Rabies Shots ... a hidden risk?
An unexpected surprise awaited Dr.
Richard Pitcairn as he researched
the cause of chronic disease in
Some dog owners have complained for years about rabies
vaccinations, saying the vaccine itself scares them more than the
threat of rabies.
According to information presented recently, they may be right.
Veterinarian Richard H. Pitcairn told a Seattle audience during a
fall homeopathy conference that a whole range of chronic disease
in dogs can be traced to the harmful effects of the rabies vaccine.
"I was especially skeptical myself at first," said Pitcairn, who
received a Ph.d in immunology in 1972. "If anyone was pro-
vaccination, I was. I can assure you that I didn't come to this
conclusion on any basis other than clinical experience. I'm finding
that the chronic disease we're seeing in dogs seems to be related
to the effects of excessive vaccinations."
Rabies vaccinations are required by law. But there hasn't been a
single case of rabies reported in the last 40 years (except for
Rabies, in fact, suffers more from media hype than anything else.
It's fatal once the symptoms show, but according to Ray Watkins,
a public health veterinarian who has handled the Seattle-area
rabies situation for the past 30 years, deaths are very rare. In the
entire U.S., 0 to 3 people die each year from it.
The rabies vaccine for dogs contains the rabies virus.
It's this virus that's the culprit, and that ultimately led Pitcairn to
realize that the rabies vaccine may be more harmful than
originally thought. That's his conclusion after research led him in
late 1983, to what Pitcairn describes as his 'Eureka!' situation:
"From clinical experience I had used lachesis and other
homeopathic remedies which were particularly effective for
treating chronic disease in dogs.
"Then, while reading homeopathic literature—and there's very
little in there on animals--I found lachesis listed in Clark's Clinical
Repertory as the main remedy for treating rabies in people." In
other words, the remedy that was effective in treating dogs with
various chronic diseases was the same remedy listed in
homeopathic literature as effective for the disease of rabies in
Once Pitcairn singled out lachesis as being clinically successful,
and matched it with the homeopathic literature that described
lachesis as a cure for rabies in people, he knew he was at a
turning point, the beginning of what he would later call his
To support his new findings, Pitcairn had clients watch their dogs
after vaccination. When the clients reported problems with itching
and skin eruptions at the injection site, Pitcairn knew he was on
the right track.
‘I've seen so many cases of chronic diseases in dogs of
various sorts that respond to lachesis that I've no doubt
whatever that this is what we're dealing with: a chronic
disease created by vaccination or at least aggravated by
Understanding the link between individual
chronic diseases and the rabies vaccine
involves what homeopathic physician
Samuel Hahnemann called a 'miasm'. The
miasm is an underlying disease, like the
part of the iceberg lurking beneath the
water's surface. You can see and deal with
the tip of the iceberg—in this case,
individual disease symptoms—but the
iceberg's essence (the miasm) is
submerged, unreachable, deadly.
"Clinically," said Pitcairn, "you see certain
symptoms. A miasm is a chronic disturbance unrecognized
except as it's manifested by acute flareups of what seem to be
Pitcairn had been particularly frustrated by chronic disease cases,
since, as an ‘alternative veterinarian' he was often the last resort
for distraught animal owners. "I was getting the bottom-of-the-
barrel cases, the ones that couldn’t be cured by conventional
medicine,” said Pitcairn. "But I couldn't help them, in spite of my
Now, however, lachesis allows
Pitcairn to pierce the miasm and
get right to the heart of what's
causing or aggravating the
individual chronic disease
symptoms: the rabies vaccine.
With lachesis, dogs are treated
for chronic ailments ranging from
severe flea allergies to arthritis,
hip dysplasia, ear inflammation,
mammary tumors, colitis,
epilepsy, warts, kennel cough—even fear of strangers.
A dog from Texas recovered from her problems of irritability, abnormal stiffness, panting,
and a ravenous appetite for such strange things as leaves after being treated with lachesis.
