Remedies for Bite Wounds

It is not often that we encounter bites from animals but when we do, they can be painful and cause serious complications if left untreated. This week, let's discuss the bites of non-poisonous animals, and next week we will get into more about bites and stings!

Most animal bites, including human bites, often involve puncture wounds. The most common bites are from dogs, less frequent are cat bites and human bites. Rarely do bites from larger animals happen but if they do, they can be life-threatening and serious, particularly due to the size of the bite and strength of the animal. If they do occur, they may possibly be fatal. Consider the bite of the alligator, crocodile, shark, or any other toothed creatures of significant size. If a bite happens that is non-fatal, hospitalization is nearly always necessary to save a life.

The mouths of animals are the dirtiest place of the animal including humans. Bites tend to become infected quickly and should always be treated by first aid or hospitalization. Puncture wounds should be cleaned and bled as much as possible. Wash all wounds with soap and sterile saline water. Soaking in Epsom salts or Hydrogen Peroxide can help disinfect the wound. Open wounds that involve tearing of flesh should be well irrigated and possibly sutured to close the wounds. Puncture wounds that become infected may need to be opened to inspect the wound and clean it. It may be left open to facilitate drainage. If there is a hospital near, all serious wounds should be seen by a doctor for evaluation and treatment. If the wound becomes infected, antibiotics are usually given.

Dog and other animal bites have a possibility of carrying rabies. If the animal is wild or not known to have been vaccinated, it is best to capture the animal and observe it for rabies infection. Rabies is a serious viral infection of the brain and causes inflammation of the brain and spinal cord. The infection is usually fatal if it reaches the brain. This can take from 10-50 days depending on the location of the bite and how healthy the person's immune response is. This is usually enough time to help treat the person and avoid death. Symptoms usually appear as paralysis of the lower limbs and progressively ascends. Prior to symptoms appearing, rabies immunoglobulin may be given in specific intervals by injection. Once the symptoms appear, this treatment does not help. This is where homeopathy can shine brightly.

There are quite a few rubrics in the Complete 2010 Repertory that are useful in animal bites. Here are a few rubrics to help see the available remedies for different aspects of a bite wound:

