Over the past two decades, we have seen the spread of a rabies epidemic in the raccoon population of New York State. It prompted the state to airdrop oral rabies vaccine for the wildlife. Now, yearly rabies immunization are required by the state for any mammal (dogs still only need three-year vaccines) – including horses – to be allowed on public lands and fairgrounds. Since this increased immunization has been implemented in our equine companions, I have seen a large escalation in a multitude of problems. The purpose of this article is to explore the entangled chronic disease that has resulted from the practice of rabies immunization in the horse.
SYMPTOMS OF EQUINE RABIES
Rabies is a terrible disease, caused by a Rhabdovirus, genus Lyssavirus. The natural physical disease is contracted from a bite of an infected animal which transmits the virus via saliva to the blood system of an individual. Symptoms in horses often begin with mutilation at the site of the bite.
• Horses tend to be unusually alert and tense and seem to be listening to unheard sounds.
• There is often genital excitement, a desire to escape, to break lead and cross-ties.
• As with the dog, there are bizarre cravings such as for wood and manure.
• There can be viciousness, first towards strangers, then to family and often with bizarre vocalizations.
• Often, horses are unable and even unaware enough to blink, creating a dry eye with corneal ulcers.
• They can develop a squeakier neigh.
• Cluster respirations can develop.
• Paralysis often starts in the muscles of the head and neck, leading to inability to swallow food or water, and the lower jaw hanging with ropey saliva.
• There can be seizures, then posterior weakness and paralysis leading to recumbency.
• Death often follows paralysis.
RABIES’ ROOTS LIE IN ANIMAL DOMESTICATION AND HUMAN CIVILIZATION
Knowing the history of rabies is essential to understanding the spiritual/energetic development of this disease. Rabies is one of the most ancient animal diseases. It has been known for at least 4,000 years in the Middle East, and from there it spread to Asia and Europe, coinciding with where the first domestication of animals is thought to have occurred. The dog seems to have been domesticated around 10,000 B.C.
Rabies was never seen to spread into the natural world; instead, it followed the path of civilization. In her book, Animals, Disease, and Human Society, Joanna Swabe states that domestication caused irretrievable loss of genetic diversity and evolutionary autonomy. Historian William H. McNeil states that “increasing human manipulation and control of the natural world resulted in the disturbances of the ecological basis.” Both indicate that domestication and the subsequent abnormal concentration of animals with modified and restricted genetic material is the greatest cause of disease in our animals and ourselves. When civilization broke with natural law, it initiated the onset of disease in animals.
Rabies was present in Greece circa 800 B.C. Hippocrates is said to have cured rabies with boxwood. Rabies was not seen in China until the 1800s, and there was no rabies in the New World until it was brought over by the colonists. It was first reported in 1703 in Mexico, but did not spread widely until the Gold Rush. Again, the truly fascinating aspect of rabies is that its spread accompanied the expansion of Western civilization. It never preceded Western civilization into any area.
RABIES VACCINATION AND DISEASE STATES
Rabies was a severe problem in 1800s Europe. In 1842, at the Veterinary College at Lyon, 62 of 104 deaths were due to rabies. Pasteur’s work was met with doubts but also great hopes. He never felt he was curing his patients of rabies; he realized he was just prolonging the incubation period. He hoped to prolong the incubation period to last the entire lifetime of the individual that was being vaccinated.
J. Compton Burnett (a homeopathic doctor) discusses the creation of a chronic disease state from vaccination in Vaccinosis and its Cure by Thuja: “For in vaccinating a person we are diseasing him; we communicate vaccinosis to him.” Hence it follows that the protective power of vaccination is due to a diseased state of the body. Ill-effects from immunization were noted immediately. In 1888, Dr. Paul Remlinger recognized paralysis after rabies inoculations. Hagan’s Infectious Diseases of Domestic Animals states that “many of these reactions in animals are mild and transient, but others may result in permanent damage. The signs generally do not appear sooner than five days after vaccination and sometimes considerably later. The paralysis may involve only a few muscles. Frequently this occurs in the extremity in which the vaccine was injected. Sometimes the paralysis gradually extends and death finally results. The signs are the result of a demyelinating process which occurs in the brain or spinal cord, or both.”
Dr. Richard Pitcairn wrote: “We can expand our definition to say that vaccinosis is the establishment of, instead of the acute natural disease, a chronic condition which now has the time to develop a multitude of manifestations not ordinarily seen.”
VACCINOSIS IN HORSES
Chronic symptoms caused by rabies vaccine in horses can include:
• Chronic choke, (acute choke would be paralysis of the muscles of deglutition with concurrent spasms in the throat)
• Eye problems – uveitis or Keratitis sicca
• Compulsive behaviors like wood chewing in the stall and tree chewing (acute would be bizarre cravings)
• Cardiac symptoms including inflammation of the heart muscle, disturbed heart function, and heart failure
• Immediate vaccine reaction involving the vasculature results in laminitis and may progress into significant cardiac dysfunction.
