Category Archives: Natural Pet Remedies

Natural Hairball Remedies for Cats

Fur balls are more than a nuisance for cats. They can be dangerous if enough hair collects in the cat’s stomach to block the small intestine, colon or esophagus. Surgery is sometimes the only way to remove the accumulated hair.

Article in The Sun: VETS Operating on a Cat’s Blocked Stomach Were Stunned to find the obstacle was a fur ball the size of her tummy.”Moggie Gemma groomed herself so much she collected the 5in clump of hair in her belly.The 214 gram mass had filled her entire stomach and vets said it was the biggest they had ever seen.Gemma’s plight was discovered when her owners noticed a solid lump in her belly and saw that she stopped eating.They took her to a vet in Huntingdon, Cambs, where an X-ray showed the lump.Vet David Fennell said: ‘It was a mixture of shock and relief when we realized what it was. ‘Nobody had seen anything like it before, in themselves hairballs are relatively common but I have never seen anything this size.'”1

Fur balls are more than a nuisance for cats. They can be dangerous if enough hair collects in the cat’s stomach to block the small intestine, colon or esophagus. Surgery is sometimes the only way to remove the accumulated hair. Signs that your cat is having trouble passing a hair or fur ball are coughing, gagging or hacking, loss of appetite and vomiting after meals. Sometimes, the cat will back up while coughing and act like it’s trying to get rid of something but can’t.

Hairballs are comprised of a lot of fat in addition to your cat’s fur. By adding a teaspoon of egg-based lecithin (not soy-based) to your cat’s wet food twice a week, the fat is dissolved, allowing the hairball to pass through the intestinal tract.
Indoor-only cats should have access to “cat grass”. This provides natural roughage to your pet’s diet and seems have a mild laxative effect, which can help eliminate the fur that is ingested by your cat when grooming.

– Try slippery elm bark, available at health food stores. Slippery elm is safe for cats and is a popular remedy for constipation, diarrhea and moving hairballs along.

– Add about 1 tsp of canned pumpkin (not pie filling) to your cat’s food twice a day. This gentle, natural fiber is safe for cats and will get the fur ball moving.

– Add some wild salmon or fish oil to your cat’s diet. The omega-3 fatty acids in both will help prevent fur balls by keeping the cat’s coat in GOOD condition. Independent pet supply retailers and health food stores sell wild salmon and fish oil. Both are safe for cats and can be added to the cat’s wet food. The amount to give depends on the size of the cat.

Prevention of Furballs:
Comb your cat several times a week with a flea or greyhound comb to remove dead skin and help prevent matting and fur balls. Feeding wet food helps. It will keep the skin hydrated and reduce shedding and the formation of mats and fur balls. The best preventative is adding the fish oil mentioned above to your cat’s diet twice a week which will benefit your cat’s overall health tremendously anyway.

Most cats get them at some time in their lives: hairballs. Cats are excessive groomers and will often not just groom themselves but every cat in the household. That’s a lot of hair being ingested. If your cat is one of these, you should consider a regular weekly hairball regimen such as the following.

  • Psyllium seed husk powder. Also known simply as psyllium, this powder is made from portions of the seed of the plant Plantago ovate, a native Indian plant. This fiber source is water soluble and becomes mucilaginous when wet, helping to push built up hair along the GI tract. Add the contents of a capsule to a tablespoon of water, then mix in with your cat’s food daily.
  • Pumpkin. Add a teaspoon of canned or freshly cooked mashed pumpkin to your kitty’s food each day. Canned pumpkin (make sure it is 100 percent pumpkin) is a non-grain fiber source that can aid digestion.
  • Add a good quality animal-sourced digestive enzyme to your kitty’s diet.
  • Put a dab of non-petroleum jelly on your fingertip or the tip of your cat’s nose. Look for a brand with all natural ingredients, typically slippery elm, marshmallow or papaya. Kitty will lick the jelly, swallow it, and with any luck it will coat the hairball, allowing it to be expelled more easily.
  • Adding one teaspoon of olive oil to your cat’s food once or twice a week can prevent vomiting up hairballs. The oil lubricates the cat’s digestive system, which will allow the hairball to slide right on through.

Resources:
1.Read more: http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/4085055/Gemma-the-cat-news-Huge-fur-ball-cut-from-moggies-tummy.html#ixzz2GZIRrPQY

Pet Flatulence.

sad-puppyA little gas is a natural part of the digestive process and usually passes quickly. Excessive gas, however, especially when it is foul-smelling and accompanied by other symptoms, may indicate that something is wrong in your pet’s digestive system.

