MacLeod, Don Hamilton, John Saxton, Edward De Beukelaer, Wolfe, Richard Pitcairn and more) and people (Panos, Ullman, Castro, and more) which list specific diseases and the remedies that are often useful in their practices for those conditions. Careful! This may entice you into looking at just the disease/symptoms!! Because only 3-10 remedies are listed, it may narrow your choices too much. Use the author’s suggestions for the “disease” as a separate rubric in your analysis (just to consider). Still do a full analysis using all the information you have before selecting a remedy. Or read about the remedies indicated in the animal therapeutic Materia Medicas in more complete Materia Medicas to see if one is a close match (the similimum).
5. I have included a brief materia medica and therapeutic materia medica at the end of this article, tailored to hospice care. It is just a beginning, and many people will be needed to expand it.
Potency Selection and Administration (Posology)
Quick and dirty: use a 30c in the dilution method. Wait after the first dose to see what happens. Then repeat when there is a relapse. Continue as long as there is improvement, stop if any negative changes happen.
More than any other area, Hahnemann kept changing his recommendations for how much and how frequently to administer the remedies. From at least the 4th edition he talked about the quantity of dose making a difference. For some reason this was largely ignored until the early 90s. A few homeopaths began using Hahnemann’s LM recommendations (6th Edition). Now many homeopaths are using either the 5th (diluting and shaking the remedy) or the 6th (LMs). However, in most veterinarians’ experience, the method of administration does not seem to matter in curing our cases. The veterinary literature, then, frequently says that quantity does not matter.Hamilton, “dosage…number of tablets…is not too important. … The energetic aspect is not quantitative; it is qualitative.” He agrees with many veterinary homeopaths that “one pellet of any size is probably adequate to treat any size animal…” My articles and proceeding notes before 2005 say that the quantity does not matter, only the frequency and potency.
In the last 10 years, more practitioners for people and animals have begun to use the water dilution methods of the 5th Edition or the LM of the 6th for most of their prescribing. While it seems obvious that diluting the remedy in water will weaken it, Hahnemann, in the 5th Edition says, “The action of a dose, moreover, does not diminish in the direct ratio… Eight drops of the tincture of a dose of medicine does not produce four times as much effect on the human body as two drops, but only about twice the effect…In like manner, one drop of a mixture of the tincture with ten drops of some unmedicinal fluid, when taken, will not produce ten times more effect than one drop of mixture ten times more attenuated, but only about (scarcely) twice as strong an effect, and so on, in the same ratio – so that a drop of the lowest dilution must, and really does, display still a very considerable action.” This method of dosing is the best for animals with a lot of tissue changes (pathology), most likely the ones you will be treating.
Since most homeopathic veterinarians are still prescribing the dry pellets, the following will give you guidelines for giving single doses or short repetitions. Any remedy pellets can be put into water for ease of administration. At the end we well cover how to dose with 5th Edition recommendations.
Selecting the best potencies for acute problems
Remember that in acute diseases the animal is either going to die or recover in a short time with no treatment at all.
In acute diseases the vital force is expressing itself, sometimes too strongly, so any potency can work and may need to be repeated frequently. A brief guideline (following the 4th edition of The Organon) follows:
–Serious, sudden, life threatening conditions:
6c to 30c (every few minutes to every 30 minutes); 200c or 1M (every 30 – 60 minutes)
–Moderate conditions (URI, cystitis, minor injuries): 30c (2 – 3 x/day); 6x, 12x, 6c (4x/day);
12c, 30x (3x/day)
Remedies can be repeated any time there has been improvement and then deterioration or a halt in improvement. The quality of the remedy changes as the potency increases, so higher potencies act more deeply and are usually given less frequently. Also, lower potencies have a broader effect so if you are less sure of your choice, pick a lower potency.
Selecting the best potency for chronic ailments
Chronic diseases are those where the mistunement of the vital force cannot correct itself. They must be treated to recover. Most animal diseases, even those that appear acute (UTI,URI, D/V, rashes, etc) are acute exacerbations of chronic diseases.
In chronic disease we are treating problems that have been brewing in the energy field for a long time so we need to proceed gently, slowly and with care.
Lower potencies (6x, 12x, 30x, 6c, 12c) Give more frequently (up to 2x/day).
–Have a broader effect, and give gentler nudging, so may appear to help a disease
condition and not the overall health of the animal.
–Are good for older, more fragile animals or those with more tissue changes.
–May have no effect in fulminating conditions or very vital animals.
— May help some, even if the wrong remedy.
Higher potencies(30c, 200c, 1m, 10m) Single doses then observe response.
–Are much stronger and specific in their actions on the energy force so they must be
prescribed with more accuracy.
–Are for young vital animals with functional, mental/emotional problems.
–Are repeated infrequently –one dose may last for months.
–Can cause more aggravations and even make the animal more ill if repeated too often,
especially if there is much tissue change.
— When you are not sure of your remedy selection or fear there may be danger to having an inflammatory response, go lower.
