Complaint filed against naturopath who gave boy remedy made from rabid-dog saliva

The B.C. Naturopathic Association has filed a complaint against a Victoria practitioner who said she treated a four-year-old’s aggression problems with a homeopathic remedy made from rabid dog saliva.

Anke Zimmermann made headlines this week for a blog post in which she suggested she’d helped bring the boy “back into a more human state from a slightly rabid dog state,” using a substance called lyssinum.

Victor Chan, co-president of the naturopath association, said the group filed a complaint Thursday with the College of Naturopathic Physicians of B.C.

“We take no pleasure in filing a complaint against a registrant with our college, but we do so, first and foremost, in the public interest to protect our profession’s reputation and to ensure that safe, competent and ethical care is delivered to all patients,” Chan said in a news release.

Zimmermann is not a member of the association. And the college, which is the separate regulatory body for the profession, has described the remedy as an acceptable treatment.

Lyssinum, which is also known as lyssin and hydrophobinum, is made by repeatedly diluting the saliva of a rabid dog in water and alcohol and is approved for use by Health Canada.

Nevertheless, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry told CBC earlier this week that she plans to write to the federal government to protest the approval of the treatment.

Anke Zimmermann wrote about treating the boy in this February post to her website.(DrZimmermann.org)

The case Zimmermann wrote about involved a boy who was violent toward classmates, had trouble sleeping and experienced nightmares about werewolves and wolves.

The naturopathic association said it is worried about her conduct.

“Dr. Zimmerman’s statements on her website and to the media have raised the concerns of B.C.’s provincial health officer and minister of health,” Chan said.

“We are concerned that certain statements and posts she has made, in person and online, appear to be contrary to the public interest in the practice of the profession — and therefore require action on the part of the regulator to intervene.”

Zimmermann defended her use of lyssinum in an interview with CBC and said the substance is diluted so many times it contains no trace of the rabies virus.

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