Acute diseases are characterized by sudden onset of symptoms that are uncharacteristic for the individual, causing a sudden change in mood, reactions to stimuli, or physical characteristics.
Chronic diseases are characterized by symptoms that are either ongoing over months or years, or seem to repeatedly appear and cause suffering for the individual, such as diabetes, migraines, or arthritis. When symptoms flare up in a chronic disease state, the individual’s personality, and modalities (preferring warmth or cold for example) are unchanged with the presence of the symptoms.
It is critical to first clarify if the symptoms that command treatment are acute or a flare up of chronic disease. This helps us focus on symptoms that are very unusual for that individual, thus giving those symptoms more weight.
July 2002: Alchemy, an 11-year-old Oldenburg gelding (purchased as a four-year-old and training in dressage), was diagnosed with insulin resistance. Symptoms included a dull hair coat, bossy, pushy, mischievous and prone to have accidents, cuts and scrapes. His back was sore to the touch. He had a radiographic history of bone chip in his right front ankle, and right eye injury resulting in corneal transplant surgery.
After a homeopathic computer analysis, I focused on what needed to be fixed at the time: Alchemy’s busyness, anxiety, fear and tenderness concerning his back, and I looked for a remedy that covers cartilage and developmental defects in the young.
Sulphur 200C was given once by mouth.
Alchemy responded well over the next several weeks. His back soreness improved, his busy characteristic was less, the front ankle bone chip appeared to have been resorbed (bone chips can be resorbed by the body if proper healing takes place).
August 2002: Within a week of minor surgery to stitch a deep laceration on his right rear heel, Alchemy had a sudden colic. He was painful, subdued (this is important because he was characteristically busy), depressed, quiet, looking at his side and not passing manure.
I gave him Nux vomica 200C every 30 minutes for 3 doses. I did not use the repertory this time and my basis for choosing this remedy was based on his abdominal pain, lethargy, quiet demeanor and its close relationship to Sulphur.
February 2004: Alchemy was doing well until he suddenly developed laminitis in both front feet.
I used several homeopathic remedies over a period of months with varying success to help treat him, such as Aconite, Nux vomica, Belladonna, and Sulphur.
July 2004: Alchemy’s third bout with laminitis culminated in one of the worst abscesses out of the coronet band I have ever witnessed. He had hot, painful swelling up his leg. He was supporting his weight on three legs, not eating well, had a fever, refused to move (very unlike him) and tried to bite me when I attempted to touch his affected foot (again, very unlike him).
I gave him Hepar sulphur calcaria 200C every hour for two doses.
I chose this remedy because he was not a biter, the pain was so severe as in Hepar sulph that he would offer to bite. Hepar sulph is a huge abscess remedy with tremendous pain, presence of offensive pus and extreme sensitivity with the abscess.
Alchemy left his stall and began grazing within two hours of getting the remedy. I had drawn blood to check for metabolic diseases and found him to be insulin resistant. Coupled with laminitis, this is almost a sure performance horse killer if not an outright death sentence for horses.
I knew we had to institute changes in addition to homeopathic medicine to affect the best possible outcome. His diet was changed to stricter low carbohydrate, his grazing was limited, and his hoof care was performed by a Strausser-trained hoof trimmer.
Alchemy recovered after sloughing off half of the sole from his right front foot. He later suffered a mild laminitis episode with no change in his overall demeanor or behavior and I treated him with Sulphur 1M one dose. The mild episode required no computer analysis because he was not moved out of his constitutional state of Sulphur this time.
I have regularly repeated Alchemy’s blood work to check his blood insulin levels and blood glucose and I am happy to report that over the one and one half years, his levels have become normal to close to normal with every test. I have not limited his grazing at all for almost five years (unheard of in insulin resistant horses). He has not had any bouts of laminitis in over five years. We are currently working on fourth level in dressage and successfully showing third level. He’s the only horse I know of able to show at this level with his history and with no drug interventions or limitations!
Alchemy’s case shows us that career ending diseases (frequently leading to loss of use or euthanasia) do not have to become reality when using homeopathy to treat.