Max: A Case of Veterinary Heilkunst
Max, born 15 February 1989
Max is a massive furball, with huge paws and totally gorgeous. If he isn't a purebred Maine Coon cat, he has a high percentage of it in his genes! His "parents" first came to me in late Winter 1997. Their children had been treated with the sequential approach with good results, and when Max was in medical crisis they decided they would like to work with him in this way too. He had just been through a traumatic treatment at the local vet's, where he was being treated for a blocked bladder.
While under treatment at the vet's, he was given IV fluids, and his medication was injected into the IV. As a result he developed some problem with his eyes, which then had to be treated with antibiotics drops in his eyes (a common side effect, they were told, of the drugs). He was prescribed steroids, antibiotics, and was on a low dose of Arnica and Apis (when the "parents" relayed my suggestion to the vet) and Berberis.
Max had been catheterized to help drain his bladder. After a few days the symptoms seemed to subside, and since there were no crystals in his urine they withdrew the catheter. However, he appeared to have trouble urinating, so they decided to reinsert the catheter. But apparently when the catheter was withdrawn he had so much swelling internally that he blocked again. They tried to reinsert it a few times, and it was difficult but finally accomplished. He had not been given any Arnica at that point to help deal with the shock or the trauma of the procedure. Rather than prescribe Apis to help reduce the swelling, and Arnica for the shock, they prescribed surgery.
Max's "parents" were faced with a difficult decision. Euthanasia was out of the question for them. They were told that if his entire penis was amputated the problem would be solved, since the opening of the urethra is larger at the base of the penis, and would have less chance of becoming irritated to the point where the flow of urine was impeded. That was the only other option with which they were presented.
Max had been plagued with recurrent bouts of urinary tract infections, which usually appeared in the Spring and Fall. They generally noticed the symptoms generally the weather got warmer and then cold again.
His first infection was in the Spring of 1993, but a complete urinalysis showed no crystals in his urine. He also had a recurrence when his "dad", the most important family member to him, went away for several days one Spring.
The main modality was that he was much worse with any jarring motion (he would howl), and would urinate little bloody dribbles all over the house. He also would spray around the house, was very territorial with the other cat in the house, and would avoid his litterbox altogether. His "mom" said it was always as if he wanted to show them that he wasn't well, because it was the only time he behaved that way.
We started treatment immediately, while he was at the vet's. His "parents" had one weekend to get him well enough to avoid surgery, so they visited him on Saturday with a 200C dose of Arnica, Staphysagria and Ignatia. When they returned with a second dose on Sunday, they were told that he had removed his own catheter and had urinated! They repeated the dose, he urinated again while they were there, and he was released to their care that Monday.
We began working with the events on his timeline once he was released from the animal hospital. The first remedies he was given were to balance the traumatic effects of the hospitalisation. He was given Nux-vomica to help balance the chemical drugs, Arnica to help with the physical and emotional shock, and Staphysagria because of its unsurpassed reputation as a remedy that helps heal the effects of physical violation, besides its excellence as a remedy that helps with urinary tract problems. Max was given the 200C of these remedies on the first day, and the 1M of the same remedies on the second day. His symptoms were significantly reduced, until about the end of the third week, going into the fourth week (a pattern Max would repeat throughout treatment, until we got to the time during which he was given his kitty vaccinations). His "parents" learned to recognise this as a signal that he needed the next set of remedies on his timeline.
In three weeks we gave him the remedies for the allopathic medications he had most recently been prescribed, and he had Nux vomica, Cortisone and Penicillinum (to balance the effects of the steroids and the antibiotics) in the 200C and 1M potencies, over two days.
We looked at Max's behaviours generally, which included excessive kneading (leading them to believe he might have been weaned too early), aggressiveness (picking fights with the other cat in the house or with dogs that passed by the house; when hungry he would attack the other cat and pull out its fur, or his own fur), moodiness (one minute was loving, the next was swiping at you with his claws). He is almost 19 pounds and has the appearance of a Maine Coon cat.
