This section of the book is from "The Complete Herbalist" by Dr. O. Phelps Brown. Also available from Amazon: The Complete Herbalist: The People Their Own Physicians By The Use Of Nature's Remedies.
This is caused by the bite of a mad dog or other hydrophobic animals. The human subject is not as liable to hydrophobia as the lower animals, and it is consoling to know that only about one-tenth of those bitten are attacked by hydrophobia.
The interval of the bite and appearance of the disease varies from twelve days to two months. The wound heals like any other bite, but on approach of the disease the scar begins to have sharp pains, and the part feels cold, stiff, or numb. The patient feels a strange anxiety, is depressed in spirit, has an occasional chill, disturbed sleep, and spasmodic twitches. The appetite is lost, and, as the disease progresses, thirst appears, and he attempts to drink; but, the moment the water approaches his mouth, a spasmodic shudder comes over him, he pushes it back with horror, and the awful fact of his condition is known to him, and pitiful expressions escape him. His throat becomes full of glain, viscid mucus, which he continually tries to clear away. He strives to bite his attendants, suffers great depression of spirits, and finally dies from exhaustion, or in a horrible spasm.
TREATMENT. -- The wound should be cut out, cups or suction applied to it, or thoroughly cauterized, and the patient should be kept quiet. Copious draughts of whiskey have been advised by some.
The red chickweed or scarlet pimpernel is said to be an absolute remedy. Four ounces of this should be boiled in two quarts of water until reduced to one quart, and a wine-glassful taken twice a day. The wound should also be bathed by the same. The common rose-beetle (cetonia amata), found so commonly on rose-bushes, is an effectual remedy. I desire in this connection to draw attention to a most absurd, ridiculous superstition which prevails; that is, if a person be bitten by a dog which is in perfect health, but afterwards goes mad, the person also will be affected, so they insist upon the dog being destroyed, for fear it should go mad at any future period. Instead of this the dog should be carefully taken care of. Patients would then have the satisfaction of knowing that there was nothing wrong with it, and their minds would be at rest.