Bite of a mad dog by Dr Samuel Hahnemann

Dr Saritha M

A review of rabies by Hahnemann for the prevention of hydrophobia

Rabies is a fatal disease and is caused by a filterable Neurotropic virus which is transmitted to humans through the infected saliva of rabid animals. In India, the majority (90%) of rabies occurs secondary to the rabid dog bite.

Keywords: Rabies, Hydrophobia, Aetiopathogenesis, diagnosis, Homoeopathy.


Rabies is a bullet-shaped virus containing a single-stand of ribonucleic acid (RNA), combined with nucleoprotein that forms a helical coil. Heat inactivates the virus rapidly.

Modes of transmission
On being bitten by a rabid dog or Animal, humans are infected by the inoculation of the virus-laden saliva.

Licking on the abraded skin or mucous membrane may also result in infection.

Scratching by claws of an infected animal can also cause infection.

The rabies virus travels in the nerves and is carried centripetally by the flow of axoplasm to the dorsal root ganglion. It multiplies further and causes characteristic prodromal symptoms and paresthesia at the site of inoculation. From there it travels to the brain, where massive viral replication occurs. Then the virus migrates along the efferent nerves to almost every organ. Such as the adrenal medulla, cornea, pancreas, nerve twiglets of the hair follicle, and salivary gland.

Diagnosis of the virus is confirmed by virus isolation, identification of antigen, and detection of antibodies. Virus culture is positive in the first week from saliva, throat swab, and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF).

1.Antigen Detection
The direct fluorescent antibody test shall be conducted on the skin biopsies taken from the nape. Where hair follicles are highly innervated, is used to identify the antigen. It is a sensitive test and positive results are found in 60% to 100% of cases.

2.Antibody Detection
Seroconversion occurs during the second week of illness in unvaccinated patients. Antirabies antibody detection in serum and CSF confirms the diagnosis of rabies.

3.Negri Body Detection
The offending animal is captured and humanely killed for Negri bodies in the brain.

Bite of a mad dog by Dr. Samuel Hahnemann

The disease resulting from the bite of a rabid or a mad animal or a dog – leads to a terrific disease, from which no one is saved and what we call it to be hydrophobia.

Presentation of Patient

  • The accession of pain is the bitten part, which may either be perfectly healed or an open wound, surrounded by a blue border.
  • The face is paler, distorted
  • Cold clammy sweat, eyes tearful, pupils dilated- anxiety expression
  • Fiery sparks dancing before eyes
  • Headache, stomach pain, occasionally vomiting
  • Hacking cough combined with hiccough
  • Contracted sensation in the throat
  • Stool and urine suppressed or passes with pain
  • Sleep disturbed due to frightful dreams
  • Restlessness
  • No hunger, no thirst
  • Tongue moist with viscid mucus
  • Pulse weak, jerking but non-inflammatory
  • Coldness of the body
  • Hydrophobia- cannot bear the sight of any liquid without trembling, anxiousness, sad expression
  • Cannot bear bright lights, glittering or white, loud talking, a draught of air
  • But during the lucid interval, he is quite normal, timid, rapid, and nervous than usual
  • Anxiety increases day by day
  • Tosses convulsively in bed
  • In the end, he tries to run away, hides his face, becomes quieter, and finally expires.
  • Postmortem examination shows no abnormality
  • “Extreme tension, excessive irritability, sense of self-preservation shewn in the anxious dread of approaching dissolution – is the sole characteristics of this fearful disease”

Characteristics of a suspected rabid dog:

  • Unfriendly, Cross and Dejected
  • Scarcely wag its tail on being patted by those it likes its best
  • Appears very tired and lazy
  • Dreads the light and creeps into dark corners, where it lies down without sleeping
  • Never barks but it merely growls at anything approaching it suddenly and springs out at it.
  • Dim eyes with tail and ears hang down (at this stage the bite commences to be dangerous)
  • This state lasts only for a day or half and the second stage of Rabies breaks out
  • The animal no longer knows his own master, eats and drinks no more
  • Becomes restless, growls with a hoarse whine, without ever barking
  • Goes about threateningly depending on head
  • Red watery eyes, having sad expressions directed towards the ground
  • Involuntarily moves the lower jaw in a mumbling manner
  • Its leaden-colored tongue, dripping with saliva hangs out of the mouth, the tail is stuck between the legs
  • The hairs of the whole body stand out in a disorderly manner.
  • It tries to run away, snaps at everything before it, and runs along, irrespective of the road, without apparent object, straight and crooked, at a quick, usually unsteady pace. Other dogs run away from it.

Countless medicines but no proper treatment. Simply attempting to try and remove certain wrong notions regarding this disease, so that at least the occurrence may reduce. Wrong use of specific remedies- which will cure the wound. But the hydrophobia remains if he is bit by a rabid dog.

What are the best external preventive remedies?

First Error: Initially the disease is local, the saliva of the rabid dog is at first inactive in the bitten part. The wound heals without any problem after a long or a short period – CNS irritability and hydrophobia commences so it is better to remove the virus at first when it is inactive in the wound.

Second error: The belief that after the bite if the dog dies – it’s a rabid dog, and if it is alive – the dog is healthy

Two possibilities:

One- the dog who died would be suffering from other diseases

Two the dog who survived would be still having hydrophobia

Third error: Some physicians feel that only by wound or bite of the rabid dog, hydrophobia occurs but even by merely licking the external skin-people have communicated the disease.

Therefore, in general, the safest plan to consider the bite of an unirritated dog as that of a mad dog and treat it accordingly. This is the surest way to guard against hydrophobia.

The wound Should Be Washed Out immediately and frequently with water and Potash followed by Caustic Potash and should be dried using blotting Paper.

Slough falls off in few days and the clean wound soon heals.

Comfort and console the patient and tranquilize his circulation.

Moderate bloodletting in plethoric individuals or a glass of wine given to persons of the opposite constitution. Therefore, no internal medicine is required to prevent the disease.

In cases where there is no wound and the skin is only wetted by the saliva – rub with potash and wash for an hour with the solution of Alkali, no dogs should be trusted that bites people and has gloomy wild expression. Dogs to be killed or be kept in safe custody for at least Four Weeks

Man’s life is too precious and should be held and should be held paramount to every other consideration


  1. Munjal yash pal. API, textbook of medicine,10th edition, vol.2,  Jaypee brothers medical publishers (P)ltd; 2015.p. 1590-1591.
  2. Dudgeon R.E. The Lesser Writings of Samuel Hahnemann. 14thImpression. Noida-201307: B. Jain publishers (P) ltd; 2019. P. 158-164.

Dr Saritha M
P.G Scholar
Organon of Medicine and Homoeopathic philosophy
GHMC&H, Bengaluru

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