We also constructed the timeline of causes in Max's life. They were (in the reverse chronological order, which is the order in which our chronic symptoms heal):
February 1996: His "little sister" was born. Max was less forgiving with her birth.
August 1994: Dental cleaning, which he hates. He stayed at the veterinarian's all day to recover from the anesthesia.
October 1993: His first major urinary tract infection (UTI), and on antibiotics for one week.
December 1993: His "little brother" was born. He seemed to be fine with this birth, just ignored him. However, this was the year his UTIs began, and they recurred every year after that.
August 1992: Dental cleaning, his first. He hated it, he fought it, it made his gums quite sore and he had to spend the day in the cage recovering from the allopathic medication.
April 1991: Was prescribed Prednisone (a steroid) for fur pulling.
March 1991: Snoopy, a male cat, moved into the house. It took a week for Max to understand that Snoopy wasn't going to move out, and he adapted, but it was obvious from the start that Max was the boss cat.
August 1990: He was prescribed sleeping tablets for a 10-hour car ride.
December 1989: Neutered. Moved to live with current family Christmas Eve 1989.
February 1989: He was born, and kitty vaccinations began. There is a suspicion he was weaned early, and that he was often kept in the basement. He lived with a dog companion, which was given away before they gave away Max. It is though that may have been unpleasant for him.
Because we never know how quickly remedies will be utilized in an animal's metabolism, we just watch the signs and symptoms, treating when it seems appropriate. Max's parents are extremely attentive and excellent observers, so it makes it twice as easy to understand when Max is pushing at the next blockage.
In about one month he had some recurrence of the cystitis symptoms. He would howl when he jumped over the baby gate on landing. He would get up at 5:30 a.m. with a full water and food dish, but howl just to make sure the household was awake because he needed the company. Because his dental cleanings were so traumatic for him, and because our focus initially was on the physical level, he was given the remedies for the dental cleaning, Nux vomica (for allopathic medications), Hypericum (for nerve pain and sensitivity), Opium (for intense fear) and Staphysagria (for the violation).
About a month later his "mom" reported that the cystitis symptoms had gone away pretty quickly, that he seemed to settle down within four days of taking the remedies. Then he became loving, relaxed and affectionate again. She reported he had had a few "snits" with Snoopy, the other cat, but on the whole was much more playful. He had been starting more with sudden noise, and had been more wary of the children. He seemed to not know what he wanted to do - to eat, to go outside. He enjoyed cackling at birds from the window, and enjoyed sitting by the windows or the door, especially if the window was open or if there was a cool spot on the floor.
In about a month his "mom" called to report that he had been urinating all over the floor for the last few days, but there hadn't been any blood in his urine at all, although it seemed thicker and had a strong odour. He had been restless and howling a lot, but was not in any obvious pain.
He was given Nux vomica and Cortisone 200C and 1M, and Cortisone 10M, over three days, to balance the first incidence of his being prescribed allopathic medications.
His "mom" reported that his symptoms again had disappeared almost immediately after taking the remedy. He enjoyed being picked up and loved for hours. He would let his "mom" do that for him, then he would go to his "dad" and give him the sob story that he had been neglected, so he would have more attention lavished on him.
They were encouraging him to drink more water. He seemed to prefer the downstairs or the basement water as it is cooler, and if it was very hot outside he preferred ice cubes in his water. He had a good appetite, he thought he wanted "people food," he enjoyed broccoli, and his "mom" said he is a "meat and potatoes cat," preferring the basic foods.
Toward the end of that month he began to spray on the floor in the house and on the porch, and was having major hairballs (which the family took to mean that he was grooming himself excessively). He was having episodes of foul flatulence when he was nervous or upset, his "mom" said it seemed as though his sphincter would close off and let off a stink bomb, like a skunk. He was prescribed Staphysagria 200C and 1M to be taken over two days.
The following month his "mom" reported that the flatulence resolved right away after the Staphysagria. He had stopped spraying, his appetite had increased, especially for one week, and he had been more aloof, spending more time on his own and had been less affectionate.
