A modern homeopathic repertory adapted for animal patients, based on Boger-Boenninghausen's Repertory, with valuable additions from Kent and many others
by Francis Treuherz
New World Veterinary Repertory
I have become very excited by this repertory. I can hear you say, "...What a fool is this, excited by a repertory? Get a life!" I know nothing of animals; 1 cross the road when I see a dog; but 1 think I know a little about repertories. In my library of 9791 volumes there are 668 repertories. This one is solidly constructed on strong paper, in tough dark red boards, with a carefully cut thumb index and a ribbon. The font and punctuation is very clear, readable without effort, the grades in Bold, italic and regular are clear, as are the indentations for sub-rubrics. It looks and handles like a real repertory, much like an original full size Kent.
Everything appears to be in the right place. After two Prefaces by the authors (or maybe better named as compilers?) there are Instructions for Using the Repertory (of which more in a moment) and Acknowledgements. Then there is an indispensable section, an Expanded Chapter List: this enumerates the contents in ten pages of four columns each. This is what other recent major works on plants have lacked, a usable page index so the reader can find things. As an example, 1 was delighted to see that in Stomach, the Aversions and Desires are back where they belong. Each chapter includes Locations, Concomitants, and Sensations in a systematic order and the reader can see at a glance how each section is laid out; as I wrote, this is indispensable. Of course there are some additions we shall not have seen before; nor, unless we are veterinarians, which 1 am not, we would not have predicted them: for example, Extremities includes Anterior and Posterior limbs! There is an index of remedy names and abbreviations at the end. Neither remedies nor rubrics are sourced but I believe that so many of them must come from the personal and professional experience of the compilers.
Richard Pitcairn's Preface is a masterpiece. In a few days I shall be teaching a group of first-year homeopathy students on the development of the repertory and how to use it. This essay is precisely on that topic and although I have been teaching this module for over twenty years there is always some text that 1 discover does it better than I can; this is one such case. He explains the need for repertories and the layout, compares the Kentian and the Boenninghausen methods, and displays some cases to analyse and repertorise. Homeopathy has a beautiful philosophy that distinguishes it from allopathy and one aspect is that it reasons from research on humans and applies it to animals. Nowhere is that better illustrated than in this book, so we human homeopaths can use the clarity of expression found here and return the compliment.
This takes me back to some twenty years ago in Oxford when an enterprising young veterinarian who trained alongside human homeopaths presented a video case of a dog and a horse. The horse was corralling or rounding up the dog, turning the tables on the dog. Pulsatilla was given to the horse. The same man many years later prescribed for an aggressive rabbit which growled and pounced on a child as an "attack rabbit" behaving like a tiger, and after considering Lac leonum the rabbit did well on Tiger's milk(1).
This brings me to the 25-page chapter on the mentals. It is so short and well laid-out that it provides a first-rate introduction not only to the mind of the animal kingdom but an easy introduction to the mind section for humans, which by 2011 had reached 1432 pages in the Complete Repertory in the latest print version(2). Yes, animals have delusions when they pick at imaginary vermin or lunge at nonexistent phantoms. They can be dejected or affectionate and show it; all animal life is there. The only snag of this brevity for veterinarians can be overcome
(1) Geoff Johnson 2009; The king of the burrow, in The Homeopath 27:4 pp. 29-30 (2) Roger van Zandvoort 2011; The Complete Repertory 2011 (Mind), Indian Books and Periodicals Publishers, New Delhi, 1432 pages
by looking at a human repertory if more mental symptoms are discerned. This might also apply for newer remedies not added to this repertory like the Lacs; they are there in the human printed editions and in the computer editions. I really really hope that this new repertory edition will soon be added to MacRepertory™; Richard does use MacRepertory charts to display in his Preface. The further Instructions for Using the Repertory is by Wendy Jensen and these fill all the gaps to explain the format and technicalities like concomitants for newcomers.
The rest is straightforward; the life and bulk of the repertory are the chapters and their rubrics, thanks to the clarity of thought and exposition that has gone into the creation of this work. I speculate that on another level, that since some animal diseases are transmissible to humans, there is another reason that this book will be of interest to us human homeopaths. If my delight in this new modern classic work - and its value for our work - can be shared, I shall be happy.