Causes: Low-quality foods with ingredients that can’t be fully digested can cause gas. So do random table scraps and foods containing lactose. Some animals may also have food sensitivities and allergies, so it’s important to find out what your dog’s stomach can and cannot handle. A sudden change in diet will cause stomach upset in almost any pet. When changing a pet’s food, always start by mixing it a little at a time with their old food and then gradually start adding more of the new food to it over a course of 1-2 weeks.

Remedies: Change the dog’s food to a highly digestible, low-fiber diet, and avoid giving table scraps. Feed three small meals instead of one large meal to keep the dog from gulping food and swallowing air. Plant enzymes work really well to help older pets who may start having digestive problems. Just add a capsule or two to every meal – they are very safe to use and the better you pet can digest, the less waste you will have and the less gas and stomach problems they will have.

If after trying all of the above the condition persists, it’s important to take them to a vet to rule out any malabsorption syndrome or inflammatory bowel disease.

 

See our Pet Circkles article: Coping With a Blind Dog.

Mares in Heat or Pregnant.

DaVinci7705-3Red Raspberry leaf is good for mares who get irritable during heat or their sides seem sensitive to the touch (they don’t want you to touch their sides) during heat. Also for the last half of a pregnancy, but should not be given the first half of the pregnancy as it may cause contractions.

Make a tea of the leaf – 1 cup leaf to 2 cups boiling water and steep 10-15 minutes. Let cool and add to a small bucket of water or pour on feed. Some horses will eat the tops of the raspberry plant without it being added to anything. Raspberry helps with uterine contractions and cramping, is very nutritious, and makes delivery easier.

For extra nourishment for pregnant and lactating mares : Give twice a week.
1C alfalfa leaves and flowers (do not give alfalfa more than twice a week. It can cause white blood cell destruction in large quantities. Also make sure to not use alfalfa seeds ever.)
1C dried nettle leaf
1C dried oat straw
1/2 C crushed rose hips

See our Pet Circkles article on Barefoot Trimming a Horse.

NATURAL PET REMEDIES for Fleas.

dog-scratching

1 part dye and perfume free dish soap such as Palmolive Free and Clear, or Dawn.

1 part white vinegar.

Two parts warm water.

Mix well and apply liberally in the shower, tub, or outside with a squirt bottle. Work it down into your pets fur especially around the ears, neck and belly area. Wait 10-15 minutes and and rinse. Repeat it twice to maximize effectiveness and in case more eggs have hatched since the last time you did it.
Those fleas which do not drop out dead are washed away when you rinse. Very effective.

“I didn’t think this would work well but I was blown away. The fleas came off like clumps of dirt. I used half cup each of vinegar & dish soap to one cup water mixed in an empty dish soap squeeze bottle.” ~ Scarpia

For more Articles on Pet Health, see our monthly publication of Pet Circkles.

NATURAL PET REMEDIES: Constipation in Pets.

sad_dog_BWIn older animals, digestion can start to slow down just as it does with us. If your pet seems to be straining, and makes frequent toilet attempts, or their stools seem very hard, constipation may be the problem. Adding pumpkin, sweet potatoes or prunes to food could get things started again, but do not give prune pits as they are toxic to people and pets.

Add small amounts of vegetable fiber to their food every day. Dogs do not need nearly as much fiber to get things moving as humans do because their digestive tract is much shorter. Start with about 1/4 cup of prunes, pumpkin or sweet potatoes mixed in with their regular food daily for about a week and monitor your pets stools to make sure they are not getting diarrhea. Then adjust the amounts of fiber accordingly. If they need more, adjust it very slowly and in small amounts, for instance, add an additional 2-3 tablespoons of fiber each day for a week and see how they respond. If your pet is elderly and inactive, they may need this extra fiber for the rest of their lives. Adding fresh vegetable to their daily food will help a great deal. Make about 10%-20% of their meal rations vegetables every day.

For more Articles on Pet Health, see the main articles in our monthly publication Pet Circkles.

Natural Pet Remedies: Separation Anxiety in dogs

spaniel_boneAs our article in our November 2014 pet archive says, dogs left alone for long hours can become chronic barkers or destructive, so here are some clever natural toys or games to keep them busy while you are gone.

