Discovering The Magic of Homeopathy – Part 2

17-03-17

Who would have thought that a nice, new, shiny wet nose could change everything?

Well Tina’s did.

In one fell swoop it swept way any doubts I had about homeopathy’s ability to positively influence health.  It was living proof that remedies, no matter how dilute, could stimulate healing.  There was no other explanation.  And if it worked for ­Tina, then why not for other pets too?  ­What’s more, if it worked for a condition as serious as nasal aspergillosis then what else was ­possible? I soon found out.

Red Eye

‘It was dumped on the doorstep a few moments ago,’ Karen said annoyed, placing a battered cardboard box on the examination table.  Here and there it was streaked with red, which was never a good sign.

We paused for a moment, listening.  No sound of puppies or kittens squeaking.  No clip clopping of webbed feet, or the pecking of a beak against the inside of the box.  None of the strange cries that wild animals sometimes make, particularly when injured or frightened.  There was however, the sound of muffled breathing.

Gloves at the ready, just in case, we slowly lifted the lid, and were met by a pitiful sight.

Lying prostrate on a makeshift bed of bloodied blankets, panting furiously and trembling from head to foot, was a small black cat, with multiple injures.

Torn nails.  Abrasions.  An assortment of bumps and bruises. Pale, cold, clammy mouth and an eye full of blood protruding from its socket.  All the hallmarks of being hit by a car.

Thankfully, on closer examination there didn’t appear to be any broken bones, or signs of internal damage.  The left side of the face appeared to have born the brunt of the impact, which accounted for the dreadful state of the eye.

With a waiting room full of patients to attend to, a nurse was assigned to dress his wounds, and a homeopathic remedy made up for the bruising and shock, with instructions to administer it every 5 minutes.  A slot in theatre was booked to remove the prolapsed eye.

Ninety minutes later, I entered the in-patient area and found a very different cat.  ‘Red Eye’ as he was now called, was breathing normally, all signs of shock had gone and the left eye had shrunk – almost back into its socket –  which was causing quite a stir.  Putting surgery on hold, homeopathic treatment was maintained throughout the day, as Red Eye continued to improve.

By the end of the following day, the blood clot in the anterior chamber was dissolving.  By the end of the week the front of the eye was completely clear, except for a few strands of scar tissue connecting the cornea to the iris, which restricted pupillary movements.

It was difficult to tell how much vision there was left in the eye if any, but  it certainly didn’t handicap him in any way, or prevent him from living a full and active life when he went to his new home. 

Proof Of The Pudding

Looking back, I can see now that I fell into the trap of dismissing homeopathy because it didn’t fit my belief ­system at the time.

I couldn’t see how it could possibly work, and so it didn’t. 

Fortunately, Dr Reilly’s lecture came along with a different point of view, when I was struggling with the inability of conventional medicine to help many of my patients.  Tina and Red Eye – ­real live animals with real problems and real, documented healing responses, not abstract contentions in a debate – provided the proof of the pudding that homeopathy can heal.

Most wonderful of all, is that these aren’t isolated cases.  Over the years, I’ve seen similarly dramatic ­improvements in health in both animals and people suffering from a wide range of conditions, including chronic skin disease, allergies, digestive disturbances and behavioural problems.

Homeopathy is not a cure all.  It relies on a pet’s or person’s ability to respond to a healing stimulus, which ­depends on many factors.  It is in my experience however, one of the gentlest, safest and most effective ways to stimulate the body’s natural healing mechanisms in both animals and people. 

And so now, instead of cringing and thinking of my younger self when I hear words like ‘placebo’, ‘nonsense’ or ‘quackery’ bandied about, I picture Tina’s beautiful nose and Red Eye climbing trees with a full complement of eyes, and SMILE!

 

Discovering The Magic of Homeopathy – Part 1

I scanned the neat rows of vials, filled with little white pills.

‘Homeopathy,’ someone said.

‘Nonsense,’ I thought.

The year was 1983, I was fresh from 5 years at Liverpool University studying to become a vet and had just discovered that the ‘remedies’ a colleague was dispensing to pets for all sorts of injuries and ills, were homeopathic preparations.

It wasn’t that I was averse to the idea of using complementary therapies to treat animals. Quite the opposite in fact. As a student I had seen acupuncture, herbs and a variety of other ‘unorthodox’ treatments yield positive results in the hands of a number of pioneering vets, in animals both large and small. Naturally inquisitive (some might say nosey) I had also conducted a few experiment of my own. One particularly fond memory is of Mum sat stoically on a chair in the sitting room with a dozen or so acupuncture needles in place, while I confirmed whether the electric shocks she described matched the meridians mapped out in text books.

This was different. The complementary therapies I had encountered up until then were based on something ‘solid’. Acupuncture needles stimulating neural pathways. Herbs supplying biologically active agents. Physical manipulations correcting misalignments. The notion that substances diluted in water to the point of extinction and beyond could stimulate healing when given to pets, seemed patently absurd. It contradicted everything school had taught me about the nature of matter, and everything I had learned at university about veterinary medicine. With nothing to convince me otherwise, homeopathy was dismissed.

Snowflakes in Harrogate

Snowflakes

A decade or so later, I was attending a British Small Animal Veterinary Association congress in Harrogate, when I found myself at a loose end. About to make an early exit, I happened to glance at the lecture list and saw that a short presentation on homeopathy by Dr David Reilly was about to begin in a room not far away. Intrigued by what a member of the medical profession might have to say on the subject, I made my way over and settled into a chair.

Dr Reilly began by revealing that he had initially set out to disprove homeopathy, but as a result of his experiences had become a firm advocate of this form of medicine.

Next came a video of a Glaswegian man who had suffered terrible cluster headaches for years, which had driven him to the point of suicide. It brought a lump to the throat to hear him describe the relief homeopathic treatment had given him, when all else had failed.

Finally, there was an interesting discussion about snowflakes and the myriad patterns they form. Could this ability of water to form countless, chemically identical but structurally different configurations, enable it to act as medium for transferring information from homeopathically prepared substances to patients?

It was a fascinating presentation, and timely too. I had my own clinic by then and was feeling increasingly frustrated by the number of pets I was seeing that conventional treatment couldn’t help, and so I resolved to put homeopathy to the test.

A Snotty Sausage

A few months later Tina, an adorable little Dachshund, waddled into the clinic with a very snotty nose. X-rays showed the moth-eaten appearance typical of nasal aspergillosis – a nasty fungal infection which destroys the bone in affected nasal chambers and frontal sinuses. Further tests confirmed the diagnosis.

The outlook for Tina was bleak, even with treatment, which involved drilling holes in her skull so that the infected tissues could be irrigated each day with anti-fungal drugs.

Faced with Tina undergoing distressing surgery with no guarantee of success, the owner understandably felt euthanasia was the kindest option.

With nothing to lose, I explained that I had recently begun studying homeopathy at the Glasgow Homeopathic Hospital and that even though the chances of an improvement were slim, I was willing if he was to give homeopathy a try. Luckily we felt the same and so a homeopathic remedy was prescribed.

Over the next month the change in Tina was remarkable. The discharge vanished, her appetite returned and she became her ‘old self’ again. Follow up radiography demonstrated significant bone healing, with no evidence of further damage. Tina went on to live a long and healthy life free of any reoccurrence.

It was impossible after that, for me to deny the ability of homeopathic remedies to stimulate healing.

If further proof was needed however, I didn’t have to wait long…