Another patient of Pitcairn's had greatly enlarged lymph glands (lymphosarcoma, or cancer
of the lymph system), plus extreme hair loss, skin eruptions, and bad smell.
Chemotherapy and steroids had been recommended and the dog had already received a
cortisone injection. But after treating with lachesis, Pitcairn said all the dog’s hair grew back
in and its eruptions subsided. Now, the dog's smell is gone, its energy level is increased and
although the glands are not yet back to normal, they're smaller. It's Pitcairn s belief that
these types of chronic diseases call for lachesis.
“Nine out of 10 chronic cases use this remedy -- all breeds, small
If you decide to use lachesis on your dog, be careful with
potency, advises Pitcairn. Older dogs in particular may harbor
malignant tumors which are undetectable through physical
examination. Once given lachesis, the body will try to heal itself
by getting rid of the tumor, but the dog's system is already so
weakened that the dog may die from the excess toxins produced
by the breakdown of the tumor.
Old and weak dogs that have been suppressed for years with
steroids have very little energy left. "It's not an exaggeration to
say that lachesis 30 produces a long aggravation of five to six
weeks," said Pitcairn.
NOTE: LACHESIS HAS BEEN DESCRIBED ABOVE AS A
LEADING HOMEOPATHIC REMEDY FOR THE RABIES MIASM.
HOWEVER, FIRST AND FOREMOST, ONE MUST ADMINISTER
A REMEDY ACCORDING TO THE INDIVIDUALS’ SYMPTOMS.
ALL INDIVIDUALS’ ARE UNIQUE IN THEIR DISEASE,
THEREFORE REQUIRING A HOMEOPATHIC REMEDY
UNIQUE TO THEM.
Other homeopathic remedies that may prove useful to quelling
the rabies miasm: Belladonna (see article below), Cantharsis,
Hyoscyamus, Lyssin, Lachesis, Phosphorus, Stramonium, Argnitum nitricum,
MIND - HYDROPHOBIA
acet-ac.a1,c2,hr1,k acon.a1 aconin.a1,c1,c2 agar.ld,xxs agav-a.br1,c1,c2 anag.br1 anan.c1,c2 ant-c.bg2,sf1.de anthraci.al apisbg2 arg-
n.hr1,k ars.b2.de,b4a.de,bg2,k Aspar.hr1,kr1 BELL.b2.de,b4a.de,bg2,c2,k,ptk1,tl1 brom.mtf33 calc.b2.de,b4a.de,bg2,k camph.bg2 cann-i.a1,k,tl1
CANTH.b2.de,b7.de,b7a.de,bg2,br1,c2,k,ptk1,tl1 cedr.c1,c2 ceto.br1 chlol.c2,hr1,k chlor.kr1 cocc-s.br1,c1,c2 crot-h.c2,hr1,k Cupr.b2.de,bg2,k,ptk1
Cur.c2,hr1,k euph-l.sne0 fagu.c1,c2 gels.bg2 gent-c.c1 gua.c1,c2 Hydr-ac.bg2,sf1.de HYOS.b2.de,b7.de,bg2,c2,k,ptk1,tl1 hyper.c1,c2
iod.b2.de,bg2,k jatr-c.bg2 LACH.b2.de,b7.de,b7a.de,bg2,c2,k laur.bg2,sf1.de lys.bg2 LYSS.c2,hr1,jl2,k1,ptk1,st merc.b2.de,bg2,c2,k nux-v.bg2 phel.k,k1,k2
PHOS.b2.de,bg2,k,ptk1 plb.bg2 ran-s.a1,k rutab2.de,b7.de,bg2 Sabad.b2.de,bg2,k,ptk1 scut.c1,c2 spirae.br1,c1,c2,sf1.de
STRAM.a1,b2.de,b7.de,bg2,c2,hr1,k,mrr1,ptk1,tl1 stry.a1 strych-g.c1,c2 sulph.bg2,sf1.de tann-ac.c1 tarent.bg2 ter.c2,hr1,k trach.a1 verat.bg2,hr1,k
What are the alternatives to vaccination? There are none yet,
said Pitcairn. More research in homeopathy needs to be done.
