A Light at the End of the Tunnel? The Importance of A Healthy Thyroid
Time for another chapter on Jack. I left off when he was back on the Prednisone. God, how I hate that drug! It is an immune suppressant, and his owner administered it in order to try and stop his immune system from continuing to deteriorate. It works in opposition to homeopathy, which supports the life force, and counters what we were trying to do.
I understand that from her perspective, she felt she had to do it because it was the only thing she knew might at least stop his deterioration. She was panicking because he was seemingly going downhill and felt she had to do *something*. She has done a lot of research on the progressive paralysis caused by vaccines and was sure this is what was going on with Jack. In her studies (on mice) the paralysis moves up the body and leads to organ failure and death. While Jack was not recovering the use of his left hind leg, and was still sometimes weak in the front end and falling on slippery floors and stairs, I wasn’t convinced that he was following the same patterns because he was just too mentally bright to be on the verge of collapse. I wish I knew more about homeopathy so that I could have kept her calmer and instilled greater confidence in what we were doing. As he improved on the drug, she did relax and start to feel encouraged again. We started back on homeopathic treatment.
We decided to give him Sulphur, as had been discussed before. At this point, having worked with so many remedies, I am hoping that anyone following this discussion will understand how hard it is to find the right remedy, or that a progression of carefully selected remedies might be needed. And as such, I hope that my readers will not try and administer any remedies I mention merely because I have listed them here. It is extremely important to carefully select a remedy based on individual symptoms, and every individual is different. Hopefully that is clear by now! For this reason I am going to start using remedy names, as otherwise I don’t think the discussion is going to make much sense. You will hopefully see why by the end of this post.
The remedy we had given him last – remedy C – was Rhus-T. This is a remedy that is very commonly used in acute injuries of ligaments and muscles. I have taken it myself when I strained my calf carrying heavy boxes upstairs. It is typically used in acute cases, and not as often in chronic problems. That Jack was showing such good response, every time we administered Rhus-t, was confusing to me. We had selected the remedy based on his symptoms, and it was helping (to a degree), but why? Does this mean that he has a mechanical injury? We decided taking him to a chiropractor might be a way to find out more.
In the meantime, we gave Jack a dose of Sulphur as Sulphur “follows well” for Rhus-t on issues of paralysis, and also serves to antidote any negative effects of the Rhus (many homeopathic remedies are antidoted other remedies, also some work well together, and others don’t – it’s important to know these things prior to switching remedies). As you will recall from the last post, Jack was accidentally overdose with Rhus-t (after the pharmacist sold too high a dose) and his symptoms flared up horribly. Jack rallied after the Sulphur, and was doing better.
I next wanted to try Calcarea Carbonica. This is a remedy that ranked very high for Jack when we worked up his case, and would even include ‘hypothyroidism’ – which I strongly suspect him of having. I have been trying to convince his owner to have him tested for this for months now, but so far no luck. The Calc Carb suprisingly did nothing. She said she saw no change, although later she said “it was horrible for him” – I don’t know what that means and need to get a better description. At the time she said nothing changed so we decided to move on.
I did some more research into his case and came up with several remedies to explore (by this I mean research further). In a separate post I will put together a list of remedies that might work in the case of degenerative paralysis as I have now identified quite a few. We didn’t end up trying any of them yet, for the following reason. Jack’s owner went to the pharmacy to get something (I forget what we had decided on) and the owner of the pharmacy insisted that she give him Lycopodium. Sulphur-Calc.Car-Lyc. is avery common trilogy of remedies to give, but this is a very mechanical way of prescribing. You should never give a remedy based on how commonly one remedy follows another; remedies should always be prescribed based on how well they fit the patient’s symptoms and overall constitution. I told her that Lycopodium does not at all fit Jack’s personality. Not surprisingly, it did nothing.
At this point it was about a week or so after he’d been on the prednisone. Suddenly poor Jack had a terrible night, unable to get up, and then peeing blood. His owner absolutely panicked. She had been convinced that he was going to end up in kidney failure from the progressive paralysis, and so when she saw the blood she was sure this is what was happening. She rushed him to the vet and had all sorts of bloodwork done. I was fairly certain he wasn’t in kidney failure because I have lived through such a tragedy myself, and I know what it looks like. Jack didn’t appear to be a dog in kidney failure, but rather one with a bladder or kidney infection.
Sure enough, that’s what bloodwork revealed. Of course he’s now on antibiotics. I know that homeopathy can treat such infections, and have managed to cure something similar once myself, but I couldn’t guarantee that I could do that again and she was worried that there would be long-term damage if we didn’t address things immediately. It’s interesting how the conventional approach to healing is always so in need of immediate results. That said, when I treated the dog with the bladder infection, the whole thing cleared up with in 2 hours of being administered a single dose of the proper remedy (I don’t remember which). This is way faster than any antibiotic would have worked. But I digress…
Drugs always lead to more drugs. The prednisone suppressed Jack’s immune system and most likely allowed something to take root so he now has an infection. It’s possible that the inappropriate administration of too many homeopathic remedies further pushed his life force out of balance (i.e. giving him the Lyc even though it was not indicated – you CAN do damage giving the wrong remedy!) The antibiotics will further damage his immune system (they will kill his healthy gut bacteria, thus reducing his immune system by up to 70%), so who knows what might come of this. Hopefully nothing further.
On the bright side, we now have the information from bloodwork. Everything was more or less normal, which really relieved his owner. He does have some elevated kidney values, which is to be expected with the infection. This can also be linked to a malfunctioning thyroid. Jack also has high calcium. Hmmm…. high calcium is most commonly the result of a malfunctioning parathyroid or thyroid gland. I did a little more research, and discovered that there is a strong correlation between hind end paralysis and hypothyroidism. Furthermore, getting a thyroid stabilized often leads to improved hind end strength. Hmmm… finally the importance of getting that thyroid stabilized is coming to the fore!
Two days later, Jack’s owner brought him to the chiropractor. The chiro said that she thought Jack had a torn ACL or similar damage to his left knee. This is very, very interesting news, and I think gives us a much more complete picture. It also explains why the Rhus-T was helping – it is the #1 remedy for strained knees and ligament damage in general. And to add one more piece to the puzzle, hypothyroidism leads to easily damaged tendons and ligaments.
So we now have a much more complex, but hopefully more complete picture of what is going on with Jack:
1) his thyroid is malfunctioning (low) and likely has been for several years as he has been obese and low energy since he was just over a year old. This likely the result of an inherited predisposition (hypothyroidism is the #1 health problem in dogs today) pushed over the edge with vaccinations.
2) the rabies shot last August further damaged his thyroid and also triggered an auto-immune demyelination of his central nervous system, leading to a weakened hind end and front legs as well. This we hope has either been stopped by homeopathy, or run its course on its own (in some cases the demyelination spontaneously reverses, for unknown reasons) as we have not seen progression of paralytic degeneration since starting on homeopathic treatment.
3) The weakened hind end (from the rabies shot) combined with the brittle and weak tendons (from poor thryoid function) led to him hurt his knee.
Overall, this is a fairly positive picture as it offers treatable options. First and foremost he really needs his thyroid tested and treated if indicated. Once stabilized, this should lead to significant weight loss which will help with his knee. To my knowledge there are no serious side effects to thyroid hormone therapy, so I think getting him on thyroid replacement for now is the best option. We can then focus on homeopathic, chiropractic and physio approaches for healing his knee as this is the primary complaint at this point. Down the road we can look into further constitutional homeopathic treatment around the thyroid. I am hoping the progressive paralysis is no longer part of the picture, but only time will tell.