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CANINE ALTERNATIVE CARE

 
Many pet owners are using herbal medicines and alternative remedies for their animals. While some of these products can be very helpful, others are actually harmful to pets. Without professional advice and correct dosage rates, it is unwise to give medicines, herbal or otherwise, to your pets which have been prescribed or recommended for humans.


SOME SUGGESTED TIPS

Diarrhoea

A useful herbal remedy for diarrhoea is slippery elm (for example Nature's Own Slippery Elm tablets). Slippery elm coats the bowel and acts as a gentle calmative of the gastrointestinal tract. It is a good first aid for this sort of problem providing that worms, other parasites or a virus are not causing the problem. If any of these problems exist, the animal will require other medication or treatment.


Garlic to detoxify the bowel is suggested here. Also sage, thyme, or marjoram teas are suggested for their aromatic qualifies. Charcoal tablets, two in the morning and two at night can be helpful. A gruel made from slippery elm bark is very healing to the intestinal lining, and barley is the primary food recommended when the situation has improved.

Skin problems

These plague dogs, cats and other pets throughout Australia and there are several herbal preparations that can relieve symptoms:
Evening primrose oil, often given as an oral capsule each day, can help prevent many skin problems by providing essential oils to the skin.
Other medications are applied directly to the skin, such as tea tree oil or eucalyptus oil. It is essential that these oils are only applied at a diluted rate or they may kill the animal as the oils are ingested when the animal grooms itself and licks its coat. Note: Always use tea tree oils and eucalyptus oil that have been specifically prepared for animal use as these contain the oils in lower concentration and so are safe for your pet.
Garlic oil is also useful for some skin problems.

Eczema

These inflamed, discharging areas of your dog's skin can be "speedily cured by diet" in Ms. Levy's words. She recommends a very laxative diet, including cereal, raw meat, and finely shredded green herbs like watercress. Ingestion of nettle or meadowsweet tea and external application of blackberry leaf tea or raw cucumber juice is suggested.

Cuts and Abrasions

Treatment #1

1 cup warm distilled or spring water

¼ teaspoon sea salt (or table salt)

1 teaspoon calendula solution or tincture

Place water in a small bowl. Mix in salt and calendula. Soak a washcloth in the solution and hold it against the wound for 2 minutes.
Treat two or three times a day. Once a scab forms, stop treatment. Give 2,500 to 10,000 I.U. vitamin A (depending on your pet's size) once a day for three days and give 100 to 500 I.U. vitamin E (depending on your pet's size) once a day for five days.

Treatment #2

Aloe Vera is a useful, naturally occurring antiseptic derived from the succulent Aloe Vera. It can be safely applied to a pet to help the healing of minor cuts or abrasions. Any thing major, particularly a burn or severe laceration, should be examined by a vet.

Itchy Paws & Infected Nails
Epsom salts have been used to treat abscessed nail beds and paws that are itchy due to allergies. Use 1/2 cup of Epsom salts per 1 gallon of water. Soak the affected paw(s) for 5-10 minutes, 2-4 times a day. It will help 'draw out' the infection in case of a nail bed abscess. It will also give the pet temporary relief from the itchy feet secondary to allergies.
Do not allow pets to drink an Epsom salt solution since it can cause diarrhoea.

Nose Care Ointment (for dogs and cats)
Use one of the following to remedy a sore, plugged-up nose.

Petroleum jelly or petroleum jelly

mixed with powdered goldenseal root

Almond oil

2 Tablespoons olive oil mixed with 2 drops

tincture of calendula

Apply Cleansing Drops. Holding your pet from behind, dip your finger in one of the above ointments and apply to the nose two or three times a day. Blot off excess with tissues.

Car sickness

From when you first pick up your new pet, car sickness can be a recurring problem with some animals. Ginger tablets (for example Blackmore's Travel Calm Ginger) are useful in the treatment of travel sickness in animals.