  • Generalities; WOUNDS; bites (108) : abr., acet-ac., achy., agav-a., aids, all-c., all-s., aloe, alumn., 2am-c., am-caust., anag., anthr., 3Apis, 3Arist-cl., 3Arn., 3Ars., aur., 3Bell., boerh., calad., calo., 2camph., canth., caps., carb-ac., 3Caust., cean., 3Cedr., cench., cham., 3Chr-ac., cinnam., cist., crot-h., cupr., cur., 3Cycl., dor., 3Echi., euph-po., euph-pr., 4GENT-L., 3Grin., 2gua., guajol., gymn., gymne., hell., helo., hep., hippoz., 2ho., hydr-ac., hyos., 3Hyper., 2imp., indg., 3Iod., kali-ma., 3Kali-n., kali-p., 4LACH., lat-h., 2lat-m., 3Led., leuc-a., 2lob-p., loxo-r., lycps., 3Lyss., merc., mosch., nat-m., nelu., nux-v., ph-ac., 3Plan., plume., puls., pyrog., ros-ca-a., sac-alb., samb., sanic., scorp., scut., semp., 3Seneg., sep., sid-al., sima., sisy., slag, 3Spirae., stram., stry., 3Sul-ac., tanac., 3Tarent-c., 3Ter., 3Thuj., 2urt-u., vanil., viol-o., 2vip., visc., xan.
  • Generalities; WOUNDS; bluish (5) : 3Apis, 3Lach., 3Lyss., naja, 3Vip.
  • Generalities; WOUNDS; gangrenous (22) : 3Acon., 3Am-c., 3Anthr., 4ARS., 3Bell., 4BROM., calen., 3Carb-v., 4CHIN., crot-h., 3Eucal., 3Euph., 2glech., 4LACH., pyrog., sal-ac., sec., 4SIL., sul-ac., trach., vip., vip-a.
  • Generalities; WOUNDS; heal; slow (135) : 4ALCO-S., 3All-c., alum., alum-p., alum-sil., am-c., ant-c., 3Apis, aran., 2arist-cl., 3Arn., 3Ars., 3Asaf., 4BALS-P., 4BAR-C., 3Bar-m., bar-s., 3Bell., 4BOR., both-l., 3Bov., 3Bufo, 4CALC., calc-f., calc-s., 3Calc-sil., 2calen., 2camph., cand-a., 2caps., carb-an., 3Carb-v., 3Carc., 4CAUST., 4CHAM., 4CHEL., 2clem., 3Con., 3Cop., cortiso., 3Croc., crot-h., cupr-ar., 3Dulc., 4ECHI., 3Fl-ac., gels., 4GRAPH., gunp., ham., hell., 4HEP., her-s., 3Hippoz., hydr., hydrog., hyper., 2ion-rad., kali-bi., kali-c., kali-sil., kola., kreos., lac-c., 4LACH., 2lepro., 2levi-o., 2liatr., 3Loxo-l., loxo-r., lsd, 3Lyc., lyss., mag-c., maland., 3Mang., 4MERC., 3Merc-c., merc-d., mez., mill., mim-p., mur-ac., 4NAT-C., 4NAT-M., nat-n., nat-p., nat-sil., 4NIT-AC., nux-v., 2oci-b., olnd., op., 2par., 4PETR., 2ph-ac., 3Phos., pip-m., 2plac., plb., posit., 4PSOR., 3Puls., 3Pyrog., querc-r., rad-br., 4RHUS-T., ros-g., ruta, 3Sars., scroph-n., sec., sel., 3Sep., sieg., 4SIL., 2squil., 4STAPH., still., sul-ac., 4SULPH., 4SYMPH., tab., tarax., 3Tarent., thuj., 2til., 3Tub., tub-r., vario., 3Viol-t., vip., wies., x-ray, 3Zinc.
  • Generalities; WOUNDS; lacerations (19) : anan., arist-cl., arn., art-v., asar., 4CALEN., 4CARB-AC., graph., 3Ham., 4HYPER., led., nat-m., nux-v., 3Plan., ruta, sec., staph., sul-ac., symph.
  • Generalities; WOUNDS; old (32) : all-c., asaf., 3Carb-v., 3Caust., con., corv-c., 3Croc., 3Crot-h., eug., fl-ac., 3Glon., 3Graph., kali-i., kreos., 3Lach., lat-h., m-art., med., nat-c., 3Nat-m., 3Nit-ac., 3Nux-v., 3Op., 4PHOS., por-m., ros-g., 3Sil., 3Sulph., symph., tax., ulm-c., 3Vip.
  • Generalities; WOUNDS; painful (54) : acon., 3All-c., am-c., 3Apis, arist-cl., arn., asaf., bar-c., bell., bry., calc., calc-f., 3Calen., caust., cham., chin., clem., 3Colch., con., 3Conv., corv-c., croc., crot-h., eug., glon., helo., 3Hep., 4HYPER., kali-i., 3Led., merc., mez., naja, nat-c., nat-m., 3Nat-s., 3Nit-ac., nux-v., 3Ph-ac., 2phasc-c., phos., por-m., 4RHUS-T., ros-g., sars., sep., sil., 4STAPH., sulph., symph., tax., ulm-c., verat-v., vip.
  • Generalities; WOUNDS; swollen (16) : acon., 3Arn., 4ARS., 3Bell., 3Bry., helod-c., kali-chl., 3Lach., nux-v., 3Puls., 3Rhus-t., scorp., sul-ac., 3Sulph., tarent., vip.
  • Generalities; INJURIES, blows, falls and bruises; penetrating, punctured (34) : acet-ac., 3All-c., 4APIS, aran., arn., ars., calen., 4CARB-V., 4CIC., 3Con., eug., ham., 3Hep., 4HYPER., 4LACH., 4LED., merc., nat-c., nat-m., 4NIT-AC., ph-ac., 4PHASE., 3Phos., 4PLAN., 3Plb., puls., 3Rhus-t., sep., 4SIL., 4STAPH., stram., sul-ac., 3Sulph., symph.
  • Generalities; WOUNDS; bites; dogs, of (49) : acet-ac., achy., agav-a., am-c., am-caust., anthr., 3Apis, arist-cl., arn., 3Ars., bell., calad., camph., canth., 3Cedr., 3Chr-ac., cist., crot-h., cur., 3Echi., 3Grin., gua., gymne., hell., hippoz., ho., hydr-ac., hyos., hyper., indg., iod., kali-ma., 3Lach., 3Led., 4LYSS., mosch., plume., pyrog., scut., semp., sisy., spirae., stram., tanac., 3Ter., viol-o., vip., visc., xan.
  • Generalities; WOUNDS; bites; rats, of (2) : 4HYPER., 3Led.
  • Generalities; WOUNDS; bites; dogs, of; rabid (20) : agav-a., arist-cl., ars., bell., canth., 3Chr-ac., cist., cur., echi., hell., hyos., lach., 3Lyss., scut., spirae., stram., tanac., vip., visc., xan.
  • Generalities; WOUNDS; bites; dogs, of; painful along nerves (1) : hyper.
  • Generalities; WOUNDS; bites; dogs, of; cold, become (1) : led.
  • Generalities; WOUNDS; bites; dogs, of; bluish, turning (1) : lach.

