The proverb warns that, ‘You should not bite the hand that feeds you.’
But maybe you should, if it prevents you from feeding yourself.
Hydrophobinum. Saliva of rabid dog.
RABIES Rabies is spread through contact with infected secretions. Most often this occurs via a bite wound from an infected animal, but can also result from contact between infected saliva or nervous tissues and open wounds or mucous membranes of the eyes, nose, or mouth. Rabies is caused by a ‘bullet-shaped’ virus from the Rhabdoviridae family. The virus climbs up peripheral nerves to reach the central nervous system and disseminate throughout the body, causing fatal inflammation of the brain or the brain and spinal cord. A wide variety of mammals can contract the disease, but it is most often noticed in dogs, cats, foxes, racoons, skunks, bats, and livestock. Worldwide, more than 30,000 humans die of rabies each year, 99% of cases resulting from contact with dogs. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, the number of cases of rabies in North America in dogs has significantly decreased since the introduction of vaccination programs in the 1940s for domestic animals and cattle. Rabies in wild animals, however, has increased, accounting for nearly 93% of reported cases in 1998 [in the USA], with racoons being the most frequently infected wildlife species, followed by skunks, bats and foxes. A wild animal suffering from ‘dumb or paralytic rabies’ will act unusually tame. Rabies in wild animals is endemic in most parts of the world; some countries [UK, Australia] are rabies free through vigorous control. Worldwide, an estimated 10 million people receive post-exposure treatments each year after being exposed to rabies suspect animals. In developed countries, rabies is today found mainly in wild animal hosts, whereas in most countries of Africa, Asia and Latin America dogs continue to be the main hosts.
SYMPTOMS The incubation period may vary from a few days to several years, but typically is between 20 and 90 days. Early symptoms include pain, burning, and numbness at the site of infection, as well as headache, mydriasis, salivation, insomnia, muscle spasms of throat and difficulty swallowing, and unusual sensitivity to sound, light, and changes of temperature. A peculiar symptom is excessive sensitivity to air blown on the face [aerophobia]. If the disease develops the following symptoms may occur: episodes of irrational excitement alternating with periods of alert calm; abnormal behaviour; hallucinations; agitation; hydrophobia; convulsions; paralysis; apnoea; hypotension. The fear of water / swallowing, often referred to as hydrophobia, accounts for saliva accumulation referred to as ‘foaming’ at the mouth. A person usually dies from cardiac or respiratory failure within a week after the appearance of rabies symptoms, while the excited state is most prominent. If the patient survives this stage, muscle spasms and agitation stop, only to be replaced by a growing paralysis leading to death. 1
ANIMALS Infected animals may be either agitated and aggressive – termed ‘furious rabies’, affects mainly the brain – or paralyzed and passive – termed ‘dumb rabies’, affects mainly the spinal cord. Dogs, cats, and other carnivores often become aggressive and try to attack humans and other animals, but bats are typically passive. An affected dog may growl and bark constantly, and will without provocation viciously attack any moving object, person, or animal it comes across. Unexplained roaming, disorientation and seizures may also develop. This excited state usually lasts three to seven days, and is followed by convulsions and paralysis. In some instances, signs of excitement and irritability are slight or absent, and paralysis develops within a few days of disease onset. In cases of this type, an early sign is often paralysis of the lower jaw, accompanied by increased drooling and foaming of saliva. The animal may appear to be choking on a foreign object. 2 Typical symptoms in dogs include changes in temperament [hiding and shunning company, or unusual attentiveness and affectionateness], restlessness and nervousness, viciousness [first towards strangers and then towards anyone when family members are no longer recognized], biting itself, wandering with aversion to restraint [will chew leash], and insensitivity to pain.
NAME The name rabies derives from L rabere, to rave. The name lyssinum comes from the minor Greek goddess Lyssa, meaning ‘madness’ because Lyssa inflicted madness upon Heracles. That rabies is a disease fatal to both humans and animals alike was discovered in the 16th century by the Italian physician Fracastoro, who called it ‘an incurable wound’.
