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.
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.