• Chronic Obstructed Pulmonary Disease (a chronic form of the cluster breathing in rabid animals)
• Lameness issues including pain, stiffness, weakness and paralysis (acutely – posterior paresis and paralysis from neck to extremities)
• Wide plethora of emotional and mental disturbances (acute – restlessness, uneasiness, aggressiveness with sound and light sensitivity)
Rabies was one of the first diseases reported in animals. It was created from the energy of discord that arose when Western civilization broke natural law. The pollution or stain done to the animals that associated closely with man was the disease state of rabies. It covers a wide range of disease tendencies that are now very deep-seated.
In September 1977, the Six Nations (Iroquois) presented a paper to the Non-Governmental Organization of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. “The original instructions direct that we who walk about on the Earth are to express a great respect, and affection, and a gratitude toward all the spirits which create and support Life…” the paper said. Specifically, it spoke of the domestication of animals and manipulation of the earth in agriculture as a break from the natural law, leading to future problems.
With the development of a prophylactic rabies vaccination, we infected our canine companions and feline friends with a subacute form of the disease, which many believe has given rise to a plethora of new syndromes. Now the same is happening with our equine companions. It is a dire situation with no easy answers, but holistic options can help many individual animals whose caregivers choose this approach.
Horses today are stressed in many ways: limited herd bonding, chemically treated feeds, pharmaceutical usage, limited natural forage and more. How do we know the true etiology of any chronic illness? In the following cases, all have rabies titers at a pathological level, a history of never being well since being immunized for rabies, and a curative reaction from one of the homeopathic medicines listed in the Mind; Hydrophobia rubric (a symptom followed by a list of remedies known to impact that symptom in the repertory, the homeopathic index of symptoms). Thus we can deduce that increased wellness was due to addressing the negative impact from the rabies vaccine.
The following are examples of horses affected by the rabies vaccine. They show a variety of symptoms and recovered with homeopathic remedies known to help rabies vaccinosis. More details of their cases will appear in a future edition of IVC Journal.
Domi is a 12-year-old Thoroughbred living in a hunterjumper stable and who requires yearly “spring shots” including annual rabies. Over the past years, Domi had become so fearful and nervous that his owner was afraid to ride him. Domi’s Rabies titer was very high (1:2400 drawn 3/20/08 RF8-3211-1). He developed a peculiar symptom: after his stall was mucked out, if there were any remaining manure balls, he would fastidiously place them on his stall door. He was also terrified if anyone climbed up on the outside of his stall wall.
On March 3, 2009, after the excitement of a few other horses leaving for their first spring show, Domi choked during the night feeding. The episode resolved spontaneously after ten minutes, but recurred the following night. Domi was given Arsenicum album 30C twice a day for five days. During that time, he stopped eating his manure and placing his fecal balls on the stall door, and had no more episodes of choke. Arsenicum album was given because of these peculiar habits, his fears and sensitivities, and the acute episode of choke. It is also listed in Mind; Hydrophobia rubric.
I saw Domi on May 1, 2009, and it was remarkable how calm and quiet he was. Over the past four years, Domi has had no rabies immunizations and has become a calm riding horse.
The inflammation of the heart muscle seen in rabies commonly presents itself in horses as acute laminitis, which can then progress to a more chronic form with a taut pulse, elevated heart rate and blood stagnation in the jugular vein. The first case I ever saw of rabies vaccine-induced laminitis with subsequent heart weakness was in my own horse Hasufel. In 1986, I gave him a rabies vaccination. Two days later, he had bounding pulses in both front feet and was unable to move. He had severe laminitis and suffered from a significant rotation of his coffin bone. The number of cases I see of rabies vaccine-induced laminitis is staggering. Most are subclinical with mild pulses in the forefeet and slight stiffness, so the owners remain unaware. Charisma, a 25-year-old Morgan, had a bounding digital pulse after a rabies vaccination in 2007. She quickly recovered with one dose of Lyssin 200c. Lyssin is an energetic preparation of rabid dog saliva.
3. Paresis and paralysis
Othello had an initial paretic reaction to rabies vaccine, then developed musculoskeletal and behavior problems that rendered him dangerous. After six years of homeopathic treatment (and no rabies vaccines), he was safe to be handled. Ten years later, a gum issue responded easily to a few doses of homeopathic remedies, and his owner is still happily riding him at age 36. CeeCee became very paretic with other symptoms, recovered with treatment, and is still being ridden at age 35. Euthanasia was avoided thanks to holistic treatment of the penile paralysis and UTI that occurred after rabies vaccine. Narcolepsy is now dramatically on the rise in horses. Sierra was cured with homeopathy and is now 34 years old.
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