Common diseases of Cows treated with homeopathy. Find out more about homeopathic treatment of cows and common remedies for common ailments in cows in veterinary practice….

Those who keep cows, whether for amusement or profit, or it may be for both reasons, bath neither by experience or heresay I earned some times of that very troublesome and too often fatal disease known as milk fever, or parturient apoplexy– amongst cow-herds it is frequently designated “dropping after calving.” Now it is a well-known fact that veterinary pathologists are very far from being unanimous as to the nature of the disease, indeed it would probably not beginning too far to state that hardly two veterinary pathologists of any standing in the profession entertain identical opinions or the nature of parturient apoplexy; therefore the suggestion at once presents itself to the intelligent homoeopathist, how can it be expected that any success can follow treatment which relies first of all upon discovering the Pathology of a case: here comes the advantage of a system which is guided by the totality of the symptoms for the selection of a drug; if the pathologist does not know the Pathology of the case before him how can he expect to prescribe for it, when he relies implicitly upon Pathology.

It would serve no purpose in this paper to enumerate the various pathological theories that have been advanced to account for the nature of parturient apoplexy; suffice it to say, they are numerous, a fact which in itself goes very far to show what a broken reed Pathology–per se–is to trust to. During my ten years of homoeopathic practice I have enjoyed the opportunity of seeing and treating quite a number of cases of parturient apoplexy and I have yet to meet with my first case of disappointment and failure, this is a very strong assertion to make, and is one that would cause those who know most about the disease to accept it cum grano salis: nevertheless it is a fact, and it speaks volumes–not for my individual professional ability –but, for Hahnemann’s system of drug selection.

Had this been a strictly scientific essay that I was writing, to be perused by scientific men, I should have gone into the various symptoms, duration complications and curative treatment of the disease; but as it is intended for the perusal of the lay public, I must ask to be excused from occupying so much space as such a dissertation would naturally involve: I therefore pass on to another form of disease which in like manner is only too well-known to owners of dairy stock on account of the pecuniary loss it frequently inflicts, I refer to Mammitis or inflammation of the under, which infrequently terminates–for want of proper treatment–in atrophy or wasting, in duration and gangrene of the organ, and sometimes even the death of the animal.

Though the disease may not resolve itself into such serious terminations as those indicated, it is very frequently the case that one quarter of the under is lost for all practical milking purposes and the value of the cow proportionately diminished; there is, however, really no reason why any of these casualties should be encountered, if only the cowherd is sufficiently experienced in, and alive to his duties, to discern when inflammation first attacks the organ; such remedies as, Phytolacca, Belladonna, Pulsatilla and Hydrastis– according to the stage which the disease has attained–are usually found to be sufficient to effect a satisfactory cure.

One case will be sufficient to illustrate the efficacy of our treatment, as it was one where the inflammatory process had reached such an advanced stage, one teat being quite indurated from which nothing could be extracted by manipulation, while the corresponding one only yielded pus, blood and milky serum; the swelling was considerable and the pain very acute over the whole gland; the cow was the properly of a man who at the time was laid up with a fatal disease at a hospital, and the responsibility of managing the business and maintaining the family devolved on his wife; I was therefore the more anxious to make a rapid cure and if possible save the poor woman from the serious pecuniary loss which she was experiencing by the withdrawal of this cow’s yield of milk from he daily service; my instructions were rigidly observed and in due course the cow was restored to health, even the indurated portion of the gland renewing its secretory function; the whole time during which the cow was under treatment not exceeding three weeks.

It may be as well to explain, in order to prove the marvellous efficacy of the treatment, that when a portion of the mammary gland becomes indurated, it is generally considered that so far as lacteal secretion is concerned that part is so altered by the organisation of inflammatory products as to be irrevocably destroyed; this theory however under homoeopathic treatment does not always apply, as in the case under notice the inflammatory products were, without doubt resolved, and the organ restored to functional activity.

