A Rufus Update
Rufus’ dollops had literally dropped to nothing for a while. Then there would be another and we repeated the Aloe and they would disappear again. Then, they just kept coming, regardless of what we tried. A package was waiting every morning and sometimes 1 or 2 more times during the day and evening.
A change had occurred, though, that could be helpful to finding another remedy. His stools became lienteric. From Merriam Webster: "containing or characterized by the passage of undigested or partially digested food — used of feces or diarrhea."
We were literally getting ready to walk out the door for a few days away, so I took a quick look at Murphy’s repertory which shows a couple of possible remedies that fit the idea of both his loose/easy stool as well as lienteric stool.
I left 4 bowls of food in the fridge for the dog sitter to give him, each with China officinalis wedged into some pieces of meat.
There has not been a dollop since. Not the usual morning offering nor the evening drop off. And, I think he looks a little happier about life. He seems to be sleeping less. He comes to sit by us in the day rather than staying by himself. But, we've been here before… so, stay tuned! I am hopeful but not certain.
Cinchona officinalis (or, China officinalis, AKA China, or Peruvian Bark) — from which we get quinine is also the first homeopathic remedy to be “proved” by Samuel Hahnemann. He devised his theory of “like cures like,” then he tried it on himself. Thus he “proved” his theory. (Look for an upcoming article on this topic.)
At it’s worst, the Cinchona patient is “despondent, gloomy, has no desire to live, but lacks courage to commit suicide” (Allen 2017, p. 100). Could Rufus have been in that state? Dunno. “Gloomy” could certainly be a word attributed to his disposition recently.
Cinchona also has “drawing or tearing; in every joint” (Allen 2005, p. 100). We know he has this going on. You can see it and hear it when he stands up or drops down.
Cinchona is an excellent remedy for the elderly, the weak or the recuperating. We believe Rufus to be on the older side. (He has been with us for 5-1/2 years and the vet estimated he was 4 or 5 at that time.) Cinchona is part of the 3rd line Banerji Protocol for Malnutrition with loss of weight (Banerji and Banerji 2013, p. 131). That could fit old Rufus. His harness seems pretty loose these days despite our not altering his diet. When he first joined our family, he was only 85 pounds (and was missing a great deal of his fur, plus mange, plus fleas and yeast infections — I had forgotten how unwell he used to be!) Though the vet recommended a chicken and rice diet for him, we quickly learned that rice was not his friend and he has been grain free ever since and last we checked, he was about 130 pounds. But, there is absolutely no question that he was malnourished upon arrival here. Bone broth has been an amazing thing for this lovely beast and I credit that, along with cell salts and well chosen homeopathic remedies, for getting him back to health.
Homeopathy is definitely not an exact science and it is not at all unusual to need to zigzag your way through a case. I hope we are at the end of Rufus’ dollops, but in the event that we are not, I am prepared to follow his symptoms to make sure that his remaining years are as pleasant as possible — for him, and for us!
Julia Coyte, CHom
Allen, H. C., 2017. Keynotes : rearranged and classified with leading remedies of the materia medica and bowel nosodes including repertorial index. Noida, U.P., India: B. Jain Publishers (P) Ltd.
Banerji, P. and Banerji, P., 2013. The Banerji protocols : a new method of treatment with homeopathic medicines. India: Pratip Banerji.
Lions and tigers and bears…
My latest read arrived in the mail today. “Pigs: The Homeopathic Approach to the Treatment and Prevention of Diseases.” Once I have read it, it will sit on the shelf next to “Homeopathy for the Heard: A Farmer’s Guide to Low-Cost, Non-Toxic Veterinary Care of Cattle” and the “Practical Handbook of Veterinary Homeopathy: Healing Our Companion Animals from the Inside Out.” I have more like this on the shelf, but that’s not the point of this article.
The purpose of this article is to point out how marvelously well homeopathy works for all creatures. I have recently written about Rufus and his troubles ["An insecure rectum"& "What Hurts?"], but homeopathy has in the past helped our chickens and our peacock, too.
Now, let's take a look at our imaginary creatures from the title of this article.
I have no doubt this powerful medicine would be able to help “The Lion in Love.” That’s the Aesop’s Fable where the poor lion, in love with the woodsman’s daughter, was de-fanged and de-clawed and still denied the woodsman’s daughter anyway. This poor fellow most certainly could have been helped by Natrum muriaticum, the preeminent remedy for unrequited love.
Though tiger balm isn’t made from any part of a tiger (at least not that I can find!), and can be useful for straining injuries — the mechanism behind the active ingredient is to numb and block nerve sensations to make the area feel temporarily less painful. Now, if our imaginary tiger from an Aesop’s fable was in need of tiger balm, I’m not certain it would do him much good due to his thick coat and skin. BUT, homeopathy could help him. Helios pharmacy makes a lovely remedy they call “Helios Injury.” This is a combination of Arnica, Rhus tox and Ruta grav which will bring relief to strains and sprains and bruises (oh, my! — sorry, I couldn’t resist). If you are not near a Helios (located in the UK), you can make your own combination remedy by putting a couple of pellets of each of the 3 remedies in your mouth at one time and letting them dissolve together to create this powerful remedy.
