In the Revu homeopathic Belge of August last is a translation by Dr. Chevalier, of Charleroi, of an article contributed by Dr. Mossa, of Stuttgart, to the Homeopathic Monatsblatter, entitled, “Arsenic, a Capital Remedy for Horses.” From this very interesting article we will make a few extracts.
“Long ago a very celebrated veterinarian, Brauns, remarked, after long experience, that arsenic is the best remedy for the equine race (Pulsatilla being more indicated for the bovine and Antimonium crudum for the porcine races). It was thus that Brauns found that with horses the most similar remedy for any particular affection Succeede better when a dose of Arsenic had been administered beforehand or when Arsenic was alternated with it.
“Arsenic is very often indicated in the catarrhal affections of the mucous membranes, above all when the secretions are acrid and irritating; thus in affections of the eyes presenting these symptoms and resulting from chill, and also when the food is deficient, as in young foals when the milk is too fat. It is even employed just as often in catarrhs of the respiratory passages from simple coryza to malignant influenza.”
It will be remembered that Mr. Hurndall related at a meeting of the British Homoeopathic Society that he had found Iodide of Arsenic specific in Influenza of the horse, an experience which was not borne out by those present who had tried it in human practice. This discovery of the great appropriateness of Arsenic for horses generally by Brauns will no doubt account for the difference. The same appropriateness, derived empirically, has no doubt led to the reprehensible practice of feeding horses with Arsenic practiced by so horse-keepers. Another connected with the drug is of interest here: “Breathlessness on ascending heights” is a leading indication for Arsenic. Horses are animals on whose “wind” a constant demand is made, which of itself points out the appropriateness of the drug. The use of it by the Styrian mountaineers to improve their “wind” is an interesting analogous fact. –ED. H.W.
“The nasal secretion is sometimes very liquid, acrid and irritating, or else it is detached in thick, purulent flakes. Arsenic is also sometimes employed when the feet are edematous. In the influenza of horses when there is fever, inflammation of the chest with gastric and nervous symptoms an affection which is very common, especially with thoroughbreds, and at times prevails like an epidemic Arsenic has succeeded perfectly when the secretions have been very liquid and the nasal mucus white or bluish and foamy. It also renders great service in pulmonary inflammations when these supervene on great fatigue in cold and damp weather; it may also prove useful in pulmonary tuberculosis when this runs a chronic course. “According to its action on the stomach and intestines Arsenic can be prescribed in the troubles affecting these organs, as, for example, in young horses, which, in consequence of a diet of raw potatoes, become crib-biters (tiqucurs); in cases of gastritis, when the fevered animal eats too quickly and has frequent rising (after Ipecac.), or drinks cold water; in colic when the sides contract before or after stools, following deficient nourishment or worm affections. The horse before each seizure turns the head towards the belly; from time to time he shakes the root of the tail, as in tetanus. There may be constipation following bad digestion, or diarrhoea with liquid jets. A cold and moist season is an indication for Arsenic (as for Rhus).
“In contagious affections of the mouth in the horse, Arsenic should be thought of when painful ulcers, with turned back edges, appear on the mucous membrane of the lips, and the flatus smells very badly.
“In typhoid fevers it can be used in the third stage, when there is great weakness, fetid and black diarrhoea, and strong palpitation. In affections of the spleen, as well with animals as with men, Arsenic has shown itself very efficacious. Its action on the spinal marrow has been shown in the cure of paralysis of the hinder limbs, and of the lower when of rheumatic origin (Coloc., Rhus., Zincum).
“If the proverb, ‘Well groomed is half fed’ (bien nettoye est & moitie nourri) is true, it does not prevent a well-cleaned and combed skin from being galled by a saddle or a collar, bitten by insects, or torn by spurs or whip. From thence come cracks, wounds, bruises, which are apt to inflame.
“In these cases Arsenic produces a curative effect truly astonishing. It agrees when the skin, after much walking in mud and mire, becomes hard and horny, with formation of ulcers, with perpendicular edges, and giving off an acrid serous exudation; in the case of fungus excrescences produced by the collar, and even in the case of a sickly discoloration of the hair which often happens after a chill; it will be equally efficacious in the case of ulcers produced by internal inflammatory causes, dark red in color, very painful, with a purulent secretion.
“Very painful affections of the foot, arising from bad shoeing or from wounds, are amenable to Arsenic; in eruptions for example, “grease” (la malandre), when there is great pain and acrid discharge; in fissures of the hoof; swelling of the joints; in dropsies this medicine is curative. Horse jobbers often give Arsenic to old horses to excite their appetite, and to give them a better appearance.
“He who knows well the action of this medicament on the healthy human being will understand all the resources which can be drawn from it for the treatment of the different affections of the horse, provided always that it is given in Homoeopathic doses.