The grown ups strive, the kids slowly grow into it, and the animals mostly don’t have a clue about taking responsibility. Except for moms and their young.
“We just tore that stuffed chair to bits, didn’t we Spike? That was sooo cool!”
“Yeah, a blast! I’m taking a nap now in this soft stuffing. Later, dude. I’ll beat you to dinner, though, eh?”
“No way, Spike, I’ll squeeze through that doorway just ahead of you!”
After I published my page on neutering a bit ago, it struck me: what really sets my pack apart from the average animal owner out there is just one really significant thing:
You take responsibility for the animals in your care.
That extends from making healthy, well researched food choices, to finding ways to deal with the pests without poisons, to preventing heartworm without risking autoimmune disease inducing drugs, to setting up your home so your animals can live with you safely and enjoyably. And deciding whether your animal gets neutered or not and when.
You’re Sick Today: Now What?
When illness strikes your animal, you see it as a challenge, but don’t necessarily just turn her over to Dr. WhiteCoat to “fix.” You want to be more involved than that.
The opposite of taking responsibility in health care could be dropping your sick animal off in the morning, maybe giving a brief history to the vet, and saying, “I’ll be back this afternoon to pick her up. Gotta go to work now.”
In being more involved, you may go through a decision making process in your mind first:
Is this acute illness, like an injury, an insect sting, a wound, or a pulled claw? Can I get a bead on a couple of symptoms and use an acute homeopathic remedy to help Hermione get over this in half the time expected?
Or is this more of a chronic illness, something that’s likely beyond my ability to cure? Have I seen this before? Is this more of the illness I’ve seen in the past with her, like itchy skin or inflamed ears (allergy signs)? I think I’d better call on my homeopathic vet on this one.
Dog Bite, Swollen Face. Ouch.
Last week I had a dog patient of mine who got into a fight with a neighbor dog, sustaining a bite wound to the side of her face. Piper’s owner had recently bought my Emergency Remedy Kit, so she had a great homeopathic pharmacy at home. It’s rare we can’t figure out remedies to get emergencies handled at home when a client has my kit.
This is a great example of both taking responsibility for your animal and calling for appropriate help.
May 31, 1:04 pm:
“Piper got bitten on the face by the neighbor’s dog last Sat., it wasn’t very serious and seemed to be healing just fine, when yesterday I noticed that the area just below her eye was hard and swollen. I’ve been putting epsom salt compresses on it but have not managed to get anything to come out. Today, the swelling has spread out to the whole side of her face, but is not hard and hot like yesterday. She wallowed in some pretty dirty water in order to catch an otter on Wed. and may have gotten some bacteria in the wound. I have the emergency kit, do I give her Silicea or Ledum or something else? There is no redness around the wound, in fact it is hardly noticeable!”
This bite had happened six days ago, and was just now starting to swell. I thought it odd, and asked if it was painful to Piper. “No.”
I advised ledum might be appropriate. Ledum is for puncture wounds, bites, even of snakes, and it even gets touted as a tetanus preventive if used early on.
After a few doses, Piper wasn’t getting better. The swelling increased. Time to change remedies: arnica, the premier remedy for any kind of trauma, up to and including even gun shot wounds. Arnica is also most people’s “entry drug” to homeopathy, as it’s so remarkable in quickly healing injuries.
After a few doses, Piper’s face got less swollen, and she felt better. Here’s what her responsible owner saw:
June 1 12:59 pm:
“Still swollen after 3 doses of Arnica (1 hour apart and 1 hour rest), maybe a slight decrease in swelling. Her eye seems to be more open, and she feels better, livelier, happier and hungry. Though, this hadn’t affected her appetite last night, she ate very well.”
Direction: wait, repeat a dose only if it gets worse now.
June 1, 4:50 pm:
“OK, she started looking worse 3 hours after last dose, I have since given her 2 more doses 1 at 2:30 and 1 at 4P. Very swollen, eye almost closed and I think I’m even seeing swelling on the other side of face around the jawline. Her glands under her mouth and jaw, very swollen.”
Change needed again, Piper stopped heading towards cure.
Q: Is the area discolored? And try warm and cold compresses, see if she has a preference.
A: Reddish, and she moves away from hot compresses faster than cold.
We went back to ledum now, famous for puncture wounds that feels better with cold.
Rx Ledum 30C hourly X 3 doses
June 2, 11:21 am:
“Thought you’d like to know…wound opened up this morning, it is now in the slow process of draining. I’m very relieved!”
So, you get an idea of what acute care can look like at home, with a remedy kit and a bit of help from your homeopathic vet.
Just be aware, taking responsibility is not the same as DIY. The chronic diseases, like allergic itchy skin or ears, diabetes, heart disease, epilepsy, long term fears or aggression, gum disease, and cancer are best managed carefully by someone with the training to be able to cure them.
Chronic diseases are the slow, lingering ones that make life miserable. That’s where your homeopathic vet comes in. We know how and when to change remedies and slowly guide the chronic diseases to resolution. It’s much more than making a symptom disappear, as happens in conventional medicine.
So, my hat is off to my pack and the many more out there I haven’t met yet who take responsibility for their animals. Y’all are awesome.
“Damn, Spike, Mom’s heading for the cupboard. Are we in trouble?”
“No, I saw a slight grin after she hit the ceiling. She’s just going for her Rescue Remedy, so she can get on with dinner prep. We’re good.”