Hysteria

Frantic howling, bolting, mad running also have a dietary link. Servings of rosehip syrup, strong brews of rosemary or poppy seed tea, two tablespoons three times a day is recommended. The herbs skullcap and garlic are also to be consumed and bathing the animal's head with a "cool brew of dock leaves" is also mentioned. Internal cleansing followed by a two day period of fasting is also helpful.

Canine Fleas and Ticks - Combat with Herbs and Essential Oils
by Sevi Kay

No matter how much of a nature lover one can be, it sure is another thing to have these critters on you and your dogs. Fleas are everywhere and though we live in a city, I still battle fleas on my German Shepherd. If your dog is allergic to fleas as our dog is, you will especially need to stay on top of your combating tactics when it comes to these bloodsuckers.

For those holistic followers the following recipes can be wonderful remedies. Since they are all natural, they will only help repel fleas, ticks and flies etc. and must be applied more frequently as well.

Herbal Critter Repellent Mix

Dried peppermint

eucalyptus

bay leaf herbs

marjoram

rosemary

sage

clove buds

Crush your botanicals well and fill a muslin bag or use it in the cedar chip mixture of your dogs bed. The muslin bags can be placed near your dogs bedding area.

Tick Spritzer Blend:

2 drops of Lavender, Basil, Lemon, Opoponax, Eucalyptus

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon vodka

1 cup of dried marjoram, eucalyptus, rosemary

2 cups of water

Flea Spritzer Blend:

2 drops of cedarwood, lemongrass, rose geranium

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon vodka

1 cup of dried peppermint, eucalyptus, bay leaf herbs

1- 2 cups of water



Add the essential oils and vodka in a bottle, tighten the lid and shake well. Once the mixture blended (should turn white), add apple cider vinegar. If you have some herbs mentioned above you can make an herbal tea to use in your spritzer.

Boil 2-4 cups of water and remove from heat. Add your dried herbs in the water and let is simmer for 30 minutes. Once cool, drain and use instead of plain water in your spritzer. If you are using an herbal tea, this mixture must be kept in the refrigerator as the herbal teas have the tendency to go bad faster.

Once you have your spritzer you can use this by gently spraying it in to your dogs coat, legs, tummy and back. Rub it in well and apply it as necessary. Do not use any of the essential oils on your dogs face or around nose, ears and eyes. Respect the sensitive nose he/she has and go easy when using aromatic substances such as essential oils.

Coat Conditioner For Dogs

(Rosemary herbs helps repel fleas & Conditions coat)
1 teaspoon dried Rosemary leaves (or 1 tablespoon of fresh herb) Bring to the boil 1 pint of water. Combine & steep for 10 minutes, covered. Strain & cool to body temperature. Pour it over your dog as a final rinse. Rub in and towel dry without further rinsing.

Natural Tick & Fly Repellent

2 Cups Vinegar

1 Cup Avon Skin So Soft

1 Cup Water

1 Tablespoon Eucalyptus Oil

1 Tablespoon Citronella Oil

Put in a spray bottle and spray dog's coat.
Also putting apple cider vinegar in the dog's water will help.

Mosquitos be GONE

4 parts glycerine

4 parts alcohol

1 part eucalyptus oil

Or make a solution of equal parts of isopropyl alcohol and methyl phthalate.

Colloidal Silver Uses

Colloidal silver reportedly kills bacteria, viruses, fungus and yeast and was used as an antibiotic as long ago as Roman times. Some references also state that Colloidal Silver may stimulate the body’s immune system or work in alliance with it. Colloidal Silver has become popular once more as people, worried about the ever growing use of antibiotics, seek an alternative.


NATURAL SUPPLEMENTS



The best way to address the issue of natural supplements for pets is to become informed about what treatments are available and how they can be used. Following are some of the treatments currently being used by veterinarians and pet owners to treat animals:

Glucosamine and Chondroitan - These may be the most well known and commonly prescribed nutraceuticals for pets. They are not herbal supplements: glucosamine is derived from shellfish tissue, and chondroitan is derived from animal products. They are given to animals suffering from arthritis and joint pain, in order to rebuild the cartilage that cushions and protects joints.