Until it is, however, there’s every reason to thoroughly analyze
the risks and benefits of rabies vaccination — before subjecting
Belladonna (Homeopathic Remedy) in Chronic Disease
Jeff Levy, DVM
The acute picture of belladonna is well known, with
its characteristic heat, redness, dryness,
suddenness, violence, and intensity resembling
atropine poisoning. Belladonna has been
considered primarily an 'acute' remedy by many,
appropriate to high fevers, encephalitis, and other
inflammatory physical conditions.
In acute/chronic remedy relations, oftentimes
the 'acute' is a plant remedy and the 'chronic' a
mineral. Take, for example, pulsatilla and silica,
aconite and sulphur, or belladonna and calcarea
carbonica. Yet the so-called 'acute' remedy, say pulsatilla, can fit a chronic disease state,
and the so-called 'chronic' remedy can fit an acute disease state. It would probably be
better to simply consider them to be complementary to one another.
Whereas mineral remedies, when accurately prescribed, tend to stimulate deeper, longer
lasting curative responses than plant remedies in general, certainly plant remedies,
accurately prescribed, can stimulate a deeply curative response in chronic disease.
I assume (that is, hope) that it is now widely recognized among veterinary homeopaths
that rabies miasm is quite common and often predominant in dogs. If belladonna was
originally an 'acute' remedy in clinical rabies, and we now have a well-defined canine rabies
miasm, it follows that Belladonna is an important chronic remedy in dogs. Experience has
shown me clearly that it is.
The Chronic Belladonna Picture
As belladonna is one of the major rabies remedies, it has many clinical features that are
characteristic of rabies miasm, and shared with other rabies remedies. (I again assume that
this is familiar to most of you, and so will touch on the subject only briefly.) Neurological
symptoms predominate. Seizures of all sorts, whether grand mal, fly biting, biting at water
from a garden hose, or one of many other possibilities. The basic underlying pattern that I
see here is a sort of mental 'switch' that, when triggered, snaps the dog into an altered
mental state. It is a form of delirium that typically comes and goes instantaneously. This is
perhaps best illustrated by a dog walking in the woods who sees a deer and immediately
goes after it. (The trigger is often visual.) The dog will typically be unresponsive to any
verbal command, and will, in fact, be totally unaware of anything except catching that deer.
This is a milder chronic form of the mental derangement that is seen in the
encephalomyelitis of rabid dogs.
With regard to the chronic belladonna state specifically, it has the same general features
as the acute, mentioned above, but in a low-grade chronic form. They tend to have
compulsive behaviors, such as chasing a ball until they drop or compulsive licking of people
or objects. There is a driven quality to these behaviors, as if survival depended on it. A
peculiar example of this is a generally thirsty dog who would absolutely refuse to drink
water until his people came home, and then would excitedly drain the bowl.
They tend to be excitable, intense, even hyperactive. There is a hyperacuity of the
senses, which can lead to loss of senses, often deafness or blindness, usually without
obvious physical pathology. [Vision: Acute. Eye: Photophobia. Eye: Paralysis, optic nerve,
amaurosis.] [Hearing: Acute. Hearing: Impaired. Hearing: Lost.] It is as if the sensory
organs are cranked too high and just burn out.
Just as the sensory organs are sensitive, there is also often sensitivity to pain.
Overreaction in general. [Generalities: Reactions, violent.] They tend to be very alert,
reacting quickly and strongly to the least alarm, such as barking at noises outside the
house, or being spooked by a silhouette in dim twilight outdoors.
Despite the fact that belladonna has so much heat in it, it is an empty heat, a false
yang. As such, they can be quite chilly in the chronic state. However, I have not found
temperature preference to be a strong feature. Only once have I seen the keynote craving
for lemons in a dog.
