Many children love to act as nurse to an injured pet. When safe to do so, treating animals for minor wounds is an excellent learning experience for them. Helping tend to their animal companions teaches them how to apply first aid, the importance of patience and keeping calm, increases their observational skills and how to be a better patient themselves when the need arises. Simply witnessing the result of well-chosen treatment, frequent monitoring and continued ‘tender loving care’ as a whole to the healing process is a wonderful learning tool.
There are numerous homoeopathics for aiding the haemorrhaging aspect of cuts and abrasions, too many to list. The remedy that best fits the situation will be according to the nature of the type of bleeding, whether bright red arterial blood, dark passive venous blood, if it clots or not, how the bleeding affects the patient, etc. The following represent a few of the most commonly used first aid remedies:
Aconite — Sudden, violent onset of symptoms, fever, rapid pulse, increased thirst, sensitivity to cold air, restlessness and anxiety or fearfulness following injuries accompanied by inflammation. Belladonna has similar symptoms but they are more intense with more heat, more redness and NO thirst.
Apis mel — Any swollen cellular tissue (oedema), with heat, a rosy red hue, sensitive to heat and painful to touch.
Arnica — The foremost homoeopathic for all injuries. Helps reduce shock and trauma, allay pain, diminish swelling, stanch bleeding, lessen bruising/contusions, ward off infection and promote healing. Use if the animal isn’t happy to be approached. Arnica is also useful before and/or after surgery alternated with Hypericum.
Calendula Checks — bleeding of torn flesh, inhibits infection and promotes granulation of tissues. Due to Calendula’s rapid healing ability it is not recommended for use in deep cuts or puncture wounds as sometimes it can close and heal the outside skin before the tissues underneath are completely healed. Both oral and topical forms can be used.
Camphor — Tendency to collapse from shock. Symptoms are sudden and rapid. The whole body is icy cold with a weak pulse. A bleeding wound must to be arrested, the animal kept warm even though they may resist being covered, and the head kept lower than the body.
Carbo veg — The homoeopathic ‘corpse reviver’. Signs of shock or collapse, pale or blue skin, cold body (especially lower limbs and feet), perhaps a hot head and cool breath, and an intermittent or thready pulse.
China — After excessive bleeding that results in weakness, faintness or dehydration. Symptoms or mood can be up and down on alternate days.
Hamamelis — Bleeding from the slightest causes. The blood is dark and oozing with a bruised soreness of the affected part. When skin is broken and a vein has been penetrated and become inflamed (Phlebitis) think of this remedy.
Hepar sulph — Infected wounds that are very painful. Wounds that have abscessed or contain foreign bodies can be encouraged to release pus or unwanted debris. Low potencies (30c and under) promote suppuration, whereas high potencies (200c or above) tend to promote resolution. Silicea has similar properties for stubborn abscesses or infections but is less pussy than Hepar sulph; discharges are more whitish-grey.
Hypericum — Any injury to nerves or body parts that are richly supplied with nerves, eg. lacerated paw pad. The injured area is sensitive with sharp, shooting pains. HyperCal (Hypericum and Calendula tincture) diluted in water 1:10, or as an ointment, makes an excellent mild topical disinfectant.
Lachesis — Bleeding that will not clot. Wounds are slow to heal and there may be inflammation of lymphatics leading from the wound. Skin at the site will appear blue to purplish in colour. Suitable for bites of poisonous animals or cuts which become septic.
Ledum — Specific for puncture or penetration wounds like animal bites or nail pricks. The injured area becomes cool to touch rather than hot. Ledum follows Arnica well for slow healing bruises. Alternate Ledum with Hypericum for optimum effect and to help prevent tetanus.
Ipecac — Blood is bright red, profuse, gushing, and clots easily. Nausea generally accompanies and continues with no relief from vomiting.
Millefolium — Invaluable remedy for various types of bleeding of bright red fluid blood. Especially suited to cuts, scrapes or incisions that have almost closed but begin to bleed again after over-exercising.
Nitric acidum — Weepy wounds slow to heal such as penetration accidents from a large splinter of wood. The wound is very sensitive, especially after being touched.
Phosphorus — Wounds that bleed too freely, more than would be expected, even from a small wound. Persistent bleeding after surgical procedures or dental extractions. Cuts and scrapes that heal then break open again.
Staphysagria — Pains from lacerations, splinters, stab wounds, or surgical incisions, especially following abdominal operations.
Natural treatments should be accompanied by conventional first aid procedures. Do not use strong disinfectants or undiluted substances as they may cause further damage to tissues. Please seek veterinary advice for:
- Large wounds
- Deep cuts/lacerations
- Cuts that continue bleeding
- Cuts that appear to require stitches
- Scrapes embedded with particles that won’t wash away
- Animal bites
- Punctures Eye injuries.