Common potencies available for purchase are 6c, 12c, 30c, 200c, 1M, 10M and 50M. If you began with a 6c, you would next go to a 12c when the effect of the 6c had waned, yet you still assessed that the remedy was correct.
Administration of Remedies
LM potencies (6ht edition of the Organon) have the flexibility of increasing the potency every time it is given and by further dilutions, making each dose as gentle as needed by that animal. Again, this is the recommended dosage for hospice patients, usually. Dr. Anthony Krawitz gave an excellent talk on the use of LM potencies in animals. It is available in the members only section of www.theAVH.org, in several formats. I put 1 pellet of the LM1, LM2, or LM3 (etc.) into 1 ounce of water with 1/8 part alcohol (Everclear or Vodka) in a dropper bottle. You may order each LM remedy directly from the pharmacy “already diluted” in one or two ounce bottles. That is the stock bottle. Before each dose, shake twice, put 2 drops into 1/2C water, and then give a few drops into the mouth. You can decide the number of times to shake the bottle, the number of drops to put into what amount of water and what amount to give the animal. You can make the medicine more or less gentle in this way. Hahnemann’s goal was always to have the gentlest cure possible with the fewest aggravations. You can even make it gentler by making one tow or three more dilutions.
From the 5th Edition, Dr. Chambreau is now dosing most animals with the plussing method. Put a certain number of pellets (usually 2) in a certain amount of water (1 cup) and keep as the stock jar. Before each dose, shake twice, put 2 drops into 1/2C water, and then give a few drops into the mouth. You can also offer the remedy in the final dilution to the animal to see if they know what is good for them. They only need put their tongue in once and it is ok if they drink more. All potencies can be repeated more frequently without aggravation when administered this way.
The most common administration method still used by most practitioners for people and animals is the single dose method, or several repetitions with no further succussing and diluting. Be aware that a few people will not come to you as a homeopathic veterinarian because you are not using 5th or 6th methods of administration, so you may want to make an explanation on your web site. The tiniest granules, #10s, are the easiest to give to animals because they stick to the tongue. Pour 10 to 20 of the #10 onto a folded piece of paper. Any larger size, tablets or bigger globules, need to be crushed to a powder. Fold anold envelope (for the heavy paper and reuse for the environment) , put the dose ( a small amount) inside the fold. Folding it over, crush with something hard on a hard surface. Some types crush easily, and can be done in paper, some are harder.
The best way to administer is to gently open the animal’s mouth a tiny bit and pour the remedy onto the tongue. Hold the mouth shut for a few seconds. They may spit out some of the remedy, but enough will have been dissolved already. It can also be put into the pouch in the corner of the mouth. The remedy dissolves on mucus membranes.
Alternatives usually work just as well. If you have the correct remedy, it will work however it is given. Dilute in good water and given with an eyedropper. The crushed remedy can be put into a tiny amount of milk or cream or a bland food is least preferable. Most feral cats are successfully treated in food. For very fractious animals, like the cats hunkered at the back of the cage ready to attack, the remedy can be diluted and put in a syringe and squirted onto their face/open mouth.
Remember, homeopathic treatment is given with the intention of curing the problem, even with hospice patients. Remedies are not meant to be given forever or prescribed without appropriately evaluating the result of treatment. Even when giving lower potencies on a daily basis, stop the remedy if the animal seems completely cured or is having any problems, especially if they have less energy or are less alert. One of the joys of the 5th and 6th editions is a gentle healing stimulus that can be stopped if there are adverse symptoms.
Evaluation of response to treatment
Evaluating the response to the first remedy and knowing when and if to give the next remedy or change remedies is a large part of the training and development of a seasoned homeopath.
There are a few responses to giving a remedy: nothing, worsening of current problems, partial response, palliation (temporary help), suppression (more serious diseases appear), and curative response. A curative response will first have the animal feeling a bit better and maybe some of the symptoms will resolve. A few days later, the symptoms may worsen, yet the animal still feels great and the symptoms will resolve. There will be an increase in overall energy level and well-being, even as old symptoms recur and more superficial ones appear. Treatment will be needed less and less often and, once cured, no further treatment will be needed unless there is severe mental or physical trauma.
Once you distinguish the response, you then choose the next action, which could be to repeat the remedy at a higher dosage, change remedies or stop and wait to see what happens next. If there is no reaction or the case worsens, you may want to review your notes or retake the case. Then prescribe the next most applicable remedy from your analysis. From your initial analysis there may have been several remedies you were considering. After reviewing your notes you can choose to give one of the other remedies that were in your analysis and seemed to fit the case. Then wait and again evaluate the response to treatment.
Giving remedies for weeks or months is usually an indication you are not curing. In homeopathy, we often talk about the progression of disease and the direction of cure. A chronic disease may begin as an itchy eruption, be suppressed with steroids, and progress to IBD or asthma. When a patient is experiencing a curative response to a remedy, the disease symptoms disappear in the reverse order of their occurrence. For an asthmatic cat, this may mean that the cat may experience military dermatitis in the process of healing the asthma.