He was given the remedies for the vaccinations he had had as a kitten and as a cat (The animal vaccine material is available as an isode from many of the more serious homeopathic pharmacies, separately and in combination. The allopathic vaccinations usually are administered to the animals in combination.). He also was given Nux vomica as a general chemical drug cleanser. He had kitty vaccinations 200C and 1M (we have not yet found them in higher potencies) and Nux vomica 200C, 1M and 10M over three days.
Immediately following the vaccination remedies his "mom" reported that Max settled down, had not been picking any fights with the other cat. He hadn't been urinating inappropriately, either. He had no urinary blockages at all, and had been sitting in the living room with his "mom," which he hadn't done for a while. He seemed to be doing a lot of kneading, especially when he was hungry, leading his "mom" to wonder if it was related to the kneading of his biological mother's teats when he was working to get out the milk.
In about six weeks his "mom" reported that he had gone back to the personality of the cat they had first brought home as a kitten. He was playful, friskier, and that he even had been found sleeping next to Snoopy and getting along with him, and even playing with him.
His urination had been fine, he had been using the litterbox, not spraying and with no dribbling of bloody urine. He had no hairballs or flatulence. He was being a nice cat, she said, even in the mornings, when he would wait for her to waken and not howl to wake her up.
She found it very unusual that he was drinking cow's milk at times, and that he was asking for the milk left in the children's cereal bowls when they had finished eating. He had never been a milk lover before.
He was given the remedies to address any emotional traumas around the time of his birth, weaning and separation from his mother and his household several months later. He had Natrum mur for the loss and grief, Staphysagria for any anger or resentment he might have felt, Opium for the fear and worry, and Lachesis for jealousy. He also was given Lac humanum to balance the effects of the potentially early weaning, his kneading and his aggressive behaviour when he is hungry. (I have used Lac caninum and Lac felinum in animals and not yet found that it has the same loving effect as the Lac humanum does!)
He was still sleeping with his "dad." His kneading seemed to be exacerbated for about one week, and had been consistently leveling off over time. He still would go to his food dish after the kneading. His "mom" said she definitely had seem a change in him since the vaccination shocks had been removed, and that this is the first time that they had gotten past the four week mark in his sequential treatment when there were no symptoms blatantly asking to be treated at the end of that time (pointing to the next blockage).
For a period of time after the remedies Max would pick a fight with the other cat whenever he wanted anything - to go outside, or to have more food. He wouldn't go to his "parents" and ask; he would attack Snoopy. They said when they saw that behavior they would check his food dish, and it that wasn't the issue they'd open the door to the porch for him to go outside (or they'd throw him out onto the porch to cool off for a while!).
Otherwise he was his usual self, his urination was fine, and he had been quite affectionate. He was even more playful than he used to be, and he loved to be rubbed and, in turn, would rub you to pieces. His was more playful on his own now, and would bat around the children's toys and play with them. His "mom" said he is a "funny little guy."
We looked at his history of skin symptoms, as he had pulled out his fur in the past and they would find little tufts of it lying in spots around the house. He also had to have his food dish filled - hungry or not, he needed to see that there was food in it or else he wasn't happy (a Psorinum trait). We decided to move into the miasms, the inherited predispositions to chronic illness.
The first miasm treated is Psorinum, and Max had the 200C, 1M and 10M over three days. We looked at his symptoms in six weeks.
His "mom" reported that he hadn't had any major negative reactions to the remedy. He had pulled out very little fur, more when he was bored and looking for something to do. He had been low-key, not too energetic, and had been licking his penis a lot in the last few days. His urination had been fine. He wasn't waking anyone early, and his "mom" said he had been her alarm clock for years.
Where he usually would insist on going out into the cold weather, he didn't mind staying in. He seemed better with being warm, and was hanging out less in the cooler spots on the floor or near the windows. He was inside much more than usual, which his "mom" found interesting.
