Substances & Homeopatic Remedies

Lyssinum

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Saliva of a rabid dog

Etymology

Latin rabis, rage, from rabere, to rave.

Family

Traditional name

Italian: rabbia, idrofobia
Englisg: hydrophobia

Used parts

Lysate of saliva taken from a rabid dog

Classification

Animalia; Chordata / Vertebrata - Vertebrates; Mammalia - Mammals; Nosodes

Keywords

Original proving

is due to Hering who, in 1833 experimented this nosode and proposed it for therapeutic use.

Description of the substance

Hydrophobia, or lyssa: acute, ordinarily fatal, viral infectious disease of the central nervous system. The disease is usually spread among domestic dogs and wild carnivorous animals by a bite; all warm-blooded animals are susceptible to rabies infection. The virus, a rhabdovirus, is often present in the salivary glands of rabid animals and is excreted in the saliva; thus, the bite of the infected animal introduces the virus into a fresh wound. Under conditions favourable to it, the virus becomes established in the central nervous system by propagation along nerve tissue from the wound to the brain. When infection occurs, the disease develops most often between four and six weeks after exposure, but the incubation period may vary from 10 days to eight months. The disease often begins with excitation of the central nervous system expressed as irritability and viciousness. During the early stages a rabid animal is most dangerous because it appears to be healthy and may seem friendly but will bite at the slightest provocation. Wild animals that appear to be tame and that approach people or human habitations in the daytime should be suspected of having rabies.

Most infected dogs show a short excitation phase that is characterized by restlessness, nervousness, irritability, and viciousness and is followed by depression and paralysis. Sudden death from rabies, without recognizable signs of illness, is not uncommon. Dogs that develop the predominantly excited type of rabies invariably die of the infection, usually within three to five days after symptoms begin. Those with the paralytic type without any evidence of excitation or viciousness may (rarely) recover. The paralysis of the "voice" muscles in rabid dogs may produce a characteristic change in the sound of the bark.Hydrophobia, or human rabies. Rabies in humans is similar to that in animals. The excitation phase may continue until death occurs during a convulsive seizure. More often, symptoms of depression of the central nervous system develop before death. The hydrophobia symptom consists of repeated episodes of painful contraction of the muscles of the throat upon attempting to swallow. This symptom may be elicited by the sight of water because of the association of water with the act of swallowing-hence the name hydrophobia ("fear of water"). Rabies in humans, when associated with excitation of the nervous system and the hydrophobia symptom, is almost always fatal, but in 1971 there was one instance of recovery. Death ordinarily occurs within three to five days after the onset of symptoms. Abnormal sensations about the site of exposure are a common early symptom. Sometimes the disease is characterized by paralysis without any evidence of excitation of the nervous system. In such cases the course of the disease may be prolonged to a week or more, and recovery occurs rarely.

If administered soon after infection, serum or vaccine can be effective in combating the disease. Serum treatment for rabies was introduced in 1899. This is a type of passive immunization whereby animals are immunized with attenuated rabies virus, and the blood serum of these animals is injected into infected persons to give them temporary immunity to rabies. The treatment is effective if given within 24 hours after exposure but has little, if any, value if given three or more days after infection by rabies. Immediate treatment of animal-bite wounds by cleansing with soap and water is extremely important because much, if not all, of the virus can be thus removed. Vaccines prepared from rabies virus can be used to protect people who are likely to be in contact with infected animals. The safest and most effective vaccines are human diploid-cell vaccine (HDCV) and rabies vaccine adsorbed (RVA); both may be effective in immunization with as few as two doses. When a person not protected by previous immunization is bitten by a rabid animal, treatment is a dose of serum followed by a series of vaccinations. With the older vaccines, at least 16 injections were required, whereas with HDCV or RVA five are usually sufficient. The older vaccines, which were often prepared with animal brain tissue, posed the hazard of encephalitis and caused considerable general reaction. With HDCV and RVA, there is no danger of encephalitis and general reaction is minimal.