We often speak about the direction of cure as proceeding from top to bottom, inside to outside, and in reverse order of symptoms. This is referred to as “Hering’s Law of Cure.”
Examples of treatment with homeopathy:
An acute condition is one that with no treatment will resolve or end in death. Or it could be one symptom that becomes severe that you want to ease. When an animal is acutely ill or in crisis, you focus on the current symptoms more than on the past medical history. You are still seeking a remedy for that specific individual and looking at every characteristic of that animal at this time. Usually there are fewer symptoms but these are more pronounced, making it easier to find the remedy. For instance, one of the cats in your care develops diarrhea after eating some meat you think may have been slightly old, becomes even more chilly than usual and is very restless and even more fastidious than usual. You would give a dose of Arsenicum album. You would know this because you have studied the Materia Media for the remedies needed for diarrhea and know the keynotes of Arsenicum.
You could also go to the repertory and look up:
Generals – heat – lack of vital
Rectum – diarrhea – after eating high game
Generals – restlessness
Mind – fastidious
Although Arsenicum is not the only remedy that appears in all 4 rubrics, when you read the materia medica you will see that it fits this cat’s current symptoms. As you read about it you see it also covers the vomiting aftermidnight that has happened in the past with this cat, and the fact that he seems to get ill every two weeks. You would start with that remedy. If you have chosen the right remedy, the cat should seem less restless and more relaxed and happy 5-15 minutes after receiving the remedy. The next stool would be slightly more firm. Repetition will be needed for most animals. You would repeat as the symptoms returned.
Older animals, and a shocking number of young animals, have multiple problems and their illnesses seem to escalate over time. Their “illness” does not quickly kill and rarely self heals. This is the underlying energy imbalance described before – chronic disease. A more complete case needs to be taken, including past medical problems and potential causes. The current problem is emphasized and all prior conditions are explored. When you have very little training in homeopathy, you would only select homeopathic treatment if there are odd, characteristic symptoms that can individualize the animal’s needed remedy. With further training or when using an experienced homeopath, certain remedies can be used to clarify the symptoms so the similimum can be found or zig zag prescribing can be used where careful evaluation leads you to the next partially healing remedy.
Wouldn’t it be easier to just combine all the remedies that seem to fit? Many companies do this, combining 2 -20 remedies of different potencies into one vial. They are using remedies that are known to successfully help a certain problem/condition. The combination itself has not been proved, so you would not learn anything about the case when using a combination remedy. If they do not recover you would be back to step one. Combination remedies are homeopathic preparations being used in a conventional manner to palliate (temporarily help) or suppress a disease symptom and usually stimulate an animal to heal itself of this and future ailments only if they are basically quite healthy anyway.
While Isiswas not ready for hospice, she could have progressed to that stage in several more years of conventional drugs. Had she come to me for hospice, I would have treated her exactly as I have here and she would be one of the successfully cured cases rather than mere palliation. Isis had chronic coughing upon awakening since 6 weeks of age that was non-responsive to conventional treatment. Six hours after getting her annual boosters at age 5, she had to be admitted to the hospital for oxygen with a severe asthma attack. She had swollen lips and was blue. With conventional treatment she continued having asthmatic respiration with occasional hospitalizations for the next 2 years. Homeopathic remedies, given carefully while she was withdrawn from drugs resolved the asthma problem. She had no conventional drugs, no asthmatic breathing, less coughing and increased activity for the next 12 years. She had a rodent ulcer appear and disappear twice in the last 2 years, as the body worked through different remedies. Clear and characteristic symptoms were the swollen lips, asthma after vaccines, history of a cough after rising, great prostration and weakness (tendency to be less active even when young) which led to the initial prescription of Thuja.
Homeopathy in Hospice
Dr. Pitcairn (4.) says that most books well grounded in the homeopathic and holistic perspectives do not make a big distinction about hospice care, as we are always committed to finding the best treatment for this animal at a specific time. Usually this means trying to cure, sometimes it means recognizing that the animal is not responding in a curative direction. In that case, which could be a hospice situation or could be at any stage of life, we look for treatments/remedies that improve the quality of life as much as possible.
Dr. Armstrong (2.) “The homeopath’s role must change at this time of the animal’s life from aiming to cure the animal to trying to support the animal and maintain quality of life through the transition to death” She speaks of how important it is to look at the needs of both the animal and the family at this time and points out that often guardians will go into a state of grief too early, which decreases their enjoyment of their companion as well as lessening their caretaking ability. There are specific homeopathic remedies for the caretaker, for a person worn out from tending to an animal, for people who cannot sleep for their worries. Flower essences are also excellent for emotional states. Sue Armstrong observes, like I have, that often the pain and discomfort from physical ailments (especially in old age) leads to secondary behavioral changes. Brain deficits can also cause these disconcerting behavioral changes.
