(Submitted)

Health Canada says rabid dog saliva remedy banned, after B.C. case

The agency had investigated after a Victoria naturopath treated a four-year-old boy with lyssin

A homeopathic remedy made with the saliva of rabid dogs will no longer be available in the country, Health Canada said.

An investigation was launched after concerns were raised over a Victoria naturopath’s treatment of a four-year-old boy with lyssin, which British Columbia’s health officer said could put patients at risk of contracting rabies.

Health Canada said in a statement Monday that lyssin, distributed by Helious Homeopathy in the United Kingdom, is not authorized for sale in the country and the individual involved has agreed to stop selling the product.

In an earlier statement, the federal agency said the company where the naturopath allegedly obtained the product does not hold a licence to distribute the ingredient.

The sale of unlicensed natural health products is prohibited and could result in a $5,000 fine or up to three years in prison, the agency said.

READ MORE: Victoria naturopath treats boy with rabid dog saliva

Practitioner Anke Zimmermann detailed her use of lyssin in a blog post earlier this year as a success for the treatment of a boy’s sleep and behavioural problems.

In an earlier interview, Zimmermann had likened the remedy to anti-venom, which may use a small dose of venom to treat a snake bite.

She said while the remedy begins with saliva that contains rabies, she doesn’t believe any virus remains in the sugar pill, after an extensive process of dilution.

The B.C. Association of Homeopaths also defended the use of the product in a letter to the provincial health officer.

“The end product doesn’t bear any toxicity or infectious elements that would be a threat to the public,” the association said in the letter.

But Health Canada said it will “take further action, if necessary, should any additional non-compliance or risk to health be identified.”

The agency added that the College of Naturopathic Physicians of British Columbia has also been informed.

Zimmermann isn’t a member of the college, but it laid a complaint against her after the blog became public, claiming she may have breached the association’s code of conduct and her actions reflects on the organization.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Oak Bay deputy police chief and family cut Guatemala vacation short to return home

Belize border, punctured gas tank part of the adventure

Program makes a connection with isolated Victoria seniors

Phoning Seniors Together program lines up volunteers with seniors at Luther Court

West Shore businesses bring fitness online during COVID-19

At-home workouts offered to help community keep fit

Mental Health: Fractured services leave community to fill gaps

Greater Victoria service providers working together to help youth

B.C. firefighters only responding to most life-threatening calls during COVID-19 pandemic

The directive comes after province spoke with paramedics, fire services, according to top doctor

Education, not enforcement: B.C. bylaw officers keeping a watch on physical distancing

A kind word, it turns out, has usually been all people need to hear

QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Take this test and find out how well you know Canada’s most popular winter sport

Researchers look at humidity as a weapon in the fight against airborne viruses

Regular hand washing, physical distancing and PPE for health care workers remains best line of defense

Two inmates found positive for COVID-19 at federal prison in B.C.; other tests pending

15 staff self-isolating waiting results, refusal to work notice sent, says correctional officer

Critic, workers’ group ‘disappointed’ Trudeau chose Amazon to distribute PPE

Amazon Canada said in an email to The Canadian Press that it is working with Canada Post, Purolator

Full World COVID-19 update: National Guard collect ventilators in New York; Spain, Italy improve

Comprehensive coronavirus update with news from around the world.

Nanaimo’s Harmac mill works to fill doubled pulp order for medical masks and gowns

Mill’s president says extra cleaning in place and workers are social distancing

Two people fined after B.C. police spot online ads re-selling 5,000 surgical, N95 masks

Police confiscated the masks, being sold at inflated prices, and now working with Fraser Health

Unclear if Cowichan couple refusing to self-isolate will face penalty

No fines or charges have been laid to date, including Cowichan couple who won’t self isolate

Most Read