Use of Saint Germain Flower Essences as a Supplemental Treatment for Canine Distemper
C.M.C. Teixeira; J.F. Vieira; C.M. Silva
Canine distemper is a highly contagious viral disease whose agent is responsible for greater morbidity and mortality than any other virus that infects dogs. Canine distemper virus is a member of the Paramyxoviridae family, Morbillivirus genus. It is a large RNA helical virus with a lipoprotein envelope, and it is transmitted by contact with infectious droplets and aerosols of affected animals. Younger animals are more susceptible to the disease (Miller, 1997). The virus replicates in tonsils and bronchial lymph nodes, infects lymphocytes and spreads in the body (Fenner, 1997). Incubation period frequently ranges from 14 to 18 days, and infection is determined by immunosuppression caused by viral replication in lymphoid tissue during this phase. Most of the clinical signs are related to secondary bacterial infections caused by immunosuppression, increasing mortality rates among affected animals. Clinical signs of distemper are oculonasal discharge, cough, abdominal pustules, myoclonus, ataxia, incoordination, inappropriate vocalization, seizures, circling, hyperesthesia, muscle rigidity, and blindness. Prognosis is directly influenced by neurological changes. Although no clinical sign is pathognomonic of canine distemper, simultaneous occurrence of a group of clinical signs makes diagnosis easier (Appel & Carmichael, 1979). Multifocal neurological symptoms together with fever, respiratory problems, diarrhea, ocular discharge, nasodigital hyperkeratosis, myoclonus, lymphopenia, chorioretinitis and lack of vaccination are indicative of distemper (Farrow & Love, 1983; Braund, 1994; Summers et al., 1995). Diagnosis may be based on the occurrence of clinical signs together with a history of lack of vaccination or inadequate vaccination with a polyvalent vaccine (Miller, 1997), and may be difficult to be established in dogs that do not show extraneural signs and myoclonus (Enia et al, 2006). Hemogram analysis may show leukopenia with lymphopenia, thrombocytopenia and Heinz bodies. Definitive diagnosis may be established by detection of the virus in epithelial cells, fluorescent antibody test, PCR and/or virus isolation. There is no specific antiviral treatment for the disease and symptomatic therapy includes antibiotics and corticoids (Miller, 1997). Although dogs may recover, prognosis in cases of neurological distemper is poor, and euthanasia is commonly indicated (Tipold et al., 2008). Flower essences, as other forms of natural medicine, aim at treating the individual, and not the disease or its symptoms. They specifically act on the emotional conditions of the patient, in a way that two individuals showing the same signs may be benefited by the use of different flower essences. The effect of flower essences is not related to the suppression of negative attitudes, but to the transformation of these attitudes into positive ones, stimulating the self healing potential and completely engaging the physical system in the fight against disease and stress. It is important to emphasize that this kind of therapy does not make allopathic treatment superfluous in the cure of physical diseases. Flower essences start acting on more subtle energetic bodies, cross several layers towards the physical (more dense) body, and do not lead to the direct cure of the disease, but they help the animal to fight it or live with it in a way it does not represent an important aspect of the life of the animal, causing it to live well and in better conditions. Flower essences may be used together with other allopathic or homeopathic treatments, or with other forms of traditional or natural therapy, with no negative interference. These treatments may even be supplemental, potentializing the action and reducing side effects of some therapies. In the 1930s, Dr. Bach created the Bach Flower Essence System. After that, many other systems appeared, such as Saint Germain Flower Essences, developed in Brazil in the 1990s. Each essence has its only particular action, as each being has a unique response to each essence. Saint Germain flower essences deal with the Physical, Ethereal, Mental and Emotional bodies, and aim at aligning these four bodies, leading to a general strengthening of the organism. More than 70 essences made of Brazilian flowers were developed by Neide Margonari, which may be used alone or in association in order to help cure the subtle and physical bodies. This study gives important scientific support to the use of flower essences in distemper treatment. Although flower essences have been recognized as a healing system by the World Health Organization since 1976, scientific information on healing produced by the use of flower essences is still lacking (Margonari, 2005, 2006; Stein, 1998).
Materials and Methods
Twelve dogs showing gastroenteric and/or respiratory pictures associated with neurological changes, such as myoclonus and ataxia, compatible with presumptive distemper diagnosis, were evaluated. None of the animals had been vaccinated. Treatment was based on corticoids (prednisone 2 mg/kg BID), anticonvulsants (phenobarbital 2 mg/kg BID), oral antibiotics (trimethoprim sulfa 30 mg/kg BID), ocular antibiotics (tobramycin), vitamin C (500 mg/day) and Saint Germain flower essences (4 drops PO, QID, for one month). Ten animals received a supplemental test formula for distemper treatment (Abricó (Apricot), Limão (lemon), Triunfo, Vervain, Focum, Embaúba, Wild Arnica, Melissa, Cidreira, Allium, São Miguel, Ipê-roxo, Guava and Leucantha), whereas the remaining two animals were treated with an emergency combination (Guava, Varus, Wild Arnica, Panicum, Cidreira, Allium, São Miguel, Focum, Cotton, Ipê-Roxo, Saint Germain and Incensum) with the specific objective of treating neurological changes observed in all of them. Animals were reevaluated every week until the cases were resolved (one month after the beginning of the therapy with flower essences).
After one week of treatment, the ten animals that received the specific supplemental formula for distemper treatment showed significant improvement in neurological signs (ataxia and myoclonus), and were able to walk without aid to the veterinary hospital. They were also more calm, cheerful and active. Clinical signs in the two animals that received the emergency formula became worse, mainly in relation to neurological symptoms (repeated seizures), and died.
Discussion and Conclusions
Analysis of these cases showed the excellent effect of the specific flower formula in the treatment of distemper encephalitis. Treatment using only the specific formula was 100% efficient, and the concomitant use of the emergency formula was not considered to be adequate. Euthanasia, which was recommended by most of the authors studied (Braund, 1994; Farrow & Love, 1983; Tipold et al., 2008), was not necessary in the cases treated with the specific formula.