Raw bones: If you have a butcher who will save bones for you, or can find the large, round leg bones with the marrow in the middle, these will keep a dog busy for a while. A plus to these bones is you can use them as a natural alternative to plastic and rubber Kongs. When your dog licks the marrow out of the middle of the bone, save the bone and fill it with peanut butter or raw hamburger to get several uses out of it. Raw bones also keep a dog’s teeth clean. The best bones for a good teeth cleaning are beef rib bones. Buy a pack of beef ribs and cut them into individual bones. Leave the meat on them to give your dog extra nutrition. They will often work on picking rib bones clean for hours.

Music: Many dogs find music on a low volume soothing and it puts them to sleep. Try leaving the radio or t.v on while you are away to help with seperation anxiety.

Nervousness or Separation Anxiety in Pets.

valerian root herb

Dogs are pack animals and do not like to be alone, It’s against their survival instincts. So we shouldn’t be so disciplinary on them when they act out in this regard. They are just acting out against what is not natural for them.

A natural helping aid for anxiety in pets are a couple herbal solutions below.

1 part Skullcap, 1 part valerian to half a cup of simmering water made into a tea and administered orally. 1/2 cup per 50lbs of body weight. It can be drizzled over their dry food. Valerian smells really strong and you may not get it passed a delicate nose. If not, just use skullcap tea.

Many people also use Bach Flower Remedies for calming pets as well. Use half the human dosage for large dogs, a quarter of the human dosage for a medium to small dog.

Diet will go a long way to calming down a nervous dog and making sure they get plenty of outdoor exercise. A well-balanced raw food diet gives a dog more nutrients, especially B vitamins which are necessary for healthy nervous function.

For more Articles on Pet Health, see our monthly publication of Pet Circkles.

Natural Remedy for Diarrhea in Pets.

blackberryChronic diarrhea should always be addressed immediately by a Vet as it can lead to dehydration or be a sign of something more serious.

But if it’s an isolated incident, such as your pet just ate or drank something that caused it, or it’s a mild case, blackberry leaf tea is an excellent remedy and well tolerated by most pets.

Make a strong tea (more like an infusion) by steeping 1 Tbsp of the leaf in 1/4 cup hot water for 10-15 minutes. Squeeze excess liquid out of the leaves into the tea. When the tea cools, simply drizzle it over some dry food. Most pets like the taste. You may need to give 2-3 doses every 6-8 hours to clear up the diarrhea.

ECE Virus or Green Slime in Ferrets.

China27Black Walnut Hull works great for ECE (Epizootic Catarrhal Enteritis) and is much safer than using Colloidal Silver. Make a strong fusion by simmering 1 Tbsp black walnut hulls or root in 1/2 C water for 20-30 minutes. Add 2-3 drops of this to 1 C. drinking water every day for a minimum of 2-3 weeks or until green stools subside. Also use as a preventative any time ferrets come in contact with other strange ferrets at the Vets office or when boarding them for they are sure to contract the virus from other ferrets.

You can also use 2-3 drops of black walnut hull extract or tincture in 1 C drinking water but use the no-alcohol extracts.

 

Natural Pet Remedies: Rain rot in horses.

rain-rotWith rain rot, the horse’s hair will stand up in a pattern in one area, and the area will feel warm and sensitive to touch. The next day, sensitive scabs appear. Rain rot–a skin condition caused by Dermatophilus spp., bacteria commonly present on a horse’s hair coat. Rain, followed by humid conditions, enables the organism to multiply,which irritates the hair follicles and skin of afflicted horses.

Peroxide Remedy: Mix a 16-ounce bottle of mineral oil (baby oil is OK), a 16-ounce bottle of 3 percent USP hydrogen peroxide, and a half-ounce bottle of tincture of iodine in a bucket. Sponge it on the affected areas and let it set overnight. This will soften and lift the scabs, soothe and lubricate the skin, and kill the bug. Next day, shampoo your horse with a mild shampoo and let the area air-dry, preferably in the sun. NOTE: Don’t put this concoction in a sealed container. It’ll bubble up and explode.

Herbal Remedy: Mix 3-4 drops of tea tree essential oil in a cup of grapeseed or mineral oil. Mix well. Wipe it on the affected area 3-4 times a day for 2-3 days until it clears up. This is less irritating than the hydrogen peroxide remedy above and tea tree oil is very effective at killing bacteria without causing irritation to the already sensitive skin.