Gail Pope, of Brighthaven (12), says that in the last few years they rarely have to give any special remedies for the death process. Animals just become quieter, more ethereal, more relaxed, then die within a few days. If any remedies are given it would be the “constitutional” or “chronic” remedy that has helped keep them healthy so far.
Sue Armstrong (2.) points out that most animals who are treated homeopathically have a short crisis then die quickly. “Despite functional organ depletion over time, the animal is often able to maintain a good vitality and state of wellness right up to the day and act of death.” This is why “hospice” homeopathy is often just good homeopathy.
Materia Medica selected for hospice cases
The final selection of remedies is made by consulting several Materia Medicas and by studying and knowing the remedies. The best way to learn remedies is to prescribe them for animals, carefully evaluate the results and record what you have learned about the remedy. The following is a very brief summary of indications for a few commonly used remedies to start your study and treatment of animals with homeopathy for hospice care. Please read more about these remedies in the Materia Medicas suggested earlier.
ACONITE (Monkshood): “fear, fright, fever.” Complaints caused by exposure to dry, cold weather, or draft of cold air. Mind: great fear, anxiety, worry accompany every ailment; Restlessness. Fever. Thirst and thirstlessness always present. Sue Armstrong (2.) lists this as a rite of passing remedy.
ARNICA (Leopard’s bane): Trauma. Falls, blows, contusions. Ailments ever since traumatic injuries, overuse of any organ, strains. Sore, lame, bruised feeling. Mind: fears touch, or the approach of anyone, often because so painful. Restless in bed, can’t find comfortable position. Head: concussion. Some practitioners suggest using it after all surgeries, some only when the animal seems very sore after surgery. Because many hospice animals have cancer or surgical issues, this may be commonly needed.
ARSENICUM ALBUM (White arsenic): Digestive problems. Anxiety, fearfulness, and restlessness more than any other known remedy. Fears death, being left alone. Vomiting, Offensive diarrhea. Odor of discharges is putrid. Septic infections and low vitality. Worse from cold. Aggravations at night from12 amto2 am. Simultaneous vomiting and diarrhea. Food poisoning. Fastidiousness. Because of its fear of death, this remedy is often called the “euthanasia” remedy. It does NOT cause death. If given to an animal in the above condition, it re-balances them so they are no longer afraid, or restless, or in pain, so they can go ahead with their process of dying in a smooth, easy way. Gail Pope feels that we may be treating the owner’s fear of death of their loved one and noted that she rarely uses Arsenicum now where previously it was needed at BrightHaven in about 50% of the deaths. Dr. Pitcairn (4.) needed it in 90% of his dying patients and adds that there is often a subnormal temperature and the body feels cold.
BELLADONNA (Deadly nightshade): Acute conditions start suddenly, often with high fevers and great intensity of physical symptoms. The head/face is red, hot, eyes glisten, pupils dilated, feet and hands are cold. Affected part burning hot, too hot to touch. Fever but thirstless. Sudden explosive anger. Violent delirium, mania, supernatural physical strength. Desire to strike, bite, spit. Grand mal and petit mal seizures. Twitches and jerking. Great aggravation from light, noise, touch. High blood pressure. Main remedy for hypertensive crisis with flushes, excitement of cardiac system, pounding headache and impending stroke. Epistaxis.
BARYTA CARBONICA (Carbonate of Barium): Degenerative changes in any organ. Weak and weary. Senility. Loss of memory. Bashful. Aversion to strangers (often when they used to be sociable). Hungry, but refuses food. Pain when swallowing. Cold feet. Better for open air. Emaciation with normal appetite. Sue Armstrong (2.) says Baryta carbonicum is a remedy known for use in the very young and very old, so it is one of our hospice remedies. One homeopath, Jan Scholten, says when a person needs Baryta carb, they feel that others think they are nothing, that they are not able to do much even when they try hard. While we do not always know what animals are thinking, you can imagine them picking up on these types of thoughts from the people around them.
BRYONIA (Wild hops): Movement makes condition worse. A grouchy bear. Very thirsty for large amounts of water at a time. Joint problems, arthritis. Stiffness worse from motion. They may stand and stare.
CALCAREA CARBONICA (Oyster shell): Sluggish, chilly, phlegmatic, arthritic, stiff hips. Cats who lick when petted. Cats and dogs who eat litter, dirt or other indigestibles. Obstinate. Ears inflamed and waxy (Sulph., Hep. sulph.). Anxious. Dentition. Weakness – degenerative myelopathy, spondylosis. Cancer, esp. bladder. Agg. wet weather. This is a common remedy for many stages of life and often needed before Lycopodium or afterSulphur.
CALENDULA (Marigold): Given orally and often used topically. Soothes inflamed, injured tissue from any cause. Red ears, scratched skin. Wide open wounds, hemorrhages. Promotes rapid healing of wounds or ulcers. It will often dry up wet discharges. Pain is out of proportion. Great tendency to take cold. Cold hands. Worse for damp, cloudy weather. Irritable. Hospice care could use this for the care of infected ulcers or other infections that commonly occur in ill animals.
