Protocol of an emergency

Taking good care of the animals is a high priority because only healthy cattle are able to do transhumance in the summer. But like with people animals get sometimes sick. And then extra and medical care is required.

Nina Baumann is a niece to the Herger family of Alp Ruosalp. But she is also a homeopathic veterinarian, and her skills were required lately at the winter home of the Hergers in Bürglen/UR. Being in unison with nature it is only fitting that the Hergers rely on integrative medicin.

Cow “Janka” had an acute case of mastitis on one of her teats, an extremely painful inflammation. Read Nina’s protocol of the incident:

Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018

7.15 am: Max (Herger) calls. Early he had let the cows out of the stable, now they’re back in. The weather is foggy, with a temperature of 34˚ F. Cow Janka is currently dry (after she had a baby). Early in the morning she ate normally and seemed to be fine. Now she is restless, her hair stand on end, she kicks wildly and you can tell she is in excrutiating pain. The front right teat is increasingly swelling and rock hard. Her body temperature is a 102.2˚, the ears are warm. Max says a yellowish, odorless liquid is coming out. He applies a double dose of Aconitum C30*. He empties the teat in short intervals.

8.00 am: I’m with Janka now, Max goes to work. The cow constantly kicks with her right hind leg, still all hairs are standing on end, a clear sign of heavy distress. Her eyes are bulging, the ears now cold, her stomach muscles are very tight and the temperature has risen to 103.1˚. She resists when I take the temperature.

Two more times I give her Aconitum C30. She calms down a bit and eats a bit of hay. Every ten minutes I “milk” that quarter of the udder. The swelling has stopped. Bring her more hay.

9.00 am: Her temperature is now a 104˚, eyes still wide open. Milking and waiting, more hay.

9.45 am: Temperature 106.2˚. The teat is a bit softer, Janka eats a bit, ears still cold, hair standing on end not as much, but she still kicks and her eyes are bulging. I give her Echinacea C30** to strengthen the immune system and to cleanse the blood. I milk her more often. The high fever really concerns me. Unfortunately I’m unable to reach anyone of my lecturers. I’m getting anxious and restless.

10.15 am: I sit beside Janka and try to think what other homeopathic treatment could help. I check the green stable apothecary book. Here it is: Phosphorus***. It works well after Aconitum. Hence I give Janka a double dose of phosphorus C30. 

11.00 am: Janka is much calmer. Temperature 104˚. Her hair is flat again, the ears warm. Still have to milk her often. 

11.30 am: Janka is much better, and I go home for now.

1.00 pm: My uncle Hans feeds the cows, Janka takes some hay. Still the milking gives her pain.

1.30 pm: I check on Janka, temperature is now at 102˚, she looks much better. There’s hardly any liquid coming out of the teat.

5.00 pm: Everything is back to normal. Janka eats like nothing had happened.

* Aconitum. Aconite is a toxic plant, and its use goes back to Greek mythology where it was used in weapons to kill enemies. However its healing powers were known as well. Amongst other things it fights inflammation.

** Echinacea. A native american medicinal plant that is said to boost the immune system.

*** Phosphorus. In homeopathy phosphorus is only used in its elementary yellow form. It is toxic as well and very reactive. It ignite itself in air and is the only non-nuclear element that glows. It is used in various homeopathic treatments, especially in festering wounds or inflammations.