He had been less playful, but sat right on the table while they ate dinner. If you weren't closely watching your food, he would be right in there trying to grab things from your plate. His appetite was not increased for cat food, but he still wanted to see his cat dish filled. He hadn't been waking anyone at the crack of dawn to feed him, however.
He hadn't been fighting with Snoopy, and his "mom" reported that this was the most low-key she had ever seen him. He had been less affectionate with the children, but "strangely playful." He would sit on a chair and wait for you to walk by, and take a swipe. It seemed as if he didn't want anyone near him, but he would only play this game in high-traffic areas where he was certain to hit someone.
He had been spending more time in the basement toward the end of the six weeks, which usually was a bad sign for him. He had been urinating without trouble, though, and was no longer licking his penis. He had been doing a lot less hair pulling, and he had been howling for the windows to be opened for him. At the end of those six weeks we moved onto the next miasm, Tuberculinum. Max had a 200C, 1M and 10M over three days.
At his six-week follow-up his "mom" reported that he had been very vocal in the mornings and evenings, that he howled for attention. He had been playfully biting at Snoopy and frisky. They had noticed more mats in his fur lately. He had been more thirsty, and he had not been wanting his moist food as much, which was unusual for him.
He was sensitive to noise for a while, starting or running into the basement if the children got too loud. Where he normally would greet them as they came into the house, he had been staying away from them, only coming out when his "dad" came home from work. When his dad would come home he would hang around the front door, where he used to spray, but not spray. The family isn't sure, but they assumed he wanted the fresh air, although he hadn't been asking to go onto the porch for a while.
His sleep still was good, no waking at dawn. His mom reported that there was less fighting than when he had taken the Psorinum, but he still wasn't totally relaxed. He definitely was instigating with Snoopy, but tended to be the strong, silent type. He still was swiping at those who walked past him, and he would jump onto the desk when his "mom" was on the computer and stand in front of the keyboard so she couldn't type.
He had not been doing much hair pulling, nor was he howling for open windows. One day when he was out on the porch a dog came over to say hello. Where in the past he would have hissed and howled and tried to get out of the porch and tear the dog into small pieces, he didn't freak out at all. That was extremely unusual. It was reported that Max had mellowed.
The two cats had been sleeping side-by-side on the top bunk of the bunk beds. In the past he never would have let Snoopy get that close to him. His "mom" said he had learned to share with Snoopy too.
He still craved and loved attention, but on his terms. His personality was "Jekyll and Hyde." Toward the end of those six weeks he was beginning to bite more, so his "mom" thought it was time to move onto the next miasm, Medorrhinum. He was given a 200C, 1M and 10M over three days.
After the Medorhinum, his "parents" reported he had started waking up at the break of day again asking "mom" to get out of bed (he would never disturb "dad," as he is his favourite person!) He had been howling when wanted to go to bed and his "dad" wasn't ready yet, and then he would give him a piece of his mind. There had been no hair pulling, no flatulence, no penis licking and he had been very rambunctious.
He was instigating less with Snoopy, and had even been caught grooming him at times. Max was very demanding of attention and affection, to the point where he would sit in the center of the breakfast table howling until the family was present. He would rub against his "dad," causing the cereal spoon to go up his nose. He enjoyed snuggling in bed with his "dad," and where in the past he would leave when he got too warm, he stayed with him all night. His "mom's" only complaint was that he has no snooze button to hit in the mornings, so she could get some extra sleep. At the end of the six weeks he was given Carcinosin 200C, 1M and 10M over three days.
A few weeks after the Carcinosin he began hair-pulling again, and they saw many hairballs. He also started to spray around the house more frequently.The family watched this closely because in the past the bouts of urinary symptoms had come on after the spraying, and it also was Spring, which is when he tended to have the recurrence of the symptoms.
Max spent quite a bit of time with a sort of dissatisfied appearance restless and howling but not for company or food, with the doors to the porch and the windows open he still wasn't content, restlessly pacing all over the house, And it was reported that there was no way he could be given enough attention to satisfy him, and he would insinuate himself onto keyboards, laps, newspapers and writing papers.
