While the first and immediate issues that veterinary emergency clinics need to focus on when a canine presents with vehicular trauma are normally the physical/internal injuries, it is also important to treat the trauma from shock that usually accompanies these injuries. In a case study highlighted in the Journal of American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association, a dog was given homeopathic treatment for his shock and the results were promising for future studies. But, before we discuss the findings of the case study, let’s go over some basic information about shock.
The Merck Manual states that in order to provide appropriate treatment, it is crucial to recognize the stage and type of shock. When there is substantial blood or fluid loss due to injuries, this is usually hypovolemic shock. When the heart fails, the type of shock is called cardiogenic shock. The third type of shock that can be presented is distributive shock, wherein the blood flow directs away from central circulation. This is caused by the rapid expansion of peripheral capillary beds, caused by the rush of adrenaline post-trauma. To lower the severity of the shock, bleeding must be controlled, oxygen must be administered, and fluids will need to be replaced.
Touk, an Australian Cattle dog, was crossing the street with his owner when a driver gunned the engine of their car and passed in front of them. Touk lunged at the car in an attempt to bite the front fender, which caused blunt force trauma to his head, mouth, and neck. He had broken teeth, experienced trouble moving his neck, and while he could still walk, he seemed dazed and staggered. He also winced and vocalized during cervical manipulation.
Arnica is not a new homeopathic treatment regarding trauma, and, as a matter of fact, is often in the forefront of possible remedies when trauma is presented. Hypericum has demonstrated effectiveness for traumatic injuries of the spinal cord and to also relieve shock effects. While the Arnica relieved the sluggish pupils, dazed behavior and unsteady gait (all signs of a concussion), within an hour of administering Arnica, he was showing symptoms in his neck and teeth that revealed Arnica may not be the proper treatment for him.
This is when Hypericum was administered, and by the comfort level that Touk demonstrated, it was the proper treatment for him, as he was able to settle down and sleep. He continued to show improvement and within one day, was exhibiting absolutely no signs of shock or pain. While Arnica alone was not the answer to cure the shock, the combination of using Arnica to start off with and then Hypericum to follow worked perfectly for this case of vehicular trauma.
The conclusion to this study was that although both Arnica and Hypericum were both viable and possible remedies to the shock that Touk experienced, it took a combination of both of the herbal remedies to help Touk get back on his feet fast. This demonstrates that each different type of shock and situation may require tweaking and monitoring to ensure that the patient gets through the trauma as quickly and as comfortably as possible.
Homeopathy has been around for over 200 years, and we’re just now starting to realize it’s vast potential in treating the entire spectrum of health issues in pets, as well as in people. As this treatment modality becomes more accepted in Western medicine, hopefully more studies will be able to unlock its vast potential.