CARCINOSIN: Need to be in control or have been over trained. They love thunderstorms. They are fastidious like Arsenicum but they dislike heat and like the window open like Pulsatilla. They often do not want the affection of Pulsatilla. This remedy needs to be not repeated very often. Dr. Cindee Gardner (3.) suggests it as a final remedy for extreme pain of cancer, often to be alternated with Arsenicum.
CAUSTICUM (Lime/Potassium mix): Involuntary urination or dribbling, weak muscles, warts. Trembling. Old age problems. Paralysis, especially of a single part – bladder paralyzed secondary to being blocked. General weakness. This is a sphincter remedy. Seizures with arthritis.
GELSEMIUM (Yellow Jasmine): Dull, droopy, drowsy, achy, chilled. Sick, esp. diarrhea from anticipation. Cats pull hair from back. Diarrhea from anticipation or anxiety. Show animals. Dr. Gardener (3.) uses this to help transitions.
HYPERICUM (St. John’swart): Injuries to nerve rich tissue, esp. hands, feet (fingers or toes crushed, declawing nails, tailbone. Spines that are sensitive to touch (disc problems). Puncture wounds. Hypericum tincture is good, diluted as for calendula, for itchy ears, to flush wounds that are hypersensitive or too deep from calendula. This is also useful when there is a continuing painful reaction from Sub Cutaneous fluids or an injection.
IGNATIA (St. Ignatius bean): Grief and ailments from grief, paradoxical symptoms. Hysteria. This may be needed by the people or animals after an animal dies – Dr. Gardener (3.). I find that animals needing it vocalize, yawn, sign, and even seem to weep. Worse from open air and warmth.
PULSATILLA NIGRICANS (Windflower): Weepy, changeable, and clingy when ill. Better for consolation. Bland discharges. Better in the open air and for the cold. Thirstless. Female problems (use to bring milk in or to dry up milk). Involuntary urination. Prostatitis. Egg bound chickens (& chameleons – Dr. Schaeffer’sNCHarticle).Often needed near death when animals do not you out of their sight. Dr. Pitcairn (4.) says it is needed for whimpering, complaining, wanting to be held. Just before death when breathing is loud and labored (often they are unconscious).
TARENTULA CUBENSES: Dr. Pitcairn (4.) says it is good when dying from a severe infection. Very weak, may not be conscious. Overwhelming infection or blood poisoning or gangrene. Often needed in cancer. “Soothes the last struggles.” I have never used it.
TARENTULA HISPANICA: Dr. Pitcairn (4.) says it is similar to Arsenicum. They roll back and forth, from side to side. Nervous like movements of the right front and rear legs. Constantly move. Better from soothing music. May give if Ars does not help.
A Brief Therapeutic Materia Medica
Amy Sousa (9.) says, “In the broadest sense, hospice is a philosophy of caring for dying animals in a loving, appropriate manner, while also supporting the pet’s family,” so the following:
Family members of all species when one member is near death:
Dr. Cindee Gardner (3.)
Aurum metalicum – Depression with guilt
Causticum – Cry over small things, negative and gloomy
Gelsemium – Body hurts and feels weak along with grief and paralysis.
Ignatia – yawning, deep breaths, sighing
George Vithoulkas (11.) says that most terminal cases in people need the lesser known remedies, so a more experienced practitioner is needed. I have found a mixture of lesser known and major remedies needed by animals, possibly because we cannot tell as easily that they are really terminal.
Animals Near Death Dr. Gardner (3.)
Arsenicum album – high dose if they “struggle to move”, anxiety, restlessness,
bloody diarrhea, vomiting, severe cancer pains.
Opium – shock, delirium, pupils don’t respond, fearful, labored breathing, fright.
Carcinosin – pain from advanced cancer, alternate with Arsenicum album.
Lactodectus mactans (spider) – Heart pounding, gasping for breath, terrified
Tarentula – back up for Arsenicum, death pains, suffocation, fear, agony.
Near Death Dr. Pitcairn (6.)
With a dying animal, homeopathic “treatment is intended to relieve pain, anxiety, restlessness and make the process as smooth as possible. … If the animal is close to death, it will come – perhaps not now, but in a couple of weeks. If they are not ready to go, then the remedy will have no effect and may actually improve them temporarily.” I have seen animals totally recover when we thought they were ready to die.
Arsenicum album- 90% need it. Restless, extreme weakness, increased thirst, cold
body, sub normal temperature.
Tarentula hispanica: similar to Ars. They roll back and forth, form side to side.
Nervous like movements of the Right front and rear legs. Constantly move.
Better from soothing music. May give if Ars does not help.
Tarentula cubensis – dying from a sever infection. Very weak, may not be
conscious. Overwhelming infection or blood poisoning or gangrene. Often
needed in cancer. “Soothes the last struggles.”