VACCINES The most used rabies vaccine is Rabies Human Diploid Cell Vaccine [HDCV]. Pre-exposure series, either intradermally or intramuscularly, are given to high-risk groups such as veterinarians, animal handlers, zoo keepers, trappers, etc. Pre-exposure vaccine is given in three doses: on day 0, day 7, and day 21 or 28, respectively. Post-exposure series must be given intramuscularly. Unimmunized persons receive a series of five total injections HDCV on day 0, 3, 7, 14 and 28 of the exposure. In addition, rabies immune globulin is given according to the person’s weight on day 0. Side effects of the vaccines, in some individuals, include headache, nausea, abdominal pain and muscle aches. Use of repeated booster doses of vaccine may cause allergic reactions, i.e. urticaria, itching, swelling under the skin, within 14 days of receiving the vaccine. Severe allergic reactions are extremely rare. 3
FOLKLORE “Treatment for the bite of a rabid dog has always been homoeopathic. ‘The hair of the dog that bit you’ is still a remedy employed in many parts of the world. Sometimes the liver of the mad dog, or the ashes of its burnt head, are recommended in preference to the hair. In Scotland, one is told to extract the heart of a mad dog, dry it over the fire, grind it to powder and administer it with a draught to the patient. The bite may also be cured by the leaves of a herb called ‘hound’s tongue’ [Cynoglossum]. … Then there is the case of the rabid dog whose madness can be passed on to human beings by its bite. Slavonic folklore sees hydrophobia as due to the presence of minute insane whelps in the blood. Dog-bite, they say, infects by transmitting embryo mad dogs. These are born in the blood under the tongue of the person who has been bitten and can be extracted by cutting the vein there and letting out the thick black blood.”4
THROAT “According to the Oxford Dictionary ‘cynanche’ [dog + to strangle, throttle] is the name for ‘diseases of the throat characterized by inflammation, swelling and difficulties in breathing, swallowing, especially quinsy.’ Reference to such a disease appears in Greek myth, for when Hermes wanted to steal the cattle of Apollo he gave the guard dogs cynanche to enable him to do so. Consequently herbs which artificially give dogs this disease are connected with the names of Hermes, as for example is Herba Mercurialis. … Throat diseases, in which the patient is being throttled by the archetypal dog, were once believed to be curable by ‘dog skin treatment.’ The throat is a tunnel which links our inner and outer worlds; and swallowing is the last conscious act in the process of assimilation, for once food is swallowed unconscious reflexes take over. [As we know] it is precisely in the tunnel, on the border, by the gateway, on the bridge between the two worlds that the archetypal dog holds sway. And in those suffering from cynanche the psychic dog is insisting on closing the gate to the great distress of the ego whose life is threatened.”5
DOG DISEASES “St Vitus’ dance and epilepsy have been thought of as ‘dog-diseases’. St Vitus’ dance was apparently believed by Sicilians to be produced by dogs, for they prayed to St Vitus to ‘keep the dogs chained’; and Hindus believed epilepsy to be caused by dog-demons. The daughters of Greek Pandareus were inflicted with something called ‘dog-disease’. Zeus had a golden dog – the one that had guarded him in infancy and later protected his Cretan temple. Pandareus stole this treasure from the king of the gods and in almighty rage Zeus killed Pandareus and his wife and inflicted their daughters, we are told, with ‘dog-disease’. It has been suggested that this punishment for theft of the sacred dog was the form of insanity known as cynanthropy, in which the patient believes himself to be a dog and behaves like one. He usually has a pale face, hollow eyes, dry tongue and ulcerated legs. … As a devourer and death dealer the dog participates in the symbolism of the ravenous wolf; as a contaminator and bringer of disease it shares that of the scavenging jackal. Whereas the dog that heals is the one that originally jumped the gulf and, while retaining its instincts, has remained on, and at, the side of man, the rabid dog may be described as one that has been drawn back by its shadowy ancestors and is wolf-, or jackal- possessed. Such a dog is extremely dangerous to man and on the psychic level this means that the ego is