A nine year-old Arabian mare (Maggie) was found very lame in the pasture. She had a very strong digital pulse and a small painful area of hair loss on the outside heel. She was stressed by the pain, as evidenced by the look in her eye and her reluctance to move.
A piece of a stick was pulled out of the hoof directly below the area of hair loss. A large quantity of pus drained out of the hole and further exploration revealed another 1-1/4 inch long piece of wood. This meant the hair loss was from the top end of the stick, and that the top of the stick was just below the surface of the skin.
The wound was flushed with a solution of 1 part Calendula mother tincture (a stock solution available from homeopathic pharmacies), 1 part Hypericum mother tincture and a 8 parts bottled water (can use distilled water or sterile saline solution). Calendula is made from marigold, is an excellent homeopathic remedy indicated for all types of wounds and has antibacterial properties, however, it is not an antibiotic. Hypericum is made from the plant, St. John?s Wort, and is a remedy indicated for painful nerve endings especially in places with a concentration of fine nerve endings such as feet, tails and skin, The foot was washed well. Cotton with Calendula gel covering the wound was wrapped around the foot to soak up the drainage and the foot was placed inside a plastic boot.
Internally Maggie was given the homeopathic remedy Ledum Palustre (a plant also known as wild rosemary or marsh tea) once a day for two days. As soon as she received the remedy, she took a deep breath and began to relax a bit. That type of instant response can occur when the correct remedy is given and in this case was easy to see since she had been in so much pain.
Thirty-six hours later the infection was gone as show by a significant decrease in pain and a change in the discharge from thin and creamy to that of a normal healing wound. The area of alopecia on the heel opened up so there was now a clear hole all the way through the foot. The homeopathic remedy was then changed to Hepar Sulphuris. Hepar Sulf, as it is commonly called, has the ability to clean dirt or debris out of a wound, to clear up an infection and to help open painful abscesses.
At the end of the four days on Hepar Sulph , Maggie was almost sound, unless she ran around the paddock too much. The wound was still draining exudate and still was open all the way through he foot, though it was beginning to close at the top. Flushing of the wound continued with the Calendula/Hypericum solution. The cotton was still replaced twice daily with Calendula gel. Silicea was Several weeks later, Silicea was given, once a week for two weeks. This remedy is made from quartz and is indicated for scar tissue in wounds that are no longer painful to the touch. Two years later there is no sign of any problem Maggie remains in good health and has completed several competitive trail rides.
Certainly not every case can respond to homeopathy this well, however, this is not an uncommon response. The key is in prescribing the correct remedy and the more that is learned about homeopathy, the more accurate the practitioner?s prescribing becomes.
Dr. Harman is a contributing veterinarian for The Holistic Horse, she hails from Washington, Virginia. For more information call 540-229-1855