Last week, I was faced with the prospect of a dying dog.
My Aaron had been suffering from a brain tumor and was slowly declining.
I reluctantly attended a trade show for a week as Aaron was pretty stable and still enjoying his food. The morning of my return, he simply stopped eating.
When I saw him, I could tell he was getting ready to transition.
He began to decline and sought out solitude and was not really that aware of our presence.
He didn’t appear to be in pain and my plan was to simply watch him and wait for him to tell me he wanted me to help him.
I wasn’t fond of the idea of euthanizing him because that would mean a visit to the emergency vet and not our regular vet, but I would do whatever was necessary to help him.
On Sunday afternoon, Aaron’s breathing became more labored and he became restless although he was still reasonably comfortable and peaceful.
I decided at this point to turn to homeopathy.
There are a few remedies from which to choose to help pets cross comfortably. The remedies will not help your pet die, but they will help keep him mentally and physically comfortable in his final hours.
I gave Aaron a dose of Arsenicum album 30c. Miraculously, within a minute, he came back to me and put his head on my lap, his favorite place to be.
I held him and gave him permission to pass and told him to not be afraid of death or of hurting me.
We sat like this for an hour and then Aaron drifted off into a nap.
When Aaron awoke, he was once again restless and I sensed that perhaps the next day I would have to euthanize him. I gave him another dose of Arsenicum and he once more relaxed.
One hour later, Aaron died on his bed, in his home.
I had once read about allowing pets to die at home and thought it cruel at the time.
In Aaron’s case, I believe he waited for me to pass and I owed it to him to have faith that he knew what he was doing.
If he were suffering greatly or fearful of the process, I would have stepped in, but it seemed that Aaron was completely in control of the process and my only job was to give him whatever I felt he wanted.
When Simon passed in January, I wouldn’t have dared let him pass on his own as he was very stressed and fearful and I couldn’t put him through it.
Would I allow another dog to pass at home?
I don’t have an answer for that, only that with each and every dog, I’ll try to listen to what they’re telling me and grant them every wish.
If you want to be prepared to ease your dog’s passing, whether at home or at the vet, there are a few remedies you might want to have on hand.
Deliver them every couple of hours until you see results and if you don’t see results after three doses, move on to a different remedy.
Aresenicum album 30C – This is arguably the first remedy to consider. Symptoms include restlessness, fear, discomfort, extreme weakness, increased thirst and coldness. Some homeopaths say it relieves the fear of death.
Tarentula cubensis 30C – This remedy often fits the cancer picture and the end stages of death with great pain, crying and intense restlessness with less fear than Arsenicum.
Below, the master homeopath James Tyler Kent discusses the use of homeopathy in the last moments of life.
I am frequently asked. “What should be done in times of great suffering for immediate relief?”
To those who desire to obtain reliable information, and who wish to practice in accordance with our principles, I would say. “Take the symptoms of each individual case and select the remedy capable of producing similar symptoms.”
In a general way this is all that would be expected of me for an answer to the question, by those who are conversant with our materia medica.
Consumptives often suffer greatly when left to themselves, and some medical practitioners, knowing no better way, give Morphine and other stupefying agents, thinking that they allay human suffering. This kind of practice cannot be too strongly condemned.
The consumptive, when going down the last grade, needs the comfort of a true healing art, and not the make-shifts of mongrelism of allopathy.
The homoeopathic remedy is all that he, who knows how to use it, needs to allay the severest distress. Every true homoeopathist knows the value of these wonderful remedies.
A few hints may not be out of place. When the hectic fever, that so rapidly burns the patient up, is in full blast, with the hot afternoon skin, the night sweat, the constant burning thirst, the red spot on the cheek, the diarrhoea, the stool escapes when coughing, the intense fever in the afternoon, the constriction of the chest, suffocation, etc., then should Phosphorus very high be administered, but never repeated.
An aggravation will follow, but it must not be meddled with, as it will soon pass off, leaving the patient free from fever, and he will go on till death, many times, comfortably. It is regrettable meddling that causes the dying man so much misery.
The distressed suffocation and inward distress in chest and stomach, streaming perspiration, great sinking, must have the clothing away from the neck, chest, abdomen, ghastly countenance, and choking, call for Lachesis, and it may be given as often as occasion requires, but to give satisfaction and prompt relief, not lower than the two hundredth potency.
To this ghastly picture, if we add, he is covered with a cold sweat, and there is one on either side of the bed fanning him, and the abdomen is distended with flatus, and the breath is cold, Carbo vegetabilis in water every hour for six hours, and stopped, will give rest and beatitude with many thanks.
But the time is yet coming when even these remedies will not serve us.
The ghastliness of the picture has not changed, and to it we have added the pains of dying cells–death pains, the last suffering. Such pains come on when mortification begins.
If it is in the abdomen, we may avert it by differentiating between Arsenicum and Secale, but if this pain comes in the last stage of consumptive changes, we are beyond these remedies.
Much later there is a remedy, and it is Tarentula cubensis. It soothes the dying sufferer, as I have never seen any other remedy do. I have seen Arsenic, Carbo vegetabilis, Lycopodium, Lachesis, act kindly and quiet the last horrors, but Tarentula cubensis goes beyond these. I have lately administered it in the thirtieth centesimal potency.
When death is inevitable, and when the first-named remedies seem to be mostly indicated, but no longer act, and the friends say: “Doctor, can’t you do something to relieve that horrible suffering? ” the pain, the rattling in the chest, with no power to throw the mucus out; the patient has but a few hours to suffer, but he can be made as quiet as with the terrible Morphine in a very few minutes by Tarentula in the thirtieth potency.
I believe that no physician would use a narcotic if he only knew a better way.
What is more inhuman than to leave the suffering patient in his last moments to writhe in the agonies of dissolution, surrounded by weeping friends. The true physician will embrace the opportunity to exercise his skill at these moments.
It has come to pass that I am invited frequently to stand at the bed of moribund patients, whom I never attended during their curable ills, and as many times do I thank the Grand Master for the wonderful means of allaying the pangs of the flesh, without resort to the necessity of departing from that homoeopathic law which I have so many times pronounced universal, even in the last moments–a euthanasia.
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