Puls: whimpering, complaining, wanting to be held. Just before death when
breathing is loud and labored (often they are unconscious).
Near Death Dr. Sue Armstrong (2.)
Aconite, Arsenicum, Tarentula
- Oozing, passive hemorrhage. Arnica.
- Dark, oozing, passive blood. Hamamelis.
- Bright red blood from superficial vessels. Phosphorus, Aconitum.
- Profuse, gushing, bright red. Ipecacuanha. Sanguinaria.
- Restless, thirsty, fearful, chilly animals that have been “poisoned” by what they ate and worse after 2 AM. Perhaps vomiting and diarrhea together. Arsenicum album.
- Nice animals who hide or nasty when sick; overeating and into garbage. Nux vomica.
- Smelly, (other smelly problems: skin, ears) in very hot animals that are laid back. Diarrhea drives them out of bed in the morning. Sulphur.
- Very friendly, thirsty, slightly chilly, startles easily, blood in stool or history of bleeding.
- Painless diarrhea. Aloe, Podophyllum.
Homeopathy, as you can see, is a full science and needs years to really learn well. You can learn it. You can also use it, carefully, as taught here, or with professional help. There is very little in the literature about hospice care for animals using homeopathy, because homeopaths are more likely to get resolution of symptoms and many more years or months of normal health than needing to use remedies in a palliative way. Much is being now about hospice care for people, and the Irish Homeopathy society devoted all of 2009 to hospice treatment with homeopathy. Lia Bello, a great teacher and practitioner has a CD. More is coming.
As animal caretakers, I encourage everyone to explore homeopathy (talk with Gail and Richard Pope to hear how homeopathy allows most of their family to die on their own, peacefully. I will teach classes wherever I am requested and can do teleseminars if anyone wants to organize them. Call or email me with any questions. Read, network, use the internet forums.
I honor all you each do, day after day. Be sure to also take care of yourselves.
THE ACADEMYOF VETERINARYHOMEOPATHY, PO Box 9280, Wilmington, DE19809. 866-652-1590. www.theAVH.org Journal, Annual conference, website with referral list, listserve for members. Certification. Members must be veterinarians. Annual conference (2009 it is Oct 22-25 inSavannah,GA) is open to anyone. There is a one day in-depth introduction to homeopathy if you were intrigued today on Oct 22.
THE INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR VETERINARY HOMEOPATHY, contact Dr. Jackie Obando – firstname.lastname@example.org. The IAVH sporadically publishes a journal entirely of homeopathy used in animals, mostly by veterinarians throughoutEurope. Annual conference.
THE NATIONALCENTERFOR HOMEOPATHY, 801 North Fairfax Street, Suite 306, Alexandria, VA22134. 703‑548‑7790. The largest homeopathic organization in the U.S., the NCHpublishes a very readable, high‑quality monthly newsletter, “Homeopathy Today”, Their summer school, has courses for lay and professional homeopaths, appropriate for any level of knowledge. Directory of homeopaths in the United States($5). Tapes of conferences: 510-527-3600 email@example.com 1. Search for the Holy Grail –San Diego. 2. Chambreau –Chicago
3. Chambreau and Shaeffer – Baltimore
THE AMERICAN HOLISTIC VETERINARY MEDICAL ASSOCIATION, 2214 Old Emmorton Road, Bel Air, MD21014. 410‑569‑0795. www.AHVMA.org Their quarterly journal covers an array of holistic approaches for animals (and people) that includes articles on homeopathy in almost every issue. The same is true for their annual conferences (lay people need a letter from a member veterinarian to attend.)
HEALTHY PETS ANDPEOPLE: Dr. Chambreau teaches a very intensive introduction – 7 days long – in BowieMarylandevery June (www.ChristinaChambreau.com)
BRIGHTHAVEN.ORG. You heard (or read) Gail and Richard’s presentation. Their approach and educational programs will be very useful.
The first four are excellent for learning and restudying philosophy and principles of homeopathy. All are good for acute prescribing or to use as extra rubrics as you individualize each case.
Homeopathic Care for Cats and Dogs – Don Hamilton
Textbook of Veterinary Homeopathy – John Saxton & Peter Gregory
The Homeopathic Treatment of Small Animals ‑ Christopher Day (also Beef & Dairy
Homeopathy: What to Expect, including 1001 cases – Edward DeBeukelaer
Your Dog and Homeopathy – Atjo Westerhus
Homeopathic Treatment of Dogs (also of Cats, of Cattle, of Horses, of Goats) and Materia
Medica ‑ George MacLeod [Ignore the potency recommendations]
Homeopathic Treatment for Birds – Beryl Chapman
Natural Health for Dogs and Cats – Pitcairn, R. Great basic book for potency, dosing and
some remedies for specific diseases.