The bear in Aesop's “The Bear and The Bees,” who was stung so terribly by the whole hive from whom he was trying to steal their honey… Apis mellifica is the remedy needed if the area is warm, red and swollen. But, if the sting area feels cold and it is relieved by cold, then Ledum palustre is the better choice.
Whether it’s a chicken or a peacock or a dog or a pig or a whole herd of cows… homeopathy can help clear up what ails them quickly, safely and non-toxically.
If you are interested in setting an appointment for your lion, tiger or bear, I'm willing to give it a try! Contact me at classicallypractical.com.
Rufus is a big dog and he most likely suffers from the hip joint problems these big fellows are known to endure. He’s been slowing down for a while now and we dare not take him on a long off-road walk because there would be no carrying him back home if he decided to sit down and be done with the walk.
The other day, poor old Rufus couldn’t (or wouldn’t) get up to get his breakfast. He had to have his back end lifted for him to get him on his way. He seemed fine the day before. Fine is relative here. It always seems an effort for him to stand up. There is almost always a groan and a sudden drop when he tries to make himself comfy.
Having no idea what happened to Ruf — did he injure his leg or back or is it just the old age aches of a big dog — I wasn’t sure where to start and he wasn’t helping me figure it out.
After being helped up, he had his breakfast and took himself outside for a bit and plopped back down in his cool room.
I brought him a T-Relief spiked treat*.
T-Relief used to be known as Traumeel and was one of the first homeopathic remedies that I began using on my own. It’s a homeopathic mix which covers a lot of ground:
Arnica — Joint, back, muscle pain
Calendula — pain reliever
Hamamelis — a good remedy to think of when Arnica didn’t act.
Bellis Perennis — joint and muscle soreness
Belladonna — pain reliever
Hypericum — nerve pain (see “Poked by a Branch” blog)
Ruta — tendons and ligaments
And a few more remedies thrown in for good measure.
A lot of homeopaths don’t like the combination remedies. Could an injury or pain be more specifically addressed through a targeted remedy? You bet. But, in a pinch and when you don’t have the working knowledge to guide you to the “correct” remedy, combination remedies can often quickly get you the relief you need.
And, for Rufus, it did just that.
He lounged most of the day, as usual, and he was able to get up for his dinner, albeit slower than usual. A few more doses of T-Relief put him back on track.
[In writing this article, I see Medinatura also offers a line of Pet products. I have not tried them. The ingredients and price appear to be identical to the people version.]
* I crush the tablet with the back of a spoon or the flat part of a knife and pick up the powder on a piece of meat or cheese and give it to him that way. They can also be put directly in the mouth, between the gum and cheek.
** Follow the manufacturer’s recommendation.
An "Insecure Rectum"
We have an old and delightful dog. Scratch that. We have a dog whose age is unknown but suspected to be old and he is mostly delightful except when he leaves dollops on the floor. Which, appears to be happening less frequently now, I am relieved to say.
Rufus is a big dog, a Great Pyrenees/Mastiff mix. Due to a suspected hard life prior to his arrival with us, at 130 pounds, he's not as big as he might otherwise be. This big fellow likes to sleep under the table on the screen porch. This is also where we find most of the dollops. I suspect that they just kind of fall out when he's trying to get out from under there.
Here is how we have approached the problem: Aloe socotrina 200c, once daily to address the (suspected) involuntary stool. And, because in homeopathy, (as in life), it is important to remove any maintaining causes which may be contributing to a problem, we now slide the table to an angle at night to help him get out from under it easier but still giving him enough cover to feel safe.
The dollops were less frequent almost immediately and (touch wood) there haven't been any now for a couple of weeks after they had been there, waiting for us, every morning and sometimes multiple times a day, including when he had not been struggling to get out from under the table.
Aloe socotrina, the common aloe plant, is a strong rectal remedy. It can be helpful (in humans as well as big dogs and other creatures) with diarrhea, especially when there is a sense of urgency with rumbling and gurgling and the feeling of insecurity when passing gas and it is suggested when "every morning, on rising, has a hasty desire for stool" (Murphy 2006).
At the risk of anthropomorphizing old Rufus … on the mental/emotional level, Aloe socotrina can present with ill humor, discontentment and (here's the truly human-like moment) "dissatisfied and angry about himself." We never shamed him, just cleaned it up and got on with the day, but he would sit and watch us with his head on his paws, looking, (dare I say it?), a little upset with himself.
It's a tricky business pretending to know what's in your dog's mind. There is, however, no pretending to know what's going on when the dollops have diminished.
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 people have the ability to help themselves, their children and their friends when they have minor ailments, life just gets better for everyone. That is the purpose behind Ruminating on Remedies.