A long-time B.C. naturopath is on the receiving end of criticism and confusion after speaking out about treating a four-year-old boy with rabid dog saliva.
In a post on her website under “successful clinical cases,” Victoria-based Dr. Anke Zimmermann said the boy, who she calls Jonah, was being treated for sleep, aggression and behavioural problems, which she expected to be linked to dog bites.
“This is a 4-year-old boy who is suffering from an inability to fall asleep at night, a fear of the dark, of wolves, werewolves, ghosts and zombies and who frequently hides under tables and growls at people,” Zimmermann wrote.
“He is overly excitable and has a tendency to defiance. He was normal as a baby, not affected by sleep or temper problems.”
In her post, Zimmermann said the boy was mildly injured after being bitten by a dog at the beach, but had also been bitten many times by dogs in the past, including his grandfather’s dog which was later put down.
Very interesting case from my practice: Why are some kids so aggressive? Maybe they were bitten by a dog. This… https://t.co/lxECfpmLWZ
— Dr. Anke Zimmermann (@drzimmermann) February 17, 2018
She said she suspected the dog that most recently bit the boy may have been recently vaccinated for rabies.
Zimmermann said Jonah’s mother described various symptoms of a “slightly rabies-flavoured dog state” including breathing loudly and being disruptive at school.
His mother also said “he likes meat, especially hamburgers, hot dogs, red meat and meatballs,” she wrote, and that while he doesn’t like to cuddled, “will come up to me and sniff me, nuzzle me and lick me like a dog.”
A naturopath for 26 years, according to her website, Zimmermann said she’s seen a number of similar cases like Jonah’s.
For that reason, she said she gave the boy two pellets of lyssinum 200CH – a natural remedy made of saliva from a rabid dog.
Black Press Media has been unable to reach Zimmermann for comment.
Post sparks online concern, questions
Zimmermann’s case study, which she posted to social media, has caught people’s attention.
Disturbing at best. Reckless and child endangerment. Where is Health Canada??
— ellen gretsinger (@egretsinger) April 12, 2018
What living parent would allow this. What nonsense.
— catfish as in catfish hunter (@catfish8888) April 12, 2018
Are rabid dogs that easy to find and grab a quick spit sample from?! This has got to be a complete fabrication.
— Steph Hnatiuk, RD (@StephHfitness) April 12, 2018
The College of Naturopathic Physicians of B.C. confirmed Zimmermann is licensed to practice in B.C.
Deputy registrar Phillipa Stanaway said lyssinum has a long history in homeopathy, and is an accepted remedy in B.C.
“All naturopathic doctors are obligated to ensure that their treatment decisions meet the standard of care,” Stanaway added.
“This includes obtaining informed consent in consideration of the safety and efficacy of any substance prescribed, recommended, and/or administered to a patient.”
Regardless, boy starts to apparently improve
According to Zimmermann, the mother delivered good news within a week: Jonah’s restlessness had eased and his fears of werewolves were history.
An extra dose of the saliva was needed a couple of weeks later, Zimmermann added, and three months later, she said his mom reported ample improvement.
“Now it is time to sit back and wait for the remedy to continue it’s [sic] work,” she wrote. “It’s possible that Jonah may need a few more doses of lyssinum or maybe other remedies in the future.”
She went on to say homeopathy can work wonders for children with behavioural disorders.
“Why let a child suffer needlessly when there is simple, inexpensive (the remedy cost about $15 so far) and logical solution to the problem!”