When I was first learning homeopathy, I encountered Misty, a cat suffering with septicemia (a rare, postsurgical reaction involving bacterial spread in the bloodstream and a general breakdown of the blood-clotting mechanism) following a routine spay. She was in pitiable condition, with a high fever and vomiting. Dark blood leaked from her back, her underbelly, legs, feet, mouth and vagina. I also detected bleeding under the skin (dark blue swellings under the eyelids and ears). Though antibiotics might help, I was not sure they would act quickly enough in this crisis situation. She seemed to get worse even as I examined her!
As a temporary measure I decided to administer fluids under her skin to help counter her moderate dehydration. In the process I immediately noticed that she was very sensitive to pain, far more than I would expect. She could hardly bear being touched at all. At this point I recognized the similarity between Misty's condition and the provings of the remedy Arnica (from the herb leopard's bane). Among the characteristics of Arnica are fever, hemorrhage, black and blue spots under the skin from bleeding, septic conditions, hypersensitivity to pain and an aversion to touch!
I immediately gave Misty a tablet of Arnica and repeated it every few hours. Later in the day she was much improved. By the next morning her temperature had dropped and she was no longer bleeding. Misty was obviously calmer—eating for the first time since she became ill. Within 48 hours the only evidence of what had so recently been a life-threatening condition were a few dry scabs where the hemorrhage had been, and Misty was discharged. She remained in good health. I was quite impressed that such results had occurred without any need to use antibiotics or other drugs.
I'm often amazed at how rapidly homeopathic medications can work. In acute problems they usually restore health much faster than [conventional] drugs do, and I have used them to treat a gamut of acute problems from severe infections like parvovirus or distemper to gunshot wounds, bites, punctures and abscesses. But they also excel in treating many chronic conditions, which are the bulk of my practice—allergies, auto-immune diseases, hyperthyroidism, urinary disorders, appetite problems, behavioral abnormalities, paralysis, skin problems, gum disease and so on. In short, they are useful in treating the whole gamut of animal disease.
A recent case that comes to mind, for instance, involved an older cat whose lab tests confirmed feline infectious peritonitis—a terminal condition not curable with [conventional] drugs. His symptoms included repeated vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite and swelling of the abdomen. Over several days my client and I gradually changed the cat's diet to a home-prepared one and increased his vitality through the use of vitamins and thymus gland supplements. I then recognized an appropriate homeopathic remedy, which, for this particular fellow, was Arsenicum album, or white oxide of arsenic. (Don't let this alarm you. The amount of arsenic in a homeopathic remedy is less than you'd find in the food you eat, when it appears as a trace mineral.)
So I gave him one dose, which was followed by a short aggravation of symptoms for a couple of days and then a continued improvement for a long period. Two months later the vomiting began to recur, and I gave one more dose. He quickly returned to normal health and has remained stable ever since. On top of it all, his personality improved, so that he is now considerably calmer and steadier, and his weight increased from 6 to 11 pounds!
Homeopathic remedies can even be used to treat personality problems. For instance, one client's cat had spontaneously developed a drastic personality change for the worse. Where she had once been friendly, she was now irritable, resistant to being held and generally stand-offish. Homeopathic treatment with Nux vomica restored her normal affectionate self.
Reprinted from Dr. Pitcairn's Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats, ©1995, by Richard H. Pitcairn and Susan Pitcairn. Permission granted by Rodale, Inc.; Emmaus, PA 18098. Available at bookstores, by calling the publisher at (800) 848-4735 or visit Rodale's website at http://www.Rodalestore.com/.
About the author:
Richard Pitcairn, DVM, PhD, has been practicing veterinary medicine for over 35 years. He is the author of Dr. Pitcairn's Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats (first published in 1982, revised in 1995), and wrote a monthly column for Prevention Magazine for 9 years. He created the Professional Course in Veterinary Homeopathy, which now has over 300 veterinarian graduates, and recently added an Advanced Course. He was a founding member and the first president of the Academy of Veterinary Homeopathy. He also holds a PhD in virology and immunology. He practices and teaches at the Animal Natural Health Center in Eugene, Oregon.