Keylor: An End
of Life Story
Jeff Levy, DVM
was in May of '98 that I discovered the
tumor of Keylor's left anal gland. My best
buddy for nearly fourteen years (an Akita/Samoyed
cross) had been doing well in general, but
showing signs of advancing age. His biggest
problem had been mild signs of degenerative
myelopathy, with the typical progressive
weakness and incoordination of the hind
legs. I consulted an oncologist, who recommended
against surgery for the presumed adenocarcinoma,
and estimated that he had perhaps 6-8 weeks
course of the next 5 months, with homeopathic
treatment, of course, Keylor continued to
relish his dinner every day. He maintained
his weight, was enthusiastic about his daily
walks, and basically showed no systemic
signs of cancer. (He was on Carboneum sulphuratum
for much of that time.) However, the tumor
continued to grow slowly.
I could tell that he was getting close to
the end. Still eating well, but starting
to lose his mental faculties, had restlessness
and yelping at night, frequent need to urinate
at night, and seemed to be unhappy for the
first time. I believe he was experiencing
the fateful night came when I knew it was
the end. By 2 AM he just wouldn't settle
down, and was anxious, restless, and yelping.
What to do for him at this point, I thought?
Pain of cancer, restless, thirsty, worse
at night- maybe Arsenicum album would help.
I gave him a dose of 200C, and he became
immediately much worse! Oh no!, I thought.
What have I done?
to the books, and hurriedly crossed Generalities:
Pain in cancerous affections with remedies
that antidote Arsenicum. Only one remedy
was in both rubrics: Euphorbium officinarum.
(On checking Kent Homeopathic Associates'
Complete Repertory 4.5 and their Relationships
Repertory, there are 4 others as well, none
of which fit Keylor's symptoms.) Only one
small problem. Although I had prescribed
Euphorbium once or twice before, I didn't
have it on hand. It was after 2 AM, and
Keylor wasn't going to make it through the
night. Then I thought: the common name for
Euphorbium is spurge, and I had "garden
spurge" growing in one of my garden
beds. I had no idea what species it was,
but I knew it was a Euphorbium, and I thought
it was worth a try. I picked some, ground
it in a mortar and pestle with vodka, diluted
it about 1:100, succussed it about 100 times,
made a second dilution, and gave it to him.
as the drop hit his tongue, he showed instantaneous
relief. Within a minute, he put his head
down and went to sleep. Repeating as needed,
and then making and giving a higher potency,
Keylor was calm and peaceful for a few more
hours. During that time, I realized that
his abdomen was rapidly becoming distended
with fluid, and he couldn't stand up anymore.
Even the attempt to get him up caused great
pain and distress.
'talk' with him, I felt that he needed a
push to send him to the other side. At 5:30
AM, I gave him the injection that ended
his life. I believe he would have died naturally
within an hour or two at the most, and I
knew he was afraid to go. Although I'm not
a big advocate of euthanasia, I think it
was the right thing to do in this case.
14 years of practicing homeopathy, this
experience just blew me away. I have rarely
seen so clearly and dramatically the awesome
power of a well-chosen remedy.
us tend to think immediately of Ignatia
for grief, Arnica for injuries, and Arsenicum
at the end of life. It's important to remember
that there are other remedies to consider
in any of those situations. I have since
had another case of terminal cancer in a
dog where Euphorbium was tremendously beneficial
in the last weeks of life.
good lesson from this experience is that
the universe provides what we need if only
we can see it before us. Thank you, Keylor.