A dog who knew more than a doctor initiated the use of light in medical treatment.
The dog belonged to a Swiss doctor, named Rollier, and back in 1902 Dr. Rollier found that his dog had a tumor on the spine. Which he removed with surgical precision.
“I treated the wound,” says Dr. Rollier, “and was determined to keep it covered with a bandage, which the dog was just as determined to remove. He did this several times, and I was beginning to despair, until one day I came on the dog by accident, and found the reason for his persistence. Instinct had prompted him to lie with the wound exposed to the sunshine, and to my great surprise, it was soon entirely healed. I learned my lesson, and bowed to the fine animal instinct which had so clearly demonstrated the value of the open sun dressing as opposed to my covered dressing.”
Some time before this another Swiss physician, Bernhard, had been started on a train of thought by observing that the Swiss butchers cured their meat by hanging it up in the sunlight. He made an experiment with a patient who had had an abdominal operation and whose wound was filled with pus. The wound refused to heal, and Dr. Bernhard took the patient out into the strong Alpine sunlight and exposed the wound to it. The effect was truly remarkable. In a short time the wound was completely healed.
Dr. Bernhard began treating other patients in this way, with equal success.
Such results explain the widespread use of sunlight treatment, both natural and artificial, in hospitals today.
It was later that these methods were used for the treatment of surgical tuberculosis, as well as tuberculosis of the lungs. This phase of the subject is a new development.