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Archive for September, 2005

Ledum on!

Tuesday, September 6th, 2005

Trombicula autumnalis

A result! The cat’s lesions have all healed and he doesn’t appear to have picked up any new berry bugs – all this while the weather has been as good as it’s been all summer, hot weather evidently favouring mite activity. His ears look the best they’ve done for a couple of months. He’s not scratching so much and doesn’t object to his ears being examined any more either.

The specifics? Ledum palustre 30C. One tablet dissolved in water and given by dropper. A dropper-full in the evening, repeated the next morning, and again 3 days later.

Berry picking

Thursday, September 1st, 2005

Trombicula autumnalis

“Anyone who thinks they are too small to make a difference has never been in bed with a mosquito.”
Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama

The cat has berry bugs. Not something our previous cat was susceptible to, or any other cat I’ve ever had, so I’ve had to go learn all about them.Trombicula autumnalis, aka harvest mites or bracken bugs (related to the N American chiggers), are tiny little orange mites which appear to be particularly prevalent between the rivers Tay and Tweed in the Lowlands and Borders of Scotland.

It’s the larval stage of the mites that are troublesome and they appear in the summer through to autumn, latching onto any warm-blooded animal as it moves through the vegetation. The larvae feed on the lymph and skin (not blood), secreting an enzyme which pre-digests the tissues before being sucked up by the larva. Favoured sites are where the skin is thin and tender – folds of skin behind ears, in the groin, and between the toes of paws, or in humans where clothing fits tightly around the body such as sock lines and waistlines. Intensely itchy bumps, blisters and scabby lesions form in reaction to the mites’ digestive enzymes, exacerbated by scratching which may lead to secondary infection.

What the cat thinks of his berry bugs 

What the cat thinks of his berry bugs?

Veterinary science seems to be at a bit of a loss when it comes to treating them. Various organophosphate or permethrin insecticidal preparations (should you want to use them) kill the mites once they’ve attached. Tea tree oil (diluted) has also been useful in getting rid of them, but since the main damage is done when the mites first latch on, the problem is to find something that will make the animal unattractive as a host or reduce its susceptibility to reacting to them.

This is exactly the sort of situation in which homeopathy excels. So the search for the most effective remedy begins. Since the cat has had a gradually increasing problem with the mites for a couple of months now through good weather and bad, any change should be readily discernible. I’ve started him on a dose of Ledum. Watch this space to see how he gets on.

Anyone else had any success treating animals (or humans) for these parasites?

Thanks to the current insanity revolving around homeopathy in this country, in both media and blogosphere, it's become necessary to insult your intelligence by explicitly drawing your attention to the obvious fact that any views or advice in this weblog/website are, unless stated otherwise, the opinions of the author alone and should not be taken as a substitute for medical advice or treatment. If you choose to take anything from here that might be construed as advice, you do so entirely under your own recognisance and responsibility.

smeddum.net - Blog: Confessions of a Serial Prover. Weblog on homeopathy, health and related subjects by homeopathic practitioner Wendy Howard