One other case of a cow and then I have done with bovines. This cow was one of a small dairy of seven, the property of a very poor widow, who was to all appearances none too well off, and seemed to experience no little difficulty in making both ends meet in matters monetary: the woman came to me in the greatest distress begging that if possible I would save her cow; the animal was old, and as is very frequently the case with free milkers, had a very impoverished appearance.

I found that the digestive canal was the seat of danger, no faeces having passed for several days with the exception of occasionally some hard, black round bullets of excreta, an altogether abnormal condition of things in the cow; the external temperature was very low, as also was the internal on the evidence of the thermometer. The animal was the subject of occasional abdominal spasmodic pain, and the urinary secretion was almost entirely arrested, as I proved to my satisfaction by the use of the catheter.

One striking feature about the case was, that the abdomen was markedly retracted, while in ordinary cases of colic the abdomen is very much swollen; this peculiar symptom at once directed my thoughts to the consideration of a certain remedy, and I discovered as I continued to compare the totality of the symptoms that I had a case for which plumbum should prove the curative agent, and so it did. I administered the powder in 15 grain doses of the third decimal attenuation, and had the satisfaction of seeing the cow recover thereunder.

Other diseases common to cows and their Remedies*

*Unless specifically indicated, the doses of the Remedies should be 10 drops at a time, to be taken at short or long intervals according to the violent or mild nature of the symptoms are:-

Abortion–Arnica (esp. if due to injury; may also prevent, if given early); Sabina and Secale (if with straining, the latter may be used in alternation with Arnica).


Constipation–Nux; to be followed by Opium or Platina, if necessary.

Diarrhoea–Arsenicum (very offensive evacuation, watery or mixed with mucus and blood and rapid wasting), Bryonia (alternate diarrhoea and constipation). Chamomilla (greenish evacuation, mixed with phlegm, preceded by pain in bowels), China (stools mixed with undigested food), Ipecacuanha (dark evacuation, mixed with mucus and blood), Mercurius Vivus (yellow or dark stools, having a putrid smell), Sulphur.

Injuries (of the bones)–Symphytum; both internally and externally.

Injuries (to the eyes)–Arnica, both internally and externally.

Loss of Appetite–Arsenicum, Kali Carb., Nux Vomica.

Milk (Diminution)–Chamomilla; Phosphorus, when the former proves insufficient.

Milk (Bloody–Ipecacuanha; Arnica (when due to injury–both internally and externally).

Ophthalmia–Aconite, Arnica, Belladonna, Conium, Euphrasia.

Pleuro-Pneumonia–Aconite (the first remedy, with high febrile symptoms; it is alternated with Bryonia or Phosphorus, when the violent symptoms abate); Ammonium Causticum (quick difficult breathing, with rattling sound, great weakness, listlessness and depression); Arsenicum (purging and grinding of teeth); Squilla (foam about mouth, mouth-breathing with a grunting sound and violent cough–the animal lies with head extended in a straight line with the body; Sulphur (recovery is slow, it seems to confirm the tendency towards health and guards against relapse).

Rheumatism–Aconite and Bryonia (in alternation, when there is fever); Arsenicum (when feet most affected): Belladonna (swelling of legs–the animal stumbles when walking); Sulphur (hastens the cure).

Rinderpest (Texas Fever or Russian Plague)–Aconite, Ammonium Caust, Arsenicum, Belladonna Bryonia Mercurius, Phosphoric Acid Phosphorus, Rhus Tox, Terebinthina Veratrum Album.

Skin Diseases–Sulphur (both internally and externally): Mercurius follows it, when it fails; Arsenicum and Thuja may also be required, the former when the lesion is covered with a yellowish scurf, the latter when the skin lies up in folds covered with a hard scurf.

Swelling of Head–Aconite and Belladonna, in alternation.

Teat, sore–Arnica (when due to injury); Thuja (when due to warts). Both are used locally in solution with water.

J S Harndall