Rufus was acting strangely tonight. He was pacing back and forth from the door to his bed to the other side of me and back again. I talked to him. I opened the door for him. He went out once, walked around the house and came back in through his personal door and then he continued this strange behavior. I petted him. I gave him water. He didn’t seem particularly distressed, just really restless.
Additionally, he was panting. The panting is not unusual, in and of itself. He’s a big dog with a lot of hair and we live in a desert. But, tonight, it’s a cool autumnal evening, so it was definitely out of the ordinary behavior. Panting can be a sign of anxiety in dogs (Helmer 2020) and we have seen other signs from him showing some anxiety over the years.
What to do?
Homeopathic Ignatia 200c delivered to him in a small bowl of bone broth. Within a few minutes the pacing stopped and he was lying on his bed. The panting stopped and started for a few more minutes but then stopped all together and he eventually settled into a nice, rhythmic breath.
How did I come to the idea of giving him Ignatia?
Ignatia Amara 200c is part of the Banerji protocol for mental shock, both immediate and in the past, making it an excellent remedy for PTSD — for dogs and for humans.
PTSD or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder can be an absolutely debilitating condition stemming from any number of situations: abuse of all kinds and occurring at any age, now or in the past; being in or witnessing an accident; experiencing a natural disaster; combat exposure; physical assault or any life-threatening event. As renown homeopath Dr. Robin Murphy says, a person has a toxic memory that haunts them; they can’t eliminate it. The person is on heightened alert and the toxic memory is overwhelming their life.
PTSD can lead to depression and anxiety; substance abuse; eating disorders; sleeplessness; irritability or angry outbursts; overwhelming guilt or shame.
Farokh Master, MD and homeopath notes that stress causes disease and disease causes stress leading to a vicious circle. Dr. Master cited a study finding that individuals diagnosed with a stress-related disorder were more likely to be diagnosed with an auto-immune disease*. It's important to address these mental and emotional issues before they lead to further physical or emotional degeneration.
If PTSD is the diagnosis, try Ignatia 200c and Coffea cruda 200c, each twice daily until significant improvement is seen. (Note: this may take many weeks or even months). Ignatia is not the only remedy for PTSD. If you do not see any improvement, work with a professional homeopath to find a better suited remedy.
Coffea cruda is an excellent remedy for insomnia in general and those repeating thoughts that plague in the night… when you just can't shut your brain off.
In the case of an acute mental shock, give one dose of Ignatia and see if any relief is found. If there is some improvement but the symptoms return, repeat the remedy until very much better. An acute mental shock could be: a parent dealing with a sick child; witnessing an accident; experiencing the death of a loved one; receiving bad news or experiencing a fright; sadness or worry; separation anxiety as well as experiencing general anxiety or any psychological stress short term.
Back to Rufus. A few years ago, Rufus came to us following what appeared to be a pretty hard life. He was only 80 pounds (now he’s about 130) and his coat was a mess and he was very itchy. His teeth were in a bad way. He stunk. He cowered easily, expecting who knows what. He was afraid of traffic. Though the vet judged him to be about 4 or 5 years old, he had to be taught how to walk on a leash. Yes, we are pretty sure he had it pretty rough before he got here.
What could have been troubling him tonight? I’m not sure. There was a particularly hyped up teenage on-line video game going on in the next room, but that isn’t completely out of the ordinary. A little wind outside tonight, but not too bad. Or, just doggie senses on high alert, perhaps.
Often when the correct homeopathic remedy is given in an acute situation, sleep follows soon after. In the case of old Rufus who spends a lot of time sleeping anyway, it’s kind of hard to tell if it was the Ignatia or if he was just doing his normal thing. But, given his odd behavior 10 minutes earlier and the almost immediate change following the Ignatia, I’m going with the idea that this was the correct remedy for him at this moment.
PTSD can put an enormous damper on living a full and happy life and homeopathy may help. Contact me to see if homeopathy could possibly help you or your loved one.
Julia Coyte, CHom
Classically Practical Homeopathy
* Apologies, I was listening to this lecture and missed the details of the study to which he referred.
RESOURCES used in this article:
Banerji, P. and Banerji, P., 2013. The Banerji protocols : a new method of treatment with homeopathic medicines. India: Pratip Banerji.
Helmer, J., 2020. Why is My Dog Panting and Restless? Great Pet Care.
Marzotto, M., Conforti, A., Magnani, P., Zanolin, M. E., and Bellavite, P., 2012. Effects of Ignatia amara in mouse behavioural models. Homeopathy, 101 (1), 57–67.
Mayo Clinic, 2018. Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) - Symptoms and Causes. Mayo Clinic.
Julia Coyte, CHom
I am passionate about homeopathy and I love sharing this passion. Having a working knowledge of homeopathy shouldn't be kept a secret. If parents have the ability to help their children when they have minor ailments, life just gets better for everyone. That is the purpose behind Ruminating on Remedies.