Homeopathy is a gentle and effective remedy for making the natural dying process easier without artificially inducing death. These natural remedies can ease the transition between living and dying. Many animals pass peacefully on their own, and often homeopathy can assist this process. I feel that allowing the natural process to transpire is best—not only for the animal but the care taker as well.
Before choosing a natural approach, choose the correct homeopathic medicine, either way it can make the transitions of passing easier. Homeopathic remedies can also help to palliate an animal (make them feel better) while they transition through the last stages of life.
Arsenicum albumThis remedies picture includes fear of death and fear of being alone. This is probably the remedy used most often in cancer palliation. The animal will be RESTLESS due to the fear. These animals toss and turn in bed, unable to find a comfortable position. They have a need to walk about, moving from room to room or from inside to outside, unable to find relief anywhere. Great exhaustion, weakness, and debility are present. Their pains are burning but are relieved by heat. Their aggravations occur between midnight and 4:00 a.m. They are sensitive to disorder around them, even when they are extremely ill. Ars. alb is often administered in high potency to dying individuals, sometimes with great effect. Though, the remedy will not cause death. It only makes the animal feel more peaceful and eases the resistance to death making it easier to accept in those animals who are in an Arsenicum state as they approach death and are ready to pass. Dosing Example: 30C / 200C. Beginning with the 30C and giving it for as long as it is effective then ascending up the scale to a 200C (depending on the animals age, size and susceptibility to the dose). In Euthanasia, the very highest potencies often yield brilliant results (200C or 1M).
AconiteFor shooting pains that come on suddenly and last a long time. Pains accompanied by great physical and mental restlessness. Often symptoms are worse at night and in a stuffy room. Pains, especially the neuralgia type, can be alleviated by warmth. At times there will be fear of death which comes on in the middle of the night—often in the form of a panic attack.
Aurum metallicumFor bone pains. Used in sarcomas, osteomyelitis, secondaries in bones, when pains are intolerable often worsen at night, and the animal is worse from cold, better from warmth—but likes fresh air. The mental picture might be one of severe depression.
Cadmium sulphurtumESPECIALLY FOR THE STOMACH. This remedy is called for when there is much nausea, burning and persistent vomiting of blackish, coffee ground matter. A dose administered every half-hour throughout the day and night brings desired relief. The remedy is also a major remedy for the nausea and vomiting that often accompanies or follows cancer treatments in humans.
ChelidoniumThis remedy is invaluable for the pain of cancers that have metastasized to the liver. It can be used alone for as long as it is effective—or it can be alternated with other remedies, as needed. Usually the 30c or 200C potency works best.
Euphorbium"Pains of cancer" (Boericke). Burning pains characterize this remedy; the patient does not like cool air but feels better with cold applications. The remedy resembles Arsenicum album in its restlessness and intensity of pain, but differs from the latter in its amelioration from cold.
HydrastisThese arnimal's are depressed; sure of death, and desires it. This remedy is for the terminal stage, the principal symptoms are prostration, extreme pain, and sometimes obstinate constipation. There may be symptoms of catarrh anywhere, thick yellow and ropy. Tongue white swollen and large. There may be an imprint of the teeth on the tongue. Ulceration of the tongue. Stomatitis. Soreness in the stomach, Gastro-duodenal ulceration and catarrh. Liver torpid, tender. Jaundice. Gallstones. Ulcers, cancerous formations. Gastrititis. Unhealthy skin.
Magnesia phosphoricaPain is due to spasms or cramping of muscles, with radiating pain; the animal wants to bend over double and will feel relief when pressure and warmth are applied to the painful area.
Nux vomicaThe animal is nervous, testy, irritable, hypersensitive to odor, light, noise, etc. He will have a low tolerance for pain, may not want to be touched, and is impatient; time passes too slowly. He might also be more fault-finding with his guardian and of everything and everyone around him. There is much nausea, with or without vomiting; the animal wants to vomit but cannot. The animals complaints are worse in the morning, from eating; better after a nap, in the evening, and with applications of warmth. Apart from affording relief in conditions where the liver is involved and the nausea is severe, Nux has been found to be useful when a patient is no longer responding to Arsenicum album and needs a rest from that remedy. After giving Nux for awhile, the patient will once again respond to Arseniucm.
OpiumThis remedy is not available in the United States, but is available in the United Kingdom, Western Europe, and India. The potentized opium's modalities are worse from heat and after sleep (animal sleeps into and aggravation, like Lachesis); better after cold applications, also from fresh air, small quantities of food, and walking about. Opium is used in conditions which hard glands press on the abdominal organs, peritoneum, or brain. Other symptoms are fluid causing distention; deposits in the liver or ones that have metastasized to the spleen, pancreas, lungs; pain leading to severe depression.
This remedy also has the ability to bring an animal out of a coma (like Carbo-veg.), especially a hepatic coma. A homeopath should use this remedy with caution. If given in higher potency, it might bring the animal out of a merciful coma that precedes death.
PhosphorusTruthfully, any homeopathic medicine may provide comfort if it is the correct remedy for the animal's state as he approaches death and is ready for it. I have seen Phosphorus work beautifully with a dog that fit a Phos. picture that was homeopathic to his case.
Plumbum iodatumThe remedy is used in the same way as Opium, but primarily for neurological, spinal, and head pain and it is used for intracranial tumors. It helps play and important role in tumors growing from nerve cells of the thyroid and pituitary glands.
The following paragraph is written by Dr James Kent…Dr Kent gives some of his vast experience in homeopathic euthanasia. "The ghastliness of the picture has not changed, and to it we have added the pains of dying cells—death pains, the death rattle, the last suffering. Such pains come on when mortification begins. If it is in the abdomen, we may avert it by differentiating between Arsenicum and Secale, but if this pain comes in the last stage of consumptive changes, we are beyond these remedies. Much later there is a remedy, and it is Tarantula cubensis. It soothes the dying sufferer as I have never seen any other remedy do. I have seen many remedies act kindly and quiet the last horrors, but Tarantula cubensis goes beyond these. I have lately administered it in the thirtieth centisimal, potency". [Kent]
Tarentula cubensis (Cuban Spider)This is another remedy that is connected with the death process (not to be confused with Tarentula hispanica). This medicine is often helpful when the animal is in great pain and is struggling. This remedies picture is more intense than the Arsenicum picture; it is often associated with advanced cases of cancer. It is for Septic conditions. It is adapted to the most severe types of inflammation and pain with early persistent prostration. Various forms of malignant suppuration. Burning, stinging pains. It is the remedy for pain of death; it soothes the last struggle. Dosing Example: 13C or 30C.
IgnatiaFor bereavement, Ignatia can help any family member or animal companion experiencing the profound loss of a loved one, by helping them process the emotions in a more balanced way. Ignatia is the remedy called for in sobbing and sighing, insomnia from grief, trembling, worry, disappointment and bad news. It is one of the chief remedies where the emotional element is uppermost. Example Dose: 30C to 200C potency.
Bach Flower RemediesIn addition to homeopathic remedies, flower essences can help, Rescue Remedy (4 drops) is useful in any situation of fright and stress. Walnut is useful for transition, and Mimulus helps overcome fear of the unknown. Use a mixing bottle, spring water and (2) drops of each remedy, with (4) drops of Rescue Remedy. The drops may be given orally or placed on the bedding near your pet's face. Or they can be be rubbed on the bare skin just inside of the animals earflap.