Echinacea - Echinacea is a well-known immunostimulant. It is said to improve the immune system and help pets fight off infections, diseases, and even cancer.

Aloe - This thick-leaved plant is used for animals much like it is for humans as a soothing, itch relieving ointment that is applied directly to the skin. It is also said to help heal cuts and protect them from infection. As aloe breaks down quickly and is hard to store over time, the best way to use it is simply to break a leaf off an aloe plant.

Ginger - Chinese medicine has been using this root for centuries as an anti-inflammatory and an aid for stomach problems. Ginger is said to help animals with car sickness and digestive problems like gas and diarrhoea.

Vitamin C - This vitamin, which is considered a powerful anti-oxidant, is abundant in most fruits and some vegetables. It is also available in pill form and as a liquid that can be mixed into a pet's water. Anti-oxidants are said to help combat the aging process and slow damage to the body's tissues, as well as to help prevent cancer. It has also been suggested that vitamin C can help treat hip dysplasia, arthritis, and urinary tract problems.

Milk Thistle - Pets with liver problems such as hepatitis may be given this supplement. It is supposed to protect the cells of the liver from toxins.

Saint John's Wort - Though it has gained fame in human medicine as a treatment for depression, this herb is used as a treatment for viral infections and neural disorders in alternative veterinary medicine.

Ginkgo - Again, this herb has attracted a great deal of attention in human medicine. It is said to work by expanding the blood vessels in the brain, thereby increasing blood flow. People take it to increase their memory and improve their brain function, and some veterinarians are using it to treat animals that exhibit cognitive dysfunctions, the animal equivalent of senile dementia.

Slippery Elm - The bark of this tree is used as an aid to the digestive system for pets that suffer from constipation and upset stomach. It has also been used as a cough suppressant and a poultice (an herb that is boiled down into a paste, cooled, and applied to the skin).




CAUTION
Heinz - Body Anaemia
The recorded cases of Allium poisoning typically involved onion doses exceeding 0.5% of the animal's body weight. A dog weighing 60 pounds would have to ingest a 5-ounce onion or several cloves of garlic to begin the Heinz-body process. Red blood cells regenerate quickly in healthy animals, so the overdose would have to be repeated frequently to cause harm.

Tea Tree Oil
Topical application of tea tree oil has caused temporary paralysis in some animals. As with other essential oils, tea tree oil should be diluted before being applied to dogs.

Yucca
The saponins that give Yucca it's soapy properties help relieve the inflammation of arthritis, but they can also irritate the stomach lining and intestinal mucosa resulting in bloat and over long term use can cause anaemia. Yucca should be avoided during pregnancy.

Essential Oils
Minute amounts of some essential oils have the potential to harm pets with allergies or epilepsy. They should be used with caution during pregnancy, whelping and lactation.

Comfrey
This popular herb contains compounds that when isolated and fed in large doses can cause liver damage. It is recommended to use comfrey in combination with foods, if at all.

Alfalfa Sprouts
Before consuming alfalfa sprouts purchased at the local grocer, be sure they are washed in a solution of grape seed extract to guard against potential Salmonella E. coli and other harmful bacteria. Alfalfa sprouts have been a topic of concern because they contain saponins which are chemicals that can damage red blood cells. Research on the toxic effects of canavanine shows that "L-canavanine rapidly decreases in plants as they mature during germination". Canavanine is also found in onions and garlic.

Bloat
Research has implicated mono-diets, gulping meals or large meals and commercial foods which contain grains or soy beans as the primary cause of bloat. Bloat can be prevented by feeding large chunks of raw meat, bones and other foods which provide regular eating exercise that strengthens muscles of the stomach and bowels.

Always consult you vet
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