February 2016

Running around in circles: a case of Tuberculinum

by Evelien van de Kamp

I often homeopathically treat animals with behavior problems, and often those where training has not had any positive effect.

Casper is a five-year-old male from a line that has been inbred. His owner complains of extreme restlessness: he literally runs around in circles in the room the whole day and jumps up at the windows, which is a worry considering his thirty-one kilos. This behaviour is recently becoming even worse: he reacts to every little trigger, such as a falling leaf, a bird or a noise. When he is so restless, he is completely unreachable. In the rare moments when he is quieter, he still jumps up at every noise, and then it begins all over again. He demands a lot of attention by putting his paw on his owner’s lap and scratching hard, so that she has to react. If she ignores him, he destroys the cushions and the upholstery of the sofa right in front of her. She is understandably fed up with this behaviour, to the extent that she just wants it all to be “over”, though she does not actively consider euthanasia. The relationship has become so bad that Casper does not even seem to see her; he is only occupied with his obsessional behaviour. “At the least sound from outside, he jumps up. He climbs onto the table, or walks over me or the other dog. He runs to the door, barking madly. If it is closed, he jumps up against it and opens it up.”

He is always trying to get his own way. Outside, while walking on the line, he is stressed, and if he is let loose, he runs after everything that moves. He fights – first, he starts by sniffing at another dog, then, he provokes him, which seems to give him enormous pleasure. Sometimes, he runs away; running to the point of sheer exhaustion, so that he needs three days to recover.

He has an insatiable appetite and he steals food, even potatoes and lettuce. He loves sweets. He is thin despite eating a lot.

He dislikes the heat and wants to be in the wind. In the car, his owner opens the window so that he can put his nose out. He does not like swimming. He is as itchy as though he has a hundred fleas, scratching and chasing himself until the bout of itch is over.


The main differential diagnosis is between Tuberculinum and Iodum. It was a spontaneous remark from the owner that gave the right direction: “He never wants to do the same thing twice, like repeating the same game. He always wants change, I can never satisfy him!”

With Iodum the accent is more on food obsession and the inability to digest it properly. One often sees the need for it in animals that have come from the SPCA, often from a history of hunger, and the feeling of not having had a right to exist.

One could also think of Tarentula but here the accent is more on aggression, in a mean, direct manner.

Here, there is a certain problem with hierarchy, but the owner cannot resolve this problem. She cannot get any grip on him.

Prescription: Tuberculinum 200C

Four weeks later: he has become quiet and easy to deal with. He does not demand so much attention and now listens to orders such as “down”. When he lies down, he actually falls asleep! He is no longer destroying the furniture.

Six weeks later: he has a brief relapse, which responds well to a repeat of the remedy. “We might not be friends, but at least I can deal with him now,” says his owner.

Shutterstock: Golden Retriever outdoors; Mikkel Bigandt

Categories: Cases
Keywords: extreme restlessness, jumping at every noise, demanding attention, insatiable appetite, love sweets, never satisfied


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