As with all cases, one must look for what is rare, strange, or peculiar about the case. Sometimes even the best-selected remedies do not seem to help and a thorough review of the case reveals something that is uncommon and a better remedy may be selected. Most cases respond well to the 30C potency given as necessary. Sometimes in a less serious bite, a single dose may be all that is necessary. In a more serious bite, many doses must be given repeatedly. When the 30C potency seems to have lost its ability to help, often going to a higher potency like the 200C or 1M potency helps more than searching for a new remedy. If the higher potency does not help, then the case must be retaken. Some of the leading remedies are listed below:

  • Aconite – There may be great fear after an animal attack and bite. Aconite should be the first remedy to give to help with shock.
  • Arnica – As with all wounds and injuries, Arnica can help with bleeding, swelling, bruising, and general healing of all wounds. It is the leading remedy and most available. If there is not something more specific about the wound, Arnica nearly always helps.
  • Arsenicum Album – When the wound has burning pain and is becoming inflamed or infected. If Arsenicum does not work in infection with burning pains try Anthraxinum or Pyrogenium. Arsenicum may also help with headache after a bite.
  • Belladonna – High fever after a bite. The wound becomes hot and red with swelling. Good for dog bite and the treatment of rabies.
  • Calendula – After lacerations and torn tissues. It is also good in mother tincture or potency to irrigate open wounds in sterile water or apply to the skin around wounds to promote healing. It is very antiseptic.
  • Hepar Sulph – After the wound becomes infected with much pus and foul smell. Especially good to promote suppuration in a closed puncture wound.
  • Hypericum – Especially good in all puncture wounds and wounds that are very painful. Bites to fingers, toes, nose, ears. Bites along nerve pathways with much pain.
  • Lachesis – Bites that are blue and painful. Fainting after the bite.
  • Ledum – Bites especially puncture wound bites. Bite becomes cold, blue. Helpful to prevent rabies from developing. Good for the bites of rats also.
  • Lyssin – The rabies nosode. A very good remedy in all bites especially in dogs and cats. One of the first remedies to think of. Cat scratch fever often responds well to Lyssin.
  • Stramonium – The leading remedy in advanced rabies infection. Think of Stramonium and Belladonna.

This is by no means a complete list of remedies or their descriptions for bite wounds. This quick list should be learned though and with this handful of remedies, most bite wounds will be helped. Remember to clean the wound and take the case. Don’t leave the remedy that is working too quickly. Often it will prove to be very useful in higher potencies also. All bite wounds can become a serious medical emergency. Don’t play hero and neglect to get medical help. Unless the wound is from a vicious attack and life-saving measures must be taken immediately, most bite wounds develop their pathology over several days. There is time to get to the hospital if necessary. But successful homeopathic treatment can sometimes mean the difference between life and death.

Keep the conversation going! I would love to hear your questions and thoughts below!


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