Aspect: The first impression would be to rebel against the use of such substances as Crot., Lachesis, Apis and other animal poisons, and it is true that the lay mind must look with something like horror upon their administration; but when they are properly used and when we consider the dreadfulness of the necessity demanding them, and also when we have ascertained that there can be no substitute when demanded, and again that they are potentized and changed until they are perfectly pure, because reduced to a state of simple substance, the horror passes away from the mind.
It is true that the diseases that call for the use of such substances as Crot. are very grave. When at the bedside of a Crot. patient one feels that death is very near, the subject is horrible to look upon, and the mother in regard to her child, or the husband, would immediately say,
“Doctor, use anything in order to save the life; resort to anything in order to heal this sick one.”
The symptoms are peculiar in Crot.. The remedy stands out by itself. There can be no substitute for it, as there is no other remedy, taken as a whole, that looks it.
The other snake poisons form the nearest resemblance, but this one is the most dreadful of all, excepting perhaps, the Ancistrodon contortrix (Copperhead).
In the case of snake bites we get the most dire effects; we see death itself, we see the ending after a very rapid course, the very highest type of zymosis. These snake poisons are supposed to be cyanhydrates of soda and other salts.
It is known that alcohol is the natural solvent of the cyanhydrates, and because of this alcohol has been used in great quantities in snake bites, and it has frequently prolonged and even saved life. If he lives through the violent attack he goes on forever manifesting the chronic effects, and from these we have collected symptoms.
Dogs that have been bitten manifested the chronic effects of rattlesnake bite, and in them a peculiar periodicity has been manifested, viz., every spring as the cold weather subsides and the warm days begin
I once had the privilege of tracing up a dog that had been bitten by the Cenchris and had survived. It was bitten in the region of the neck, and in that region a large abscess formed every spring as long as that dog lived, until old age, when he died from that disease. The periodicity in the snake poisons is related to the spring, to the coming on of the warm weather.
Another marked general feature in Crot., as in most of the other Ophidians, is that the patient sleeps into the aggravation.
The poison of the Crot. horridus, in its earliest manifestations, is like unto the zymotic changes that we find in scarlet fever, in diphtheria, in typhoid and low forms of blood poisoning, those cases that come on with great rapidity, breaking down of the blood, relaxation of the blood vessels, bleeding from all of the orifices of the body, rapidly increasing unconsciousness like one intoxicated and besotted in appearance.
Prostration: A mental and physical prostration that is almost paralytic in character. Scarlet fever when it becomes putrid; typhoid when it becomes putrid, diphtheria with much bleeding and putridity. The body appears mottled, blue intermingled with yellow jaundice comes on with astonishing quickness, and the eyes become yellow, and the skin becomes yellow and mottled. Blue in spots. Black and blue spots as if bruised, intermingled with yellow. After hemorrhages the skin becomes extremely anemic.
It is yellow, pale, bloodless. The body looks like wax. Hemorrhage from the ears, eyes, nose, lungs, from the mucous membranes everywhere, from the bowels, from the uterus, A haemorrhagic constitution.