left to fight the archetypal devourer alone. It is the power concentrated in the image of the dog when used against the ego that has been described as that of the devil or queen of the witches. Its evil is subtle and works beneath the threshold of consciousness, waiting to bring about the ego’s disintegration. [In Cerberus the dark aspects of dog and snake symbolism overlap, for the snake is the archetypal deceiver and poisoner. Dr Twentyman has linked what I would call the ‘jackal-possessed’ dog with the snake – the cringing, slinking dog that like the snake is a symbol of shame.] Similarly, the power which, while on the side of the ego, is nourishing and healing, once turned against the ego can infect it with dis-ease. The ‘dirty dog’ is the dog contaminated by unconsciousness [i.e. it is on the wrong side of the ditch] and any message it brings to man constitutes premonition of death.”6
PROVINGS ••  Hering – self-experimentation, 1833; method: not stated. “Symptoms were observed during the hours of trituration and they were afterwards corroborated by provings with the lower; the very peculiar feelings of apprehension became so intolerable that the higher were preferred in further provings.” [Hering]
••  Schmid – self-experimentation, 1835; method: unknown. “An enthusiastic student in Allentown, a Mr. Schmid, made a very good proving.” [Hering]
••  Behlert – 10-15 [?] provers, 1835-38; method: higher potencies, manner not stated. “One of our nearest friends [an experienced prover, a former engraver, Behlert, by name, at that time a paralyzed man] persuaded all his acquaintances, a dozen of women and girls, and some boys, to prove the higher preparations. None of his provers knew anything of the origin of the drug, and they were examined every day with great care, according to the advice of Hahnemann.” [Hering]
••  Cox – 7 provers [6 males, 1 female], 1853; method: 3rd dil. [three times a day for four days]; 6th and 30th dils., manner not stated.
[1-2] U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; website.  Rabies Series; The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois, 1998. [4-6] Dale-Green, The healing lick and rabid bite; BHJ, Jan. 1964.
Nerves. Spinal cord. Throat. Sexual organs.
Worse: Running water; sight or sound of water. Heat of sun. Glistening objects. Drafts. Riding in a carriage. Emotions. Mortifying news. Bright, dazzling light. Stooping.
Better: Bending backward. Gentle rubbing.
Symptoms observed after BITES and in people with RABIES [after Hering]
• Does not see nor hear people around him.
• They understand the formidable character of the disease and speak frequently with a remarkable quick and sharp articulation of the impending fatal results.
• During the tranquil intervals, responded correctly to questions put to him, recognized those around him, and with a presentiment of impending death, begged them to pray for him and not to leave him alone.
• The majority of patients have no adequate conception of the real origin of their malady, and affirm in decided terms that the scar is of no significance whatever and causes them no pain.
• Deny, with great obstinacy, that they have ever been bitten.
• Most commonly the mental faculties are in a superior state of excitement, shown by quick perception, amazing acuteness of understanding and rapidity with which they answer questions.
• Believed that they are reduced to their present wretched condition by the instrumentality of those around them.
• Fancies he is blown at by several persons, some of whom are not present. Aerophobia.
• They fancy that they see objects, animals and men that are not present.
• Complains bitterly that a fire has been lighted and that the stove is smoking, although there is no fire; another continually directed the window to be closed, which was not opened.
• Thinks he is a dog or a bird, and runs up and down, chirping and twittering, until he falls down fainting.
• Slight fits of delirium occur [in advanced state]; patients frequently forget their friends and relatives; delirium attended with constant talking.
• Some delirium and illusions; fancied doctors were two young girls who had come to see her.
• Makes speeches in his delirium; thinks he is a man of great authority.
• Incessant talking during night.
• Continually tempted to bite her pillow at night.
• Wrote to doctor: I am waiting with impatience that you give me and my young ones something to eat.
