Sudden severe lameness in a Bull Mastiff dog is never a good thing. At 7 years of age, Sadie was brought to me because of a painful tumor in her left distal radius. After a bone biopsy confirmed the diagnosis of osteosarcoma, the prognosis was grim: Without treatment, Sadie could be expected to live 6 weeks; and with amputation and chemotherapy, she would be expected to live less than 1 year, according to one study. [Saam DE, Liptak JM, Stalker MJ, Chun R. Predictors of outcome in dogs treated with adjuvant carboplatin for appendicular osteosarcoma: 65 cases (1996–2006). J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2011 Jan 15;238(2):195-206.] My clients did not want to amputate her leg or use radiation or chemotherapy, but they were desperate to at least stop the growth of the tumor and buy more time before they had to say goodbye.

When Sadie came to see me, what immediately stood out was her shyness. This 130# dog tried to hide behind her guardian, slinking away from my touch and avoiding eye contact. She was constantly looking for an exit. I completed her intake exam by taking her history and studying her health records. She had a history of a left cruciate injury with swelling and lameness, followed by TPLO surgery, also lameness and soreness in her right knee; she also suffered from swollen itchy ears and anal gland impactions. Most interestingly, at the onset of recent lameness, she had taken to laying on the deck, getting quite hot in the sun. She tended to move her limbs and bark while sleeping, and she had bad-smelling flatus which was worse at night and aggravated with a change of diet. During her flatus, her stomach was often “going.”

Her symptoms matched the remedy silica. When reading the materia medica (Hering) to corroborate this remedy, I found many close correlations to Sadie: During sleep: whining and laughing; loud talking; starts, jerkings of limbs….; Swelling of external ear….Flatulence: much rumbling; incarcerated; very offensive….Weakness of knees. Want of animal heat; always chilly, even when exercising. Yielding, faint-hearted, anxious mood. [Hering C. The Guiding Symptoms of Our Materia Medica. Paharganj, New Delhi, India: B. Jain Publishers;1995.] This remedy fit Sadie on both the physical and mental levels. She did well on silica, with no further need of pain medication. The lump from the tumor got smaller over the years, and she got bolder, coming down to visit with company during parties. She survived 4 ½ more years, (only needing her remedy for the first year), dying at the ripe old age of 11 ½ years from complications related to bloat.

Bio: Dr. Wendy Jensen has been practicing 100% homeopathy since 1992. She completed Dr. Richard Pitcairn’s Professional Course in Veterinary Homeopathy before being certified by the Academy of Veterinary Homeopathy (AVH) in 1994. Dr. Jensen served on the initial expanded board for the AVH, and was the Executive Editor for the first 12 years of the AVH’s Journal. She has lectured extensively for the AVH as well as other organizations, and has been an instructor with the Professional Course, as well as a mentor on the Course’s listserves.