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A horse-lack excursion to the White Mountains, made last summer, by a party of tourists from this city, under my care, furnished a very satisfactory refutation of the persistent plea against the efficacy of homoeopathic doses, that their action is due not to their own vigor, but to the imagination and faith of the patient. The witnesses in behalf of Hahnemann's theory of cure, must be accepted by the whole world as unimpeachable. They were two horses, one a thoroughbred reared at the south, fine-coated, with an excitable nature; the other a stout, Vermont-bred cob. We arrived at Montpelier on Saturday evening, and the horses of the party were stabled in good condition. During the night, one of those sudden atmospheric changes, for which July last was so remarkable, made fires necessary in the hotel, and overcoats indispensable out of doors. In the afternoon of Sunday, the thorough-bred was found in his stall with his forelegs spread apart, with great oppression at the chest, and difficult inspiration, trembling all over with a violent chill, nostrils distended, his remarkably silky coat staring, head that he carried so high, now drooping, ears and legs cold, mouth and tongue dry, and pulse hard, quick and small. The stall was surrounded with concerned men of the Vermont roads. An old stage-driver, of authority in equine ailments, gave his emphatic opinion, that, if the animal was not immediately bled “to fainting,” there would soon be a dead horse to haul out of that stable. “Our Doctor,” said the groom, “never wastes the strength of his patients by bleeding. He will never lance that horse.”

Upon examination, it was discovered that an open window above the still where he was stabled, (not easy to be seen) had served to conduct a current of cold air upon the animal's head and chest, and had given rise to this attack of pneumonia; upon looking over the Materia Medica I selected Dulcamara for this reason: “sufferings from a chill in various parts — great oppression of the chest, especially when breathing — shaking as if owing to chilliness — feeling of coldness and actual coldness over the whole body, which warmth would not remove.” The horse was doubly blanketed — I had but the 30th of Dulcamara in pellets. Six globules of this remedy mashed in Sac. Lac, and three powders thus made up, were given to him dry on his tongue, at intervals of two hours each. At 10 o'clock that night, I again examined him, and his condition had much altered. The oppression of the chest was removed — the chill had ceased — the pulse was full, not so hard, nor so quick — but the horse was still dull. In backing him from his stall, the animal seemed unable to move, having but little control of his legs, and it was necessary to support him or he would have fallen. The grooms thought the disease had altered and fallen on his limbs, and that he was foundered. I believed that the change was owing to the Dulc. acting upon a highly nervous temperament, and that we had a new action, and that the horse was under the pathogenetic effect of Dulc. as Dulc. produces “paralytic affections of the limbs.” Acting on this conviction I ordered his bed to be made up, the stable carefully closed and the horse left quietly alone with nature — and the true law of cure. The next day at noon that horse was under the saddle, and doing heavy mountain work, and in a few days he recovered his usual strength and spirits.

One week after this experience, the party were caught in another just such change of temperature, in the midst of the last July weather, and, as before, in the night. The horse this time exposed, was of Vermont birth and nature. The place was farther north. and the cold more severe. Pneumonia, as decided as was that of the thorough-bred, was fully established in the morning. Treated in the same manner with Dulc., the cob speedily came out of the attack, fit for the severe work of the tour. Of a tougher and less impressible constitution than the southern bred horse, he showed no Signs of the pathogenetic action of the drug, and unlike him exhibited no symptoms of paralysis of the limbs.

The most obdurate objectors to Homoeopathy will not claim that horses have imagination, or are gifted with faith in their physician. It will be wholly impossible for them to controvert these strong proofs of the complete remedial action of an attenuated homoeopathic dose upon a diseased animal system.

There is one point worthy of notice in the care of the thorough-bred; he had no relapse, but seemed to be stronger after the cure, though the trial to his constitution was greater.


Source: The American Homoeopathic Review Vol. 02 No. 04, 1860, pages 155-157
Description: The Remedial and Pathogenetic effect of Dulcamara on the Horse
Remedies: Dulcamara
Author: Bayard, E.
Year: 1860
Editing: errors only; interlinks; formatting
Attribution: Legatum Homeopathicum
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