• After fainting spell he wrote on paper: I am forsaken by all; even the birds of heaven, they do not look at me, do not feed if hungry; I hunger with the young ones and am thirsty with their she ones; my nest is made out of dirt, not gotten by my own exertions, but by driving them out of their nests and sitting there with the females and the young.
• Declares amid violent sobs that she is suffering the torments of hell.
• Lament with greatest anxiety their inability to relieve thirst which afflicts them, and by various contrivances endeavour eagerly to drink.
• Before and after as well as during paroxysms, shrieks or inarticulate sounds expressive of utmost despair.
• During fits, snapping motions with jaws, of an involuntary and spasmodic character.
• Quiet patients spit into provided vessels, more excited ones discharge saliva upon all sides.
• Ordered her husband to go away, as she wanted to bite him, and joining act to threat, she bit herself in arm.
• He cautioned people around him not to inhale his exhaled air, it was spoiled, stinking like rotten eggs, worse than cholera, and could injure.
• After attacks of fury, evinces great regret at his behaviour, making earnest apologies, warning those about him not to allow him to bite them.
• Implacable hatred against owners of dog that bit her, with inclination to utter maledictions which, by means of her careful bringing up and sobriety of her parents, shock her dreadfully.
• He knew exactly where his nurses, his doctors and acquaintances were, if at any distance from him.
• On a watch held to scrobiculum he sees the hour and minute hands.
• He says he can see hands on dial plate of church clock.
• He could hear what was spoken in next room, and counting coppers in a room below him.
• He knows every one, and answers questions, also is in mesmeric rapport with his doctors.
• Linen dipped in sugar water, put on pit of stomach gives a sweet taste in mouth.
• Copper, if in his room, makes him restless and full of pains.
• Before every spell of somnambulism he crowed like a cock.
• Driven incessantly about without any definite aim.
• Showing him a bird, he got frightened and thought it was a mouse.
• The mere sight of a drinking vessel containing water is intolerable; they turn away their faces, shriek out loud, beckon anxiously with hands to have the water removed, for voice and breath fail.
• Thinking of fluids of any kinds, even of blood, brings on convulsions.
• The mere thought of fluids, of drinking, of swallowing, or offer of anything to drink, is sufficient to bring on convulsions; the same effect is produced by other sources of irritation, such as a simple breath of air, the attempt to touch the sick, every hurried approach towards him, the light of shining objects.
• Such as were afflicted with grief from any cause were much sooner affected with the disease.
• Had no symptoms of disease for four months until after received very ill usage.
• “Could not get rid of the indescribable tormenting feeling that something terrible was going to happen to him.” [Hering]
• “The mad dog from which I took the saliva belonged to a baker, here in Philadelphia. I put the saliva in alcohol, potentized it, and at once began the proving. I had to desist when I had become almost crazy with mental forebodings and anxiety.” [Hering]
• “A man came to my office and said: ‘I am crazy. I know it. I am rich and have no cause for complaint. I walk the floor every night until my wife comes, with tears in her eyes, and implores me to lie down. I fear that I shall die with hydrophobia. I have read all the books on the subject and know I shall die from the disease. It is very clear to me. Why don’t you promise to cure me?’ ‘Well,’ I said: ‘We do cure horses, and they do not imagine things. ‘You do cure horses?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘Well, have you had any cases to treat like mine?’ ‘Yes, similar ones. We will try.’ He promised to take the medicine and I gave him a single dose in a high potency of Lyssinum. Later he returned once more to say that he had not missed a night of sleep, but thought that imagination had made him well. The case brought me one dollar in fees, at fifty cents each, but I would not have missed the cure for a thousand!” [Hering]
M Strange impulses.
Feeling as if he would do something awful.
• “Feels impelled to do reckless things, such as throwing child, which he carries in his arms, through the window, and the like.”
• “Thought came into his mind to attack others in a mean way; to cut others with a knife he holds; to throw water he has in a tumbler into another’s face.” [Hering]
M Fits of abstraction.
More inclined to reflect than talk.
• “Does not converse as well as usual, but plays chess better; more inclined to reflect than talk; not at all lively.”
