At this point I will present a contemporary homeopathic case to give some idea of the responses we see with homeopathic treatment. No, this is not the one case that improved this year. These are the responses we veterinarians that use homeopathy see in many of our cases and why we have continued interest in the use of homeopathy in our practices.
This case is of a large dog that became suddenly paralyzed, could not use the legs, have a bowel movement or pass urine. It was a sudden occurrence with no obvious cause. The emergency veterinary hospital had given two drugs without any response. The dog’s people were caring for the dog as a hospice situation. Five days into this they consulted with Dr. Matthews who gave homeopathic treatment.
Homeopathic Cure of Paralysis with the Remedy Lachesis
Julie Matthews, DVM, CVA (Acupuncture), CVH (Homeopathy)
Kodiak became suddenly paralyzed in all four limbs on January 24, 2014. Physical exam revealed paralysis of all four limbs. Deep pain with inability to withdraw the limbs was evident. Cranial nerves and swallowing were not visibly affected although his owners reported that Kodiak’s bark had changed. Megaesophagus was absent on lateral thoracic radiographs and neither regurgitation nor vomiting of food was present. Inability to urinate with retention of urine was noted. Spinal hyperesthesia (pain) was absent.
Physical signs were most consistent with lower motor neuron disease. Most likely differentials included idiopathic polyradiculoneuritis, coonhound paralysis, tick paralysis, botulism, and acute (fulminant) myasthenia gravis. Of these, idiopathic polyradiculoneuritis was deemed most likely, given the lack of exposure to ticks (snowy winter in Maine) and raccoons. Acute myasthenia and botulism were ruled out based on normal cranial nerve function as well as the absence of megaesophagus.
Kodiak presented to my hospital for a second opinion on the fifth day of paralysis. The owners had been providing hospice care, turning him from side to side regularly, massaging the limbs, and manually expressing the bladder as well as removing feces from the rectum. The emergency hospital at which Kodiak first presented five days earlier had prescribed Doxycycline(1) and Carprofen(2) and recommended referral to a neurologist.
Recent history revealed the presence of a new dog in the house for the past 5 months. Prior to that time Kodiak had been an “only child” enjoying the attention of both owners exclusively. Of particular interest was the activity in the past month whereby the male owner had taken to running daily with the new dog, leaving Kodiak at home.(3) His owners’ mentioned that Kodiak was weakest in the morning on waking, typical of snake remedies. Homeopathic repertorization suggested Lachesis(4) based on physical symptoms. In light of the case history and the prominent mind symptom of jealousy with this remedy, Lachesis fit the case well.
Treatment was started with a 30C potency of Lachesis on the day of presentation. As the following video shows, the response to the remedy was immediate and progressive. Increases in potency (200C, 1M) were administered when improvement stalled or failed to progress. At no time during treatment did Kodiak ever relapse or regress, walking with assistance within a few days and recovering fully in 3 weeks time.
(1) Doxycycline is an antibiotic that is used in the treatment of a number of types of infections caused by bacteria and protozoa. It is useful for bacterial pneumonia, acne, chlamydia infections, early Lyme disease, cholera and syphilis. It is also useful for the treatment of malaria when used with quinine and for the prevention of malaria.
(2) Carprofen, marketed under many brand names worldwide, is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that veterinarians prescribe as a supportive treatment for various conditions in animals. It provides day-to-day treatment for pain and inflammation from various kinds of joint pain as well as post-operative pain.
(3) In homeopathic case workups we include possible emotional factors as in homeopathy the whole patient is looked at, not just the physical part. Dr. Matthews is including this as a possible factor, not necessarily the complete cause of the problem, but possibly the emotional stress (which we are translating to jealousy for sake of a better word) might have made Kodiak not as strong and more susceptible to whatever brought this on.
(4) Lachesis is a homeopathic remedy made from the venom of a South America snake. It is used because the symptoms of poisoning are similar to what this dog is manifesting, thus a similar medicine in homeopathic terms. So to assure you, the venom is prepared in a homeopathic pharmacy by sterilizing, and diluting it, so that there is no actual venom in the remedy given. The process releases the energetic aspect of the substance and this is what affects the patient (I know, already critiques of this statement are forming).
The thing to note in this case is that the paralysis had persisted, unchanged, for five days even though conventional use of antibiotics and anti-inflammatories had been used. In contrast as soon as homeopathic treatment was started the dog began to respond.
Referring back to the last post about the letter from the professor criticizing homeopathy a case like this would be attributed to imagination. The clients, presumably having such faith in homeopathy (actually I think they were completely new to it) imagined that their dog got up and started walking. To make the case of homeopathy to be ineffective, we have to instead bring to our minds the scenario of this poor dog remaining paralyzed with full bladder and rectum while the clients imagined their dog was better, that while doing this imagining they were out walking with an empty leash thinking the dog was with them. Amazing, isn’t it?
The video of this case, from 2014, has been on Youtube and there are a couple of critical comments to the video there that might be interesting to look at.
Comment 1: “Recovery was either due to antibiotics prescribed a few days earlier or natural clearance of infection. But very concerning that the owners failed to take medical advice and visited a homeopath rather than a neurologist. They got lucky it wasn’t more serious.”
Do you see how the prejudice is leaking out in this criticism? The dog had been on antibiotics and anti-inflammatories for five days with no response. The drugs were stopped and instead a homeopathic remedy used. Nonetheless, the improvement on day 6 was still due to the stopped antibiotics. Only the prejudiced mind can make such a stretch. How many cases of infection do we think get better after we stop giving the antibiotics?
Then even more odd is the statement that it was “very concerning” that the people turned to homeopathic treatment, that it wasn’t “more serious.” Are you kidding. Imagine it was you, you can’t use your arms or legs, can’t pee or poo, and you say it is “not serious”? Whew!
Comment 2: “Classic “post hoc ergo propter hoc” fallacy.”
The latin phrase here translates to that it is not logical to think that what was done before, is responsible for what happened after. In other words, it is not logical to assume that the homeopathic remedy given was related to the effect of the dog improving.
Again we see the prejudice looking at us over the hedge (though pretending to look wise). Is it a reasonable question for me to ask to consider that if this case and video were about a paralyzed dog that was treated with antibiotics there would not be such a comment? But why can’t it swing both ways? If one can question cause (which can be a smart thing to do) why would we not also question cause if a drug was being used?
Do you see in these comments how obvious it is that people that respond like this are coming from preformed judgments? The unexpressed assumption is that homeopathy cannot work. That assumed, all else follows. But should we not look at how such an assumption was acquired in the first place?
(to be continued)