Beanie Sturgess, a 9year old entire greyhound x collie bitch, was referred to me on 1/10/07, three tenths lame with a diagnosis of osteosarcoma of the right fore. Examination confirmed a walnut sized bony swelling on the lateral aspect of the proximal humerus. Radiographies clearly showed osteolysis, new bone formation, and periosteal new bone formation, subsequently confirmed by Hamish Denny as an osteosarcoma. Beanie was on Flexicam for pain relief. The case carried of course a very bleak prognosis conventionally, leading the owner to seek homeopathy. The family wanted to see if they could have one more Christmas with Beanie.
In my consulting room, Beanie looked very gentle and lay motionless by the
owner accepting strokes. She approached me only once in the hour consultation.
When she moved, her lameness was obvious. Her character was described as
faithful, submissive, lively, and playful.
Her history reveals the group of compounds from which the required homeopathic medicine is chosen. She was the first in the litter of pups to explore, bark and jump up, and was the most agile and the quickest learner. The mother only spent one night with the pups and afterwards only saw the pups to feed them, which she did standing up, before leaving to sleep elsewhere. The behaviour of the mother may have contributed to Beanie developing separation anxiety at five months. She still howls if left alone. She also became 'dependent for cuddles'. She is very perceptive, especially to the owners going away. She is sensitive to raised voices and reprimand. She fears thunder and storms, wishing to hide in a corner or sit with the owner; if the owner consoles her, she calms down. She is not bothered about hierarchy with other dogs and is neither dominant nor submissive. On a walk, she disappears, exploring everywhere. These facts suggest that the homeopathic medicine required is probably a compound containing phosphorus.
Beanie was brought up in the wilderness, in France, and had a stray dog companion with whom she would go roaming for long distances every night. She had complete freedom with her 'partner in crime', who would lead her away on these jaunts. In April '07, the Sturgess family returned to Somerset, leaving the stray behind. Beanie became depressed, seemed 'lost', with an air of 'what have I done wrong?' In July, Beanie vomited fresh blood. In August, she developed reverse sneezing which passed. In September, lameness developed on the right fore, with subsequent diagnosis of the tumour.
Based on the above information, and the knowledge of which medicines are effective for bone cancer, I prescribed an aqueous solution of Phosphorus 200c, 5ml tid.
The owners reported after a week that Beanie seemed more alert and had only vomited twice in seven days, which was unusual. The lameness was no better. I instructed them to continue with the Phosphorus 200c.
On the 12-11-07, Beanie was very happy and lively but had gone very lame. This coincided with the family moving house again. The tumour was getting bigger.
Because the lameness had worsened and the tumour grown, I thought that the remedy required by Beanie was either not Phosphorus or that the case was incurable. Beanie, however, seemed to the owners and to friends met out on dog walks, to be more happy and lively. This mental amelioration without physical improvement suggested that the required remedy was closely related to Phosphorus. This could mean elements adjacent to Phosphorus horizontally or vertically in the periodic table, or a compound of Phosphorus.
The worsening of the lameness when the owners moved house is reminiscent of the development of the tumour after the original move from France. The likely aetiology in Beanie's case is moving house and the stress that this entails. An investigation of the twelve medicines particularly useful, when ailments come on due to the specific stress of homesickness, reveals that the commonest one is Phosphoric acid. This is also known to be a major remedy to counter the effects of grief; leaving the stray dog behind in France.
I changed the prescription to Phosphoric acid 200c tid.
On 8-1-08, Mrs Sturgess reported that the lameness had decreased and Beanie was full of life. I advised that Phosphoric acid 200c was to be continued tid, alternating weekly with Carcinosin 200c tid. This alternating system was developed in India by Dr Ramakrishnan, who has successfully treated thousands of cases of cancer using homeopathy.
By April 2008, the bony lump had decreased in size and Beanie was not lame; she was weaned off the Flexicam. There was no pain or necessity for painkillers for 14 months, and the Phosphoric acid was continued.
In July 2009, 22 months after diagnosis, Beanie became lame again and did not respond to increased doses of Phosphoric acid. Even with amputation the median survival time for an osteosarcoma is 18-25 weeks (Denny – Guide to Canine and Feline Orthopaedic Surgery Third Edition). The lump started to grow and it was decided to avoid any potential suffering, so Beanie was put to sleep at the end of August.
They had all enjoyed two 'extra' Christmases.
NB: If readers would like to contact me for a more in depth reason for the choice of Phosphoric acid and the relevance of the history and Beanie's behaviour, they are welcome to do so.
Photos: Wikimedia Commons
A white greyhound puppy; Scott Robinson
Danish Christmas tree; Malene Thyssen
Keywords: osteosarcoma, homesickness, grief, separation anxiety, perceptive, sensitive to sounds, explorer
Remedies: Phosphoric acid, Phosphorus