• “Takes hold of wrong things, often does not know what he wants, says wrong words which have but a remote similarity of sound.” [Hering]
Seems to be influenced by two entirely different trains of thought.
• “Range of ideas extremely limited, if left to himself is occupied continuously with the same thing, bringing frequently forward same ideas within a short space of time and always in same manner.” [Hering]
M Sudden, explosive FITS of anger.
Frantic rage, esp. if annoyed, obstructed or TORMENTED.
M OUTBURST of DESTRUCTIVENESS.
Impulse to cut, bite, stab, destroy and kill.
Outbursts followed by quick repentance.
M Delusion he has SUFFERED WRONG, delusion he is tormented.
Idea that other people, esp. people on whom he is dependent, deliberately try to annoy him.
• “Whenever dependence – which not only exists in the relationship between people but also in the relationship between man and his house, his machines, etc. – and torment are seen together and the torment is episodic or periodic in its course, one is reminded of Lyssinum.” [Sankaran]
• “The Staphisagria-situation is similar but on a much milder level. It is a situation of being unjustly treated by a person on whom he is dependent and so there is the need for justice. There is an insulted feeling, suppressed anger, occasional violent outbursts of anger, but it is not like the rage of Lyssinum, with its biting and kicking. It is not a situation of being tormented like Lyssinum but just being treated unfairly. Staphisagria tells you to get out., whereas Lyssinum takes a stick and pokes your ribs three times a day.” [Sankaran]
M OVERACUTE SENSES.
[consequently more sensitive to being annoyed, obstructed or tormented.]
Cannot bear to hear others sing, or eat apples.
• “Very ill-disposed after meals; every noise irritates him; if others eat apples, or hawk, or blow their noses, it brings him beside himself; passes away after siesta and coffee.” [Hering]
M Fear of dogs.
G Cannot bear HEAT of SUN.
G Unable to drink water.
Sight of water = vomiting, must close her eyes while bathing; during pregnancy. [Mathur]
G CONVULSIONS and SPASMS.
Especially from glistening objects and reflected light.
G Bluish discolourations, esp. of wounds.
G < DUST. P Ropy, viscid, frothy saliva; constant spitting. Rubrics Mind Abrupt . Anger, alternating with quick repentance . Desire to attack others . Biting , himself . Clairaudient . Clairvoyance . Easy comprehension . Desire to cut, mutilate or slit others . Delusions, being abused [1/1], being attacked , being criticized , he could do nothing [[1/1], walls seem to fall inward, before an epileptic fit , he has suffered wrong . Indifference during coition [1/1]. Erotic insanity . Loquacity at night . Reflecting . Sensitive to sacred music . Wandering, desire to wander . Vertigo On crossing running water . Head Pain, from noise of falling water . Sensation of a skullcap . Eye Rolling movement of eyeballs . Wild look . Ear Noises, rushing like a waterfall . Hearing Acute, to noises, running water [3/1]. Nose Smell, acute, sensitive to strong odours , to odour of tobacco . Sneezing, from dust , on looking at shining objects [1/1]. Mouth Food does not taste salty enough . Throat Choking at sight or sound of water . Stomach Nausea, after eggs , after fats , after meat . Rectum Diarrhoea, < hearing running water [3/1]. Bladder Sudden urging to urinate at sight of running water , on hearing running water or putting hands in water . Male Erections, strong while undressing in a cold room [2/1]. Ailments from excessive sexual desire [3/1]; ailments from suppressed sexual desire . Sleep Waking from hunger . Yawning when listening to conversation , when hearing others yawn [1*]. Dreams Being bitten by dogs . People, influential persons [1/1]. Heat Burning heat in parts lain on . Generals Increased activity . Pain, bones as if broken . Sun, sunstroke . Food Aversion: : Drinks; water. : Apples; fats and rich food; salt; vegetables. Desire: : Strange things, during pregnancy. : Salt. : Chocolate. Worse: : Meat. : Eggs [= nausea]; fats [= nausea]; mutton.