Toward the end of the six weeks he was less interested in snuggling in bed with "dad" and was pining for the outdoors. He loved going to their cottage in the country where he is free to explore on a long leash, and he loves to catch mice. His "parents" noticed a change in his behaviour on the long car ride. In the past he would howl and pull out Snoopy's hair, but he wasn't doing that anymore.
Toward the end of the six weeks he was given Syphilinum 200C, 1M and 10M over three days.
He didn't react to this remedy with any major changes in behaviour. His appetite was good, as always. He sprayed once at the cottage, but after a drop of Pulsatilla 10M that stopped, and he hasn't sprayed since. His family decided he would have no more vaccinations and no more teeth cleanings. He had gone three seasons without any symptoms of cystitis, and two of those seasons were the ones where he generally would have trouble. The family was given the five miasmic remedies in the 50M potency to be given seasonally over the next year. (Note When the miasmic remedies are repeated at the 50M level they usually are taken with the seasons, with Psorinum starting on the 21st of September.
To date Max has taken his miasmic remedies through Medorrhinum 50M. His parents reported that he still howls in the mornings for food and company, wanting the household to be awake when he is awake. More than anyone, he will demand affection from his "dad." He can get aggressive with Snoopy when he wants to play outside on the porch or when he wants more food. His "mom" reported that he still is very playful like a little kitten, especially when Snooopy isn't around. He loves to sit on top of your papers or anything you are working on, and he loves to hide in boxes.
Max has not made any attempts to run outdoors when the door is open, and seems to be less territorial as he used to be when another kitty comes into their yard. His "parents" are thinking now about his rabies shot, which they will try to time for sometime in the summer, which seems to be less stressful time for him. He will take the remedy Lyssin before and after the rabies shot, to help his system deal with the effects of the shock from the vaccination.
As always in my cases, the thoughts of the person/people involved, and in this case they are Max's "parents."
Max has frequently had bouts of Feline Urinary Syndrome, which were very painful for him. He had previously been treated with antibiotics. The vet had discussed FUS with us and had suggested a special diet for Max. We had tried a number of different special diets but, of those that were palatable to Max, none of them seemed to help. We also were told that the cause of FUS was unknown and could be stress-induced, and that antibiotics may not really help the condition at all.
We quickly realized that there was a lot that was unknown about FUS. We found that as soon as Max experienced an aggravation, if we added some odourless garlic to his moist food, the length of time of aggravation would decrease. Typically, Max would experience aggravations from early Spring, around March, through to the Fall when the cold temperatures resumed. These bouts would last from 7 to 10 days. (Aggravations during the winter months tended to be less severe.)
This time when Max had his annual bout of FUS (March 1997) it was obviously different than from previous times. He was more withdrawn and quiet, and preferred to stay in secluded, dark places, preferably the basement. Previously he would still be very active and vocal, howling every time he jumped off something, insist on being upstairs with us, urinating around the house where we would notice and make sure that we were aware that he was obviously experiencing a great deal of discomfort. This time he barely winced and was a complete mushball. His bladder felt full and he seemed very lethargic, not wanting to move.
We were aware of the seriousness of FUS/blocked bladder. We were aware that there was a homeo vet in town and quickly tracked her down. We did a telephone consult to see what remedies we could give Max immediately and arranged for an appointment to bring him in within the hour for an examination. We administered the remedies recommended that I had on hand.
The vet was reluctant to restrict treatment to homeopathy, as this was a fairly serious condition and needed immediate medical intervention. We insisted on using homeopathic remedies to
supplement his allomed treatment. Upon examination at the clinic, Max immediately was hospitalized and catheterized, and medication was administered intravenously. We were sent home and were in contact with the vet daily to update Max's situation.
We discussed Max's situation with Patty to get as much info as we could with regard to treatment options for Max. Patty recommended some remedies that we subsequently also suggested to the homeo vet. While hospitalized, Max was receiving allopathic medication as well as low dose homeopathic remedies prescribed by the homeo vet.
