Written by Dr. Anke Zimmermann, ND, FCAH
A Facial Ulcer on a Dog
Bailey, the 11-year-old yellow lab of a friend of mine, had been suffering from a large ulcer on the right side of her face for some time. The ulcer looked like a crater and was about an inch in diameter. The base of the ulcer was necrotic, which means that the tissue was dying off.
The ulcer exuded a slightly yellow, moist discharge. Bailey had already received antibiotics but was not responding well. The vet suspected that she was developing blood poisoning and kidney failure from the infection. She had stopped eating and was barely moving at this point. The prognosis was grim and the family was getting ready to say their last good-byes to their dear friend.
I offered to visit my friend and her dog. Examining the animal, I recalled a photo in the dermatology textbook we had used in naturopathic college. Now, dermatology textbooks are not for the faint of stomach and I recalled the initial revulsion gazing at the less than appetizing images when we had to study this topic.
However, after a few months I was even able to eat my lunch while studying photos of various skin infections, warts, tumours and other delicacies.
Tertiary Syphilis - Hold Your Lunch
One page had stuck in my mind - that of the face of an older woman with late-stage syphilis. There was a large, crater-like, punched-out lesion on her face. Late stage syphilis can develop between 2-60 years after the initial infection and symptoms can manifest in the skin, the cardiovascular system and central nervous system.
Well, the basic idea in homeopathy is that like cures like, or rather, that a substance which can create a certain state in a healthy organism may be able to cure that state in one who already has the correlating symptoms.
Now I can't say that Bailey had syphilis, obviously, but the ulcer she had looked just like the one from the textbook, so, as we had nothing to lose, my friend gave the dog a dose of homeopathic syphilis, 200 CH.
In homeopathy we have many remedies made from diseases and although this may not sound appealing, we are all familiar with vaccines which are made from various disease-causing organisms. Only a very small dose of the infectious agent is used to stimulate the immune system to prevent the disease later.
Like Cures Like
Homeopathic remedies can be used in a similar matter. Homeopathic remedies may be used preventatively or after the fact, so to speak. For example, I have seen numerous patients who did not recover well from a bad flu return to health after taking Influenzinum, a homeopathic remedy made from the flu virus.
Within three days of starting the homeopathic syphilis remedy, Bailey's health turned around. She got up and was lively again and her ulcer started to heal. She also received some additional care after this from a naturopathic vet I recommended, who gave her supplements and a diet change, but the homeopathic remedy no doubt started her recovery.
The ulcer healed completely, Bailey lived for another three years and her owner was so impressed by the event that she decided to become a naturopathic doctor and is now a dear colleague of mine!
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Dr. Anke Zimmermann, ND, FCAH is a naturopathic doctor with a special interest in developmental and behavioural disorders. Cases are all from her practice, names have been changed, they were published with permission and are intended for education only.
Dr. Anke Zimmermann, ND, FCAH, Naturopathic Physician
West Sooke, BC, Canada
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