We ought to be fair to our dumb friends disease which kills every year many thousands of dogs and cripples many for life, for it is frequently followed by fits of every kind, St. Vitus Dance, affections of nerves, paralysis, brain affections, etc.
Readers who wish to treat their dogs for distemper must remember that homoeopaths have no specific treatment for diseases but that they treat symptoms, or a group of symptoms, irrespective of the name of the disease. Therefore the reader whose dog is ill need not ask himself whether it is distemper or not. He can immediately to to work and treat the dog according to its symptoms and leave it to a veterinary surgeon or a knowledgeable neighbour to give to the disease a name fond in the textbooks. Owners of dogs should certainly not wait until an obvious disease with an obvious name has developed. They should intervene at once.
If a dog has distemper, the trouble may begin with running and inflamed eyes, a foul tongue and mouth, cough, evil-smelling breath, diarrhoea, constipation, shivering, high temperature, and many other symptoms. As soon as such symptoms are noticed, the indicated remedy should immediately be given without a moments reflection whether the disease is merely an ordinary chill, or a stomach upset, or influenza, or bronchitis, or pneumonia, or distemper. Distemper, like may disease, adopts a large number of different forms, and every form of distemper has to be handled according to the most prominent symptoms.
If the dog has chills, or suffers from fever-dog owners should possess a clinical thermometer and should know how to use it-the dog should be given a few doses of Aconite IX or higher, every half hour, every hour, or every ten minutes, according to the severity of the case until a reaction has been established and temperature has become more or less normal. Aconite is particularly indicated if the animal is restless, seems terrified, and afraid of death. If the eyes and mouth are inflamed and arteries are throbbing, Belladonna 2x or 3x should be the indicated remedy.
Let us say that the first thing we have noticed about the dog is fever. We give rapidly a few doses of Aconite and possibly the whole disease is eliminated before it has time to develop. Perhaps it was too later for Aconite to effect a cure. Inflammatory conditions have developed, which imperiously demand Belladonna. The inflammation goes down, but we notice that the tongue and breath are exceedingly foul, motions and urine are very evil smelling, expression is dull and listless and immediately Baptisia suggests itself owing to our knowledge of the Materia Medica. A few doses of Baptisia IX should settle the stomach trouble.
On the other hand, it may be that the disease affects the chest and lungs. If the dog lies absolutely still, particularly on the painful side, does not want to move, breathes very rapidly, evidently being afraid to take a deep breath, because it is so painful Bryonia will be indicated. It is a wonderful remedy in case of bronchitis, pleurisy and pneumonia. It does not matter whether the disease is called one thing or the other by the vet. As soon as Bryonia symptoms are to be noticed Bryonia must be given and it will cure.
If the dog is very restless and seeks the heat, Arsenicum 3x is called for, especially if his coat is rough and staring and if he vomits blood or bloody mucus and has bloody diarrhoeas.
The skilled homoeopath will treat a disease, such as an indefinite illness of a dog which cannot be named, from its very beginning, while the orthodox practitioner may hesitate to act because of the vagueness of the symptoms. It does not matter in the slightest whether the disease is called gastritis, bronchitis, enteritis, colitis, gastric ulcer, pneumonia, influenza, distemper, or anything else, the urgent symptoms alone must be considered and the rightly chosen remedy or remedies will cure.
The average veterinary surgeon has a stock medicine for distemper, a stock medicine for pneumonia, etc. He treats the name of the disease, not the diseased animal. He acts exactly like the orthodox physician. The skilled homoeopath does not act so rigidly. The result is that the allopathic doctor or veterinary surgeon will cure a number of cases in which his stock medicine happens to be suitable and will kill avoidably those in which his stock remedy is useless or harmful.