A couple of days later Max's catheter was removed, but he was kept under close observation. We got a phone call letting us know that he was still having trouble urinating and he had to be catheterized again. This time, we were told, they had a lot of trouble with the catheterizing, and only after a few attempts were they successful.
The prognosis was that unless surgery was performed, this problem would most likely recur and cause extensive kidney damage. The test results already indicated that some kidney failure had occurred, but there were no crystals in his urine and never had been in all previous tests during previous bouts of FUS. The operation was to shorten his urethra so that he would no longer have a penis, and what this would do would be to widen the opening of the urethra so as to significantly reduce the risk of blockage. However, there would be a higher susceptibility to bacterial infections.
We were quite distraught at hearing this news and were very concerned about the pain and discomfort that Max was enduring. Max did not like the vet's office and hates being confined in a cage, moreso when there are other animals in other cages in close quarters.
This option was presented to us on a Friday with surgery tentatively scheduled for Monday. We agreed to wait until late Sunday before making a final decision. Apart from considering an expensive operation that would not necessarily result in an improved quality of life for Max, we also were hopeful that he would show improvement over the weekend.
The whole family visited Max in the hospital on Saturday. The vet greeted us and asked if she could examine him and administer his medication while we were there as he was not very friendly to strangers, especially in such circumstances. We chuckled when we saw the picture of a shark on his cage with the words, "Careful, I Bite!" under the picture. Max was very happy to see us and we showered him with affection and warned him of the consequences if he did not improve. The vet got a different appreciation for Max as she saw how gentle he could be when we were around. We explained to her how he hated being confined in a cage. We were pleased to see that the cage he was in was one of the larger ones, and the room the cage was in was also fairly large and there were not as many animals and cages packed into the room as our previous
Our visit lasted for over an hour, and we were gratefully left alone with him in one of the rooms. I was bound and determined to have him improve and had come with a higher dose
of Arnica, Ignatia and Staphysagria (200CH), that Patty had recommended and snuck it to him when we were alone with him.
The vet agreed to let us visit Max again on Sunday, although the clinic was closed for consultation. She agreed to let us in while she was in doing her rounds. When we got to the clinic the vet greeted us with the news: Max had pulled out his catheter sometime in the night! Secretly we were very proud of Max and silently cheered him on. Even better was the news that he had also urinated in the morning, and he urinated again while we were there. We had never been so proud of our cat urinating all over the floor!
We were anxious to take Max home, but were cautioned by the vet of being too optimistic. Once again, when left alone with Max, we administered another dose of Arnica, Ignatia and Staphysagria 200C. Max had to stay behind when we left as he needed to be observed just in case he got blocked up again, and being a Sunday, we would not be able to get him into the clinic and would have to seek out an emergency animal hospital to take him to. We decided to wait and see and have the vet phone us on Monday morning to update us on Max.
Monday morning we got the long awaited phone call from the vet. The vet was pleased to inform us that Max could return home and the surgery could be postponed. Medication administration and dietary recommendations were carefully reviewed with us before Max was discharged. We were also informed that the vet's spouse had groomed Max on Sunday afternoon and he was very affectionate, following them around through the clinic. The vet had decided that Max really was an adorable cat!
Max recovered well at home but refused any change to his diet and we administered his medication as prescribed by the vet to completion. The sequential treatment was initiated soon thereafter.
Typically, after about 3 weeks of receiving a remedy there would be an aggravation of the symptoms of his cystitis, which would resolve quickly after initiating the next remedy in his sequential treatment. Max has NOT had a serious irritation or blockage since leaving the veterinary hospital and beginning to be treated with the sequential approach. At times he has been more energetic and frisky (kitten-like), if affectionate and generally has been much less restless than he used to be. At present we are experiencing the kind of spring-like weather which has often coincided with serious aggravations of FUS. So far, Max is still fine as we near the end of the second round of the miasmic remedies.
Update: Winter 2000 - Max is fine, hale and hearty!
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