The experience described here is that of a beginner in Homoeopathy. I hope, however, that it may have some interest since the patients were, literally, guinea-pigs, and hence suggestion as a factor in the cures may be eliminated.
1 The first case may be regarded as a control, to the extent that it shows the
natural course of the disease. The animal in question was normal at birth, but some weeks later was found to have a bluish opacity of the right eye, together with dullness of the cornea. I applied chloramphenicol ointment, but without effect. The opacity gradually became more pronounced, and within a few weeks the cornea had become totally opaque. Over a subsequent 3-month period, the surface became somewhat irregular and puckered, and the animal was clearly almost blind in that eye.
2 & 3 These animals were born in the subsequent litter, some 3 months after
the birth of Case 1. Both were found, soon after birth, to be suffering from what appeared to be exactly the same disorder as in Case 1: the eyes were sticky and almost closed, and the corneas were dull and bluish. Chloramphenicol ointment was again applied, and again there was no response.
At this time I had just completed my first intensive course in Homoeopathy,
and I therefore decided to make a trial of this form of treatment. I gave both
animals Silicea 30 once daily for 4 or 5 days. At the end of this time there had been a marked improvement; the animal which was the less severely affected of the two had recovered entirely, and the other had only a slight residual dullness of the cornea. After a further week’s treatment with Silicea 30 this, too, had disappeared. The animals remained entirely well, without further treatment, over the subsequent 3 months.
I also gave Silicea 30 to Case 1 for several weeks, but there was no discernible improvement.
4 & 5 These animals were born in a still later litter, to the same parents; soon
after birth they were noted to have exactly the same disorder as the earlier
subjects. On this occasion I gave Silicea 30 b.d. as soon as the trouble was
found; improvement was apparent within 48 hours, and complete recovery
occurred within 5 days. There was no relapse over a 2-month period.
It seems difficult to avoid the conclusion that the dramatic recovery-seen in
Cases 2-5 was due to the use of Silicea. The only other feasible explanation
would be spontaneous recovery, but this seems to be excluded by the close temporal relationship between recovery and the administration of Silicea, and by the course of the untreated disease in Case 1.
The patients were not seen by a veterinarian, and no swabs were taken; hence it is difficult to give an exact diagnosis. However, in view of the marked exudation it seems very likely that the condition was infective and was probably acquired during delivery; it would thus be analogous to human ophthalmia neonatorum. I do not know how common eye disorders of this kind are in guinea-pigs, but if they are common there appears to be an opportunity for a fruitful clinical trial.
Author: ANTHONY CAMPBELL, M.R.C.P.
Source: The British Homoeopathic Journal, April 1975.