********** Healthy Animal Journal: What you can do to have your dog and cat live
a longer and healthy Life – Christina Chambreau, DVM
Whole Health for Happy Dogs: A Natural Health Handbook for Dogs and Their
Owners – Jill Elliot, DVM and Kim Bloomer
As Time Goes By – Gail Pope, www.Brighthaven.org – support for aging animals
Into the Light – Gail Pope, www.Brighthaven.org – preparing for the end, beautifully.
Tapes: Dr. Pitcairn’s tapes and workbooks from his courses – 503-342-7665
Dr. Chambreau’s talks for the National Center of Homeopathy(510-527-3600) and
AHVMA annual conferences (410-569-0795) and her courses (410-771-4968).
The Organon –Hahnemann From the master’s mouth. A must for the serious student. Best edition is by O’Reilly and costs more but is very readable, better translated and more informative than the Kunzli or Boericke edition. Opinions vary on this.
Lectures on Homeopathic Philosophy – James Kent
Wonderful exposition on how homeopathy works and how to use it in the best way.
Chronic Diseases – Hahnemann
Lesser Writings Kent. More advanced reading.
Kent’s Repertory – The most popular index of symptoms & affordable.
Complete or Synthesis – MODERN repertories with many new additions. Both are available in computer versions.
Homeopathic Repertory – Robin Murphy – Organized totally differently, cumbersome for animal work, but may give additional remedies.
Homeopathic Repertory: tutorial and workbook – Karen Allen and Dr. C Chambreau
Dictionary of Homeopathic Medical Terminology – Yasgur – defines those funny
Guide to Kent’s Repertory – Ahmed Currim
To treat animals, you need one of the following three Materia Medicas which are more from the provings, so have specific & detailed symptoms.
Guiding Symptoms to our Materia Medica – Constantine Hering 10 volumes
Clarke’s Dictionary of Materia Medica 3 volumes
Handbook of Materia Medica and Homeopathic Therapeutics – H.C. Allen 1 vol.
(Materia Medica Pura – Samuel Hahnemann’s own book. Hard to use)
The following are good for learning remedies and confirming choices.
Lectures on Homeopathic Materia Medica -James Kent Detailed and insightful descriptions of many remedies by a master homeopath. Old views.
Concordant Materia Medica – Vemeulen – very complete, detailed, modern.
Desktop Materia Medica – Roger Morrison – modern, concise, my favorite to read.
Lotus Materia Medica – Robin Murphy – very detailed.
Boericke’s Materia Medica and Repertory Provides specific information on the actions of most homeopathic remedies with an introductory overview on each remedy. Clinical conditions type of repertory. Inexpensive
These five books are very useful for quick reference and comparing remedies.
Key Notes and Red Line Symptoms – Adolph Von Lippe
Allen’s Keynotes – H.C. Allen
Nash’s Leaders in Homeopathic Theraputics – E. B. Nash
Synoptic Key to the Materia Medica – C.M. Boger
Phatak’s Repertory – Phatak
Sources For Homeopathic Remedies and Books
YOUR LOCAL HEALTHFOODSTORES
WASHINGTON HOMEOPATHIC PRODUCTS 800 336 1695 www.homeopathyworks.com
1-800-HOMEOPATHY 1-800-466-3672 www.1-800Homeopathy.com
NATURAL HEALTH SUPPLY (888) 689-1608 www. A2zhomeopathy.com
HOMEOPATHY OVERNIGHT 800-Arnica 3 www.homeopathyovernight.com
HAHNEMANN PHARMACY 510‑527‑3003
STANDARD HOMEOPATHIC 800‑624‑9659 www.Hylands.com
My web site will soon have comments on lots of books: www.ChristinaChambreau.com
WHOLE HEALTHNOW 866-599-5950 www.wholeHealthNow.com/books
MINIMUM PRICE BOOKS 800-663-8272 www.minimum.com
HOMEOPATHIC EDUCATIONAL SERVICES 800-359-9051 www. Homeopathic.com
This is a very brief overview to pique your interest for a nutritional lecture next year.
The most important nutritional strategy for any ill animal is to encourage them to eat – anything! Begin feeding what you think is best, given your experience, training and research. Remember dogs and cats are not people and have vastly different digestive systems. Explore the science of nutritional needs. Dr. Randy Wysong has written a lot about this and Dr. Pottinger’s research in the 30s still stands today.
Just as with feeding people, there are diametrically opposing views, even within a particular approach. The holistic practitioners approach satisfying nutritional needs from their area of training or from general knowledge of how animals eat. Much is written about the Traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic food therapy approaches for people. Less is known for animals and much is extrapolated. Another approach is from specific disease needs – diabetes, liver, pancreatitis, cancer, renal, etc.
While we may have decided we know what is best, each animal, especially ill ones in hospice care have their own food therapy approach. What do they think is edible?
