ON February 24th, 1936 Miss A. H.F., living in Kent, wrote to me that her little dog was in a very dangerous condition and asked me to help her in her trouble. She wrote: “The vet. here says my little dogs heart is in a very bad state. She has a fatty heart and the dog is so fat and I do so want her to be treated homoeopathically. The little patient is about three years old and the vet. says I shall not have her long. There is no other disease or anything else wrong with her but the heart and fatness.”.
It seems extraordinary that a trained veterinary surgeon has no advice to offer for a little dog who suffers from so-called heart disease and obesity. Where the two things are found in combination, the anomalous condition of the heart, but no necessarily heart disease, is usually due to masses of fat pressing on the heart, and the logical treatment is to cut down the diet of the two-legged and the four-legged sufferers.
Further the heart should be given some support, by a suitable tonic. In immediate reply I asked the lady to give the animal as much water to drink as she liked and to feed her on the minimum of raw meat and nothing else. I sent her at the same time a box of Crataegus, mother tincture tablets, one to be given every two hours.
My letter was written on the 26th and in immediate reply the owner wrote, emphasizing the position: “The veterinary surgeon here who examined her says she has a fatty heart and is too fat, although she is not nearly so fat as I have seen some of the smaller terriers of her size. He says there is no other disease of any kind or anything else wrong, and as she is only three years old, am very hopeful she will get right again in time.”.
As it was not quite clear to me whether Crataegus was the right remedy I sent as an alternative Cactus 1x, which is particularly indicated if there is a constricting pain in and around the heart. The need of Cactus seemed particularly indicated because the little dog would not run any longer and was obviously seized with great discomfort or pain or walking.
On March 3rd, after four days treatment, the owner wrote: “I am so pleased to tell that my little dog seems much better. She has had Crataegus yesterday and will have it tomorrow, and I will try Cactus later on as you suggested, starting on Thursday morning, for three days, and will then report again telling you whether she is better with the one medicine or the other. She is not now so listless as she was, and goes up the garden more quickly.
She went for about ten minutes walk (not more) on the lead, and slowly, and was not nearly so tired as before. In fact she wanted to go farther and before she has not wanted to go out with me at all. She had had 2 lb. of raw beef steak in two and a half days. She has now a dry cough, particularly in the mornings. The vet. here said it was due to the heart trouble.”.
It seems of little use for a doctor or veterinary surgeon to make a scientific diagnosis unless it is followed by practical advice. The vet. might at least have given the dog something for her dry cough. As the character of the cough was not clear enough, I sent Bryonia 3x and Hyoscyamus 3x, each to be tried by itself, two pilules to be given as needed, and asked Miss F. to concentrate upon the more helpful remedy.
On March 11th, after a fortnights treatment, Miss F. wrote: “I am so pleased to tell you that my dog is much better and more lively altogether. I find that the medicine for her named Cactus seems to suit her best.” I of course sent some more Cactus Ix and on March 15th, after eighteen days treatment, the owner wrote: “The improvement in my little dog is wonderful. She is quite lively again, does not tremble nearly so much, is ready for her little walk, and, in fact, it is a job for me to stop her running at times, so I put her on the lead, as she is so much better. Her cough hardly troubles her at all now.
My friends are greatly surprised at the quick improvement, and I am truly thankful to Homoeopathy for her recovery, as she is the most affectionate and intelligent dog I have ever had and a real pal, and it is so hard to lose them”.
Curiously, I, who had not seen or examined the dog, did better than the local veterinary surgeon who is supposed to be an expert in these matters and who had seen and examined the little thing and who had no practical advice to offer.