The cow calved the day before I was consulted; she became very ill the day after calving; the legs and the sinews are drawn so tightly that the skin cracks. She has no fever, yet seems to be in pain, and stands with her head and her ears hanging down. She swells in her stomach, and in her hocks. What milk she has is very thick, like curds mixed with the whey.
The cow doctor, who has visited the cow, says she ought to lose two quarts of blood, and have some very strong drink that is purging; he states that her complaint is the target, that it is in her bowels, and it is generally fatal when it gets there.
The lady to whom the cow belonged, being a homoeopathic, refused to allow the cow to have either the bleeding or the strong drink.
Ordered Pulsatilla, one drop of the 3rd dilution every four hours.
Wednesday, March 7. The dairyman said the cow was neither better nor worse. The milk is rather thinner, though the quantity is very small, indeed she has scarcely any. She has no fever, is rather inclined to be cold. She neither eats nor drinks, she has great difficulty in rising, and is very weak.
Ordered one drop of the 3rd dilution of Bryonia, and four hours after, 1 drop of the 3rd dilution of Pulsatilla, and so in alternation, and each time of taking the Bryonia to apply a poultice upon which 20 drops of the tincture of the 1st dilution of Bryonia were dropped.
She has taken the Bryonia and the Pulsatilla in alternation, and has had the poultice of Bryonia applied to the teats.
March 10. The cow is better; her milk is thick; one quarter of her bag gives good milk, the other quarters give impure milk.
She can now eat her food; she holds up her head; she usually drinks fourteen gallons of water a day, but now she drinks not more than three.
Ordered Bryonia and Pulsatilla at longer intervals. March 12. The cow eats well and seems well; her milk is still not natural and in small quantity, not more than three quarters of a pint from the three quarters. In the bag, the part affected, there is a hard loose substance.
Ordered Sulphur, a grain of the third trituration, in four doses. The cow was cured.
The fact, recorded at page 161, in reference to the necessity of abstinence from food, illustrates a law which applies to the human being as well as to the lower animals. Abstinence in acute disease is an essential to cure. Mr. Stuart remarks: “Their appetite is very great, and care must be taken, as an overloaded stomach always strengthens a relapse.” This truth cannot be too deeply impressed on the mind; the prejudice in favour of feeding patients under the mistaken idea that FEEDING is NOURISHING, is so strong. How many diseases are not cured, because practitioners introduce a new condition, undigested food, forgetting that food is not of necessity nourishment; but is, in disease in many cases, poison.
As instances of the action of Homoeopathic medicines on the inferior animals are seldom recorded in the Homoeopathic Journals, although the subject is so interesting and confirmative of the powers of the remedies over diseased states, I will, if you please, give you particulars of a treatment I instituted on a brown mare, I had last year, with black mane, legs, and tail, and mouse brown muzzle. I got her in July; she was very poor, spiritless, and thin, with bare ribs and an enormous belly; she ate tremendously, and evacuated her faeces in great volume, full of undigested matter. Ascarides existed in the rectum; the skin, moreover, was full of scurf. I sent her to grass for a month, she improved, but I found the belly still full and hard, with rumbling and frequent large evacuations.
I gave her Sulphur, 1st trituration, in solution for a week, and found it had acted well in cleansing the skin and causing digestion to go on better. Just then she got her off-hind fetlock cut with a rope, and had Arnica applied to the wound, for a few days. After which I resumed the Sulphur in the 2nd trituration and allowed it to act. During the months of September and October the animal improved, but in returning from a ride on the 17th November, I found she had started a tendon in the off fore-leg, for which I used Bryonia and Symphytum alternately, for a fortnight with benefit.