Some specific physical symptoms that have been repeatedly cured by belladonna include
aural hematoma, and cervical disc prolapse with either back pain or hind leg weakness and
ataxia or paralysis. Interestingly, both conditions appear to be acute, but are actually
symptoms of chronic disease.
Although I do not advise prescribing based on personality, it can be useful in confirming
the remedy choice. Belladonna patients tend to be quite pleasant and agreeable, somewhat
like phosphorus. They are animated, as you might expect, and often described as being
charismatic. They can even sometimes be a bit 'goofy', with clown-like behavior. Still, you
can always see the driven quality behind their actions.
All of the above is a description of how belladonna cases can look. It is not meant to be
comprehensive, and it is far from an attempt to describe the essence of belladonna. That
would require careful examination of the nature of the fear and the response to it. However,
I hope you can get a feel for how the acute hot, dry, red, sudden, violent qualities can look
when they move into a chronic state.
Nikki, 18 month old spayed female German Shepherd.
Chief complaint was aggressive behavior. She would protect her food bowl. She had
started to growl at strangers, < with men. With the wife of the family, more submissive,
fearful, would pull away. She was very intense. She would compulsively lunge and bark at
people while leashed on a walk. Restless and anxious. Jealous. Impulsive. Submissive
urination, had previously been < with men. She had killed a squirrel, and as a puppy had
been destructive, tearing up anything in her crate. Since puppyhood, could be very sweet
and very submissive.
Tended to get diarrhea with lethargy, inappetance and thirst. She would be frantic
before a bowel movement with this diarrhea. Had gotten the diarrhea after rabies
vaccination, and after boarding. Did not like changes, or new people in general. However,
she was perfectly fine with some people. If the person gave attention to the other dog,
Molly, Nikki would attack Molly. In general, Nikki dominated Molly. (Molly responded very
well to staphysagria.) With other dogs outside, acted dominant at a distance, fearful and
submissive up close. Still, would be dominant with some dogs, e.g., puppies.
Other physical symptoms: appetite either ravenous or inappetant. Appetite worse when
more restless, pacing, intense.
Coprophagy: cat stool. Would eat paper, used tampons. Would carry around dirty socks,
preferably the husband's.
Had started scratching around her head, and chewing her lower legs. No fleas. Would
rub her head, especially the top of her head, on the carpet, and make a low growl and bark.
Didn't seem angry or aggressive. (Voluptuous itching?)
Hated to have her feet wiped, would pull away. Very sensitive.
Intensely interested in any woman urinating. Would stick her nose in the woman's
crotch. Also menstruating women.
Fascinated by water, flushing toilet, would snap at dripping water or stream of water
from garden hose. Would chase stream of water from garden hose.
She had been on homeopathic treatment by another veterinarian for 16 months, and
had received thuja, sulphur, nux-v, sepia, and lachesis, all in high potency. Towards the end
of this time, the aggressive behavior towards people had become alarming, and there was
concern that she might ultimately have to be euthanized.
Nikki was given one dose at a time of belladonna 30C up through 50M, over the course
of one year. It is worthy of note that despite the deeply curative nature of the response, the
duration of response at each potency level was relatively short.
During that time, her personality completely changed. The aggressive and bullying
behaviors went away, as did the restless anxiety. Jealousy nearly gone. In fact, most of the
symptoms were either gone or much better. The veterinarian who had previously treated
her said that she was "a different dog". Curiously, the desire to carry around the husband's
socks did not change.
One day after receiving the dose of 50M, she had a severe bout of diarrhea at night with
sudden urging, frantic behavior, crying, and stool shooting out. With this she had
tremendous thirst, and was clingy. These were exactly the symptoms she had had as a
puppy after rabies vaccination. I took it to be the return of the original pattern of
symptoms, as the vaccination probably induced the belladonna state to begin with. The
diarrhea resolved without treatment in a few days, and within 8 weeks, all of the belladonna
issues were resolved, and she had moved into a calc-c state. She has been responding very
well to that remedy for the past five months.