My friend, Rita, has a real nice Earth temperament horse named Kate. Kate has had several health issues most of which involve excess fluid accumulation in her tissues. Over the last several years Kate has had several occasions when her udder has become swollen and sometimes Rita can milk some clear fluid from each teat.
Last year when Kate was pregnant her udder became very swollen and clear fluid leaked from the left side constantly the last month of her pregnancy. This premature udder development made us concerned that Kate was having a separation of her placenta but aggressive treatment, including antibiotics, progesterone, and stall confinement did not change the leaking fluid.
The homeopathic remedy, apis, finally slowed down the fluid loss from the udder and Kate foaled a healthy colt. Kate had normal milk and despite weeks of leaking before foaling no fluid leaked once the foal was nursing. After the foal was weaned Kate’s milk dried up but her udder stayed slightly swollen and occasionally had fluid in it.
Kate also tended to get fluid built up in her tissues and this showed up as occasional stocking up and generalized stiffness. It often took Kate 15 to 30 minutes of riding before she loosened up. Getting Kate to move out at any gait could be a challenge because she was so stiff.
Last month Kate developed a secondary upper respiratory infection after a virus went through the farm she lived on. She ran a fever and had a nasty discharge from her nose but never stopped eating. We treated her with an immune support supplement and she recovered after about 10 days. A week later Rita noticed Kate’s udder was swollen, tender and hard and she was running a fever of 101.6. I felt Kate was experiencing inflammation rather than infection in her udder and one of my most used remedies for inflammation in glands and tissues is rhus tox.
We started Kate on rhus tox 30c every 2 hours for 4 doses. After the 3rd dose her swelling and temperature was down and she was much more comfortable. The next morning she was completely normal. The really nice thing was that her udder has stayed down and Kate is moving better than she has in years. She is moving out when ridden and doesn’t seem to have any extra fluid in her tissues.
This is the cool thing about homeopathy. I never felt like the apis we gave Kate during her pregnancy was her constitutional remedy but it did help her. By not treating the respiratory infection with antibiotics I feel we allowed her body to mount its own healing response and in the process bring about some very strong healing symptoms. I think the inflammation in her udder was part of this response and it looks like the rhus tox may turn out to be a constitutional remedy for Kate.
When I study the entire remedy picture of rhus tox it does fit Kate’s history of worsening symptoms during damp weather and stiffness that improves with movement. Rhus tox also may have been the perfect remedy for her respiratory infection but her nasal discharge and fever were not specific enough to use to select a remedy.
Other Earth horse temperaments often have similar challenges to Kate so I will be looking closely at rhus tox in any future cases. Madalyn