Yesterday the vet arrived to euthanize Arlo. He had been suffering for almost three days with urinary calculi blocking his ability to pee. He had been in a lot of pain, was heaving and groaning. From the start of his illness, we were told that his prognosis was really bad. It turns out that wethers, castrated male ruminants, easily have this issue. The vet said she sees at least two cases a month in her practice and that she could count on one hand the number that had survived. The western medical treatment is ammonium chloride, which is meant to break down the stones. It is rarely effective.
We love Arlo. We also have his cousins, Mary Agnes and Whisper. They are all Gotland sheep with spectacular silver-grey wool. I’ve learned to spin and just finished my first knitted item with the yarn. Working with the fiber from these sheep has added to my appreciation of them.
Anyway, how could I not at least TRY giving him herbs? I find it so challenging with animals given their reluctance to talk. With so little to go on, what could I do? I was encouraged by my recent success with my horse Jasper, who is still free of cough and asthma. And what did I have to lose?
I decided to give him the following formula in powdered extract at 12gm in warm water, syringed down his throat, twice a day. I started this on day 2, about 24 hours after he first showed signs of illness and around the same time he started the ammonium chloride.
Dang Gui Shao Yao San 40 gm
Si Ni San 30 gm
Yan Hu Suo 10 gm.
Here is my reasoning. Keeping in mind that one reason stones form is that the mineral/water balance is not right, with too much mineral vs water. The ammonium chloride is meant to break down the stones but what about water flow? I thought that Dang Gui Shao Yao San could improve Arlo’s water metabolism and help balance the water/mineral ratio. I have used this formula, when the patter fit, for urinary stones in people with success. I used Si Ni San because I see it as a formula to open pivot areas, like the crotch, and relax muscles. With the Dang Gui Shao Yao San’s good dose of Bai Shao, this can really relax muscles so they function better. Here is a podcast I did recently on this wonderful formula. Yan Hu Suo of course was used for pain.
But Arlo was not better. He was in pain, not peeing, not eating, not drinking and not getting up. Ugh. But we kept at it with the herbs, giving him his morning dose. But, yesterday morning, we called the vet to come in the afternoon. If his death was inevitable, then the sooner he died the better as he was really suffering.
Yesterday morning I taught all morning with Arlo in my heart. I then took a long walk and practiced Tonglen for Arlo. Breathing in his suffering and then breathing out, visualizing him being well and happy, frolicking with the girls.
I went out around 4pm with the vet to do the deed and to both of our shock, Arlo got up when we entered his stall! His crotch was all wet and we then saw a lot of pee coming out! Holy Moly! He then drank a LOT of water and began to eat. The vet was shocked.
Now we don’t really know what it was that worked for Arlo but, the woman I got Arlo from said she had never seen a wether recover from this and asked me to send her the formula to have on hand. The vet too was amazed as, from the start, she believed he was doomed.
We are so relieved and delighted that Arlo pulled through. He’s back with Mary Agnes and Whisper now, ravenous with hunger! We can apply our principles to our animals.