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Homeopathy for Animals - A puppy with severe itching

Scooter is a black Labrador Retriever who came to me as an eight-month-old pup with an itch. He had been itchy since he was eight weeks old, starting two days after his puppy vaccines. At his young age he had already been on prednisone and antihistamine for this problem, which caused excessive thirst, hyperactivity, and a change in his personality. On these drugs he became angry, tense, and excited, as well as urinary incontinent. His groin and the backs of his legs were raw from scratching, and he had a large amount of white flakes on his back. He stole food from the counters, had smelly flatus every other day, and his thirst increased to 6--8 cups of water a day.
     Interestingly, his litter mate (brother) did not suffer the same vaccination consequences.
     Rx: Nux vomica 10M; December 6, 1996
     I began the case with Nux vomica because of his sensitivity to drugs. He reacted with a clear, crystal-like ear discharge, a bout of vomiting before his breakfast, and a brief period of calmness, in contrast to his excitable personality. He stopped itching his groin, and his fur was growing back. There was a milky gelatinous discharge from his penis, twice a day. His gas continued.
     Rx: Argentum nitricum 1M; December 18, 1996
     It might have been better to wait longer before prescribing again, but I was too anxious, and Argentum seemed to fit his penile discharge and smelly gas. Unfortunately, this remedy aggravated his intestinal gas, and he began having loose stools on and off. His body began to have a strong smell, and his breath smelled bad. This might have been part of his body's healing process, but I needed to wait to be sure. (I had learned my lesson.) His eyes began discharging a greyish mucus. He was itching less, and there was no further vomiting. He seemed thin.
     On January 22 he was still itching his feet, leaving them red and hairless. His ears were also itchy, and he was constantly hungry. His gas was better and his eyes were clearer. He was destroying baskets in the house when he was left alone. (This was new.) He stuck near his guardian, following her everywhere.
     Because his symptoms seemed stable, I decided he was ready for a new remedy. Based on his itchy skin condition mostly on his feet and his history of ill effects after vaccination (vaccinosis), I prescribed Thuja.
     Rx: Thuja 10M; January 22, 1997
     After the Thuja, he had diarrhea that lasted for a week. It was urgent, with mucus, and it happened in the middle of the night. He was straining during the day without any stool. By early February, his paws were healing, but he was scratching a sore inside his right ear. He "looked like a different dog" from two months ago, according to his guardian. His gas was bad again.
     Because of the dramatic change in his itching, I wanted to wait a while to let his case settle before prescribing again. I didn't think I wanted to repeat the Argentum, because it wasn't clearly a curative response, but I did think that another anti-psoric remedy would soon become evident. In the meantime, Scooter was neutered.
     On March 22, Scooter was again itching and chewing his paws a lot. He still had a sore in his right ear, and offensive flatus. He weighed 70 pounds. The previous month he had had explosive nighttime diarrhea for one week, during which his gas was worse. I prescribed a new remedy based on his gas, ravenous appetite, itching without eruption, and his diarrhea attacks.
     Rx: Lycopodium 1M; March 22, 1997
     Lycopodium was not helpful, so Sulphur was prescribed (Sulphur 1M on May 2 and Sulphur 10M on June 15). This remedy was chosen for his urgent diarrhea, ravenous appetite, the non-healing sore in his ear, his gas, an increased thirst, and, of course, the ever-present itch. After the first dose of Sulphur his ear healed, his appetite normalized, and he became less destructive when left alone. After the second dose of Sulphur, he stopped scratching and did well until August, when his skin troubles flared up again. I did not re-dose Sulphur because the duration of alleviation suggested palliation, rather than a curative process.
     He was now vomiting before his breakfast and had patches of dry skin, though his skin was no longer inflamed. He weighed 74 pounds (his brother weighed 85 pounds). His fur was shiny. He was drinking out of the toilet. A dose of Phosphorus 10M didn't do anything except bring back his bad gas. He was seeking cool places such as the basement and the bathroom floor.
     Rx: Causticum 10M; September 15, 1997
     Causticum was chosen for his chronic diarrhea with gas, itching ameliorated by cool, and mental problems after his skin symptoms had been suppressed as a pup. Scooter's itching stopped, and his skin and fur looked healthy. He no longer looked smaller than his brother, and in fact he was now taller! This was really encouraging and amazing in an 18-month-old—to gain in height.
     Scooter got treated with Calcarea carbonica 10M in December 1997 to attempt to address his ravenous appetite and his continued diarrhea attacks (every two weeks).
     As of November 1998, Scooter had diarrhea attacks once every one to two months. His flatus was gone. He had a bit of itching but otherwise he was doing well. He may benefit from another dose of Calc carb, if his guardians decide to continue treatment, but he is on a much better plane of health since his days of prednisone as a puppy!

About the author:
Dr. Wendy Jensen, a 1987 New York State College of Veterinary Medicine graduate, has been practicing 100% homeopathy from her housecall practice in Maryland since 1992. She was certified by the Academy of Veterinary Homeopathy in 1994, and is the editor for the Academy's Journal.

This case was one of those presented at the Homeopathic Medical Society of the State of Pennsylvania Conference, at Harrisburg, April 8--10, 1999.