(Pacific Coast Journal of Homoeopathy, 1933).
A REALLY beautiful animal is the skunk, though the same can scarcely be said of the secretion of the anal glands which he is able to eject at will. When this offensive fluid has been sprayed about, the vegetation for some fifty feet around will testify to the fact. Echo Farm, with its rolling fields and thick woodland, has its share of skunks as well as of groundhogs and woodchucks, and both animals are a pest.
My Airedale, a big fellow of wonderful courage and intelligence, occasionally manages to come upon a woodchuck before this wary beast can get back to his hole. A short fight ensues and “Jack” seizes the groundhog by the back of the neck, breaking it with a rapid, dexterous shake of his powerful head. The fight is over and Jack trots along proudly conscious of a duty well performed.
Recently he came upon a skunk and bravely attacked it, in spite of my effort to call him off. Almost instantly I was greeted by the familiar and atrocious odour, when Jack emerged from the underbrush, his month filled with froth which he was vainly trying to spit out. I saw the skunk limp away, but did not follow, feeling that discretion was the better part of valour, in this case, at lest. I called was to the distressed dog: “Come on, Jack, well go to the spring at the edge of the woods, where you can rinse your mouth!”
Jack understood, as he does understand every would I say to him, for I make it a practice to talk ” dog- talk” to my dogs, giving them an intelligent reason for everything I wish them to do. At this spring he literally submerged his snout in the cool water, shaking his head from side to side and rinsing his mouth, without drinking.
When the forth had been washed off he drank freely and then came to me as I called. I examined his eyes, happily finding them to be unaffected, patted him on the back and neck and thereafter we both stank. I got rid of my odour by washing in strong soap and then in alcohol, but poor Jack remained in olfactory disgrace for several days.
Thanks to homoeopathy the skunk has a more important use than forming an integral part of maladys fur coat, for this offensively smelling secretion has been proved and serves as a very efficacious remedy in certain forms of whooping-cough. Recently, a mother of four healthy children, of which the eldest is ten, bewailed that two of them, twins, had come down with whooping-cough.
Ipecacuanha seemed to be necessary remedy, it often is, and in the 200th potency did modify the symptoms decidedly. However, the kids were not altogether over the attack and drove both mother and father frantic by their frequent nocturnal spells of choking and coughing. Father was especially annoyed, as fathers are apt to be, and voiced his annoyance in language neither polite nor fit to print. We men will marry ! These kids acted as though they would suffocate, the cough was dry and “non-productive” as the all-wise and egotistical young intern will have it.
No doubt the Ipecacuanha had dried the wells of mucous secretion. I told the mother, who has a well-stacked case of potencies, to give the youngsters skunk, at which she whooped herself, in great surprise, over the telephone. Then I said, “Give the youngsters Mephitis putorius 200th and father will soon stop swearing.” He did, much to the delight and astonishment of all concerned, for the kinds stopped their nocturnal attacks of the threatened strangulation. Such is the power of Hahnemanns “Milde Macht”, but it must be invoked with knowledge and understanding.
In conversation with a farmer a few days ago, upon the subject of skunks, he told me that upon one occasion while out hunting groundhogs he came upon a skunk very unexpectedly and received some of the offensive spray directly in hi eye and face. To quote his words: ” For a few minutes I couldnt see a thing, being blinded; my eye smarted some, but soon this passed off and then I could see better than ever and much more clearly.”
This statement bears out that of Cushing, cited by Clarke in his dictionary of Materia Medica, though it scarcely seems possible that, as Cushing says: ” But when his sight returned it was so keen that he could count the panes in a window said to two miles distant.” What would we mortals do without the good old However, the experience of my farmer acquaintance is of interest.
SOME ANIMAL CURES.
DEAR MR. BARKER, -I was very interested in the article on “Veterinary Homoeopathy” in the March number of your very readable magazine, and thought perhaps you would like to hear how I became an amateur vet. (as my friends call me).
Seeing Speedy Dog Cures mentioned, I purchased a copy and though the very interesting explanation of Homoeopathy and the instructions for the cure of the various canine diseases I was determined to give this new treatment a fair trial. Having a number of dog, there is generally some ailment to attend to, and during the Winter I have found catarrh the most troublesome complaint, which has proved most obstinate to cure with the old fashioned medicine, and often it continued for weeks.
Having learnt so much of Homoeopathy, I was able to select the right remedy and am now able to cure most cases of catarrh in a few days, with Arsenicum iodatum 3x in alternation with Bryonia when there is a cough at the same time. Another case of rheumatism in the hind legs began to improve after a few doses of Rhus toxicodendron 1x.
I am thankful that I am now to do without those nasty drugs which often upset the dogs and make things worse. But I never expected my knowledge of Homoeopathy would come in so unexpectedly useful as it did while on holiday. Last year I spent a fortnight in the country and became very friendly with a farmer, and in course of conversation he mentioned a case of a horse who had a cough for nine months, been treated by a Vet. with all sorts of remedies, but got no better.
He described the symptoms cough dry and hard, worse when at work, he seldom coughs in the stable. I thought, here is a chance for Homoeopathy. He had never hard of it. I remembered that Bryonia is advised in speedy. Dog Cures for a similar cough in dogs. Believing in the motto “Be Prepared “, I carry a few remedies with me for my own use Having a bottle of Bryonia 1x, I asked him to try it, and give the horse ten drops on a piece of lump sugar twice a day.
Of course, the dose startled him, and led to the usual reply: “How can such small dose do any good ?” At any rate the farmer tried the Bryonia, and before I left the horse was practically cured. Another triumph for Homoeopathy.
With many thanks to the Editor of “HEAL THYSELF and the Author of Speedy Dog Cures for the introduction to this wonderful system of medicine.
Yours faithfully, AN AMATEUR VET.