While I am adamantly against any dry food for felines, I will suggest trying grain free ones, or even commercial ones when cats are refusing to eat. While someone may be philosophically against feeding raw meat, they need to offer that to animals who are not eating. Look for comfort food. This could be baby food for an animals with ulcers or gum problems, or very smelly food for one with nasal congestion. Dairy, fish, vegetables, fruit…anything. When the animal is getting close to transition, Dr. Pat Bradley (6.) reminds us to “Offer snacks or water, but do not force.” She also wisely suggests we remember to have nourishing food and drinks for the caregiver during this last vigil.
Making meal times special can make a huge difference. An article in Cat Fancy 20 years ago or so spoke of a woman whose cat was going to die. She committed herself to providing the most perfect life for the remainder of the cat’s life. She slept in a curved position with her legs in a running posture so her cat could lie protected in between her legs. She gave up her favorite stool at the counter. She says she never ate so well because her cat would eat a few oysters, a few shrimp, a few truffles (hmm..not sure the article mentioned them), a few kippers, etc, then would want no more for awhile, so “mom” got to finish them. They ate together at the counter, with the other animals drooling near them on the floor. Special mealtimes!!
Often, and especially with holistic approaches, supplements are prescribed and often put in the meal, which then stops the animal (especially cats) from eating. I suggest using “treats” for medications and exploring some of the energetic methods (Reife machines) that allow topical treatment with only a few drops to give the same effect of herbs and Chinese herbs. Some supplements can be put on food to encourage eating like Nu Cat vitamins (VetriScience) orPDG(Wysong).
A major nutritional topic is fresh versus processed foods. Many good books cover these topics. What is best for you — the exact same can of spam or beef stew every day (even organic one) or a wide variety of local, organic, free range, pastured, sustainably raised meat and vegetables? Same is true for the animals.
Look at the anatomy and physiology of the dog and cat digestive system – ripping and tearing canines, bone crunching molars, jaws that only go up and down, not side to side and no digestive enzymes in the mouth. Stomach of pH one, like ours. Food stays in our stomach for 30-60 minutes, dogs – 4-8 hours, cats – 6 – 12 hours. Eats away bones and bacteria!
For me the fest options include freshly made, home made and frozen, commercial raw food diets. Barely adequate are excellent commercial processed foods using mostly organic ingredients from companies where I know the owners or have friends who know them. It is 50% cheaper for me to feed my cats fresh food than canned. For me, no cat should ever eat dry food (unless ill and that is the only bribe food to get them going.
When animals will just not eat, then force feeding is needed. I really lovePDGfrom Wysong. Anitra Frazier (7.) encourages people to use fresh ingredients to feed cats, well or ill. She also has great force feeding formulas for ill cats. All of these apply to animals in hospice. Dr. Pitcairn (4., pg 276) also has a great force feeding recipe using milk, raw chicken or turkey and supplements.
1. Jensen, Wendy and Harrison, Betsy. (2006). Journal of theAcademyofVeterinary
2. Armstrong, Sue. (2008). “The Last Lap – the Problems of Old Age”. Proceedings of
theAcademyofVeterinaryHomeopathy Annual Conference, p 97-102
3. Gardener, Cindee. (2004) “Homeotherapeutics for Pets”, www.hpathy.com/veterinary
4. Pitcairn and Hubble. (2005). Natural Health for Dogs and Cats. Rodale. P 240, 276
5. De Beukelaer, Edward. (2005). Homeopathy: What to Expect?. Trafford Publishing.
6. Bradley, Pat. (Prepublication) . What Greater Gift?
7. Frazier, Anitra. (2008) The Natural Cat. Plume. p. 257
8. Bittel, Ella. (2008). Veterinary Hospice Care – Post conference Reflections.
JAHVMA. #27, p 25-28
9. Sousa, Amy. (2009)
11. Vithoulkas, George. (1980) The Science of Homeopathy. Grove Press p 259+, 266
12. Pope, Gail (2008) Into the Light. www.BrightHaven.org
Other books and resources
American Journal of Homeopathic Medicine, 2007 Vol 100 #3 p 221-228
End of Life Care: Homeopathy and Hospice patients
Homeopathy and Hospice Care CD – Lia Bello
Schultz, Kimythy. The Ultimate Diet
Wysong, Randy. Rationale for Animal Nutrition 800-748-0188 www.Wysong.net
Pottenger’s Cats – a study in nutrition proving raw meat the best. 800-862-6759
It’s For the Animals CookBook – Helen McKinnon (HLMcKinnon@aol.com; http://members.aol.com/ifta2)
Brown & Taylor. See Spot Live Longer
Billinghurst. Give Your Dog a Bone
And there are many more nutrition books now.
At the completion of this presentation, participants will be able to:
- know the origins and history of homeopathy;
- understand and begin to use the basic principles of homeopathy even if not administering the remedies;
- recognize the value of the homeopathic approach in hospice care;
- select and purchase a few homeopathic remedies;
- know how to administer remedies selected by themselves or professionals;
- evaluate the response of animals to any treatments, including homeopathic ones;
- decide if pursuing homeopathy would be a valuable use of their time;
- recognize there are many options for feeding hospice animals