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Dr. Doug Knueven Weekend Part 2: Herbal Medicine & Homeopathy for Pets March 29, 2009

Posted by hollythenewfcom in Natural Dog Health Care.
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Dr. Doug Knueven & Holly The Newf

Dr. Doug Knueven & Holly The Newf

Dr. Doug Knueven’s talk on herbal medicine was quite interesting. Zoopharmacognosy is the study of how animals use herbs medicinally. The idea is that if an animal has a specific problem, the animal would chew on a specific plant to cure the problem instinctively. Herbal medicine has been used all over the world for thousands of years. Dr. Doug explained how to use Clark’s Rule to figure out the dosage for a pet. Take the weight of your pet divided by 150 (average weight of an adult human – 150 lbs.) and this equals the fraction of a human dose to use in herbal medicine. Certain herbs can be potentially toxic. Pennyroyal, tea tree oil, white willow bark, ma huang, comfrey, dandelion, parsley, motherwart, hawthorn, goldenscal, barberry, echinacca, reishi, maitake, and astragalus can all have varying degrees of toxicity in pets. Dr. Doug warned us to be careful if you have your dog on an herb that would promote bleeding before the dog has surgery. Then Dr. Doug went through a list of his favorite herbs for dealing with different kinds of problems. St. John’s Wort has a calming effect that can be used for separation anxiety or any kind of nerve injury. Chamomile can be used for excessive barking since it has a calming effect. You can use chamomile tea as an ear flush. If your animal has a hot spot, cook oatmeal in chamomile tea, put it on the animal’s hot spot for 10 to 15 minutes and then let the animal eat it. Chamomile can cause a skin irritation if your pet has a ragweed allergy. Licorice can be used as an anti-inflammatory for gi tract and respiratory. It can help with cough, dermatitis, ulcers, IBD, cancer, infections, and arthritis. Watch using Licorice in animals with liver, kidney or heart problems since long term use can cause sodium retention. Milk Thistle can be used as an antioxidant in protecting and restoring the liver. Oregon Grape is an antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and digestive aid that is good for infections and sluggish digestion. Use Oregon Grape with caution in a pet with liver disease.

Then Dr. Doug moved into Kim’s favorite subject, homeopathy for pets. Homeopathy is based on the principle that “like cures like.” Symptoms of disease are the body’s natural defense mechanism (such as nasal discharge or a cough) and are not meant to be controlled, managed or eliminated since this suppresses the disease as opposed to allowing the body to cure itself. In homeopathy, the whole patient is treated as opposed to allopathic medicine where symptoms are treated. Dr. Doug recommended Arnica for trauma, crushing injuries, bruising, and after surgery. In our own home, we had great success with Arnica when my kitten, Mr. Kitten Britches, had to be spayed. Kim asked her local vet to put two pellets of Arnica 30C on Mr. K’s tongue immediately after surgery and every four hours after surgery until we picked him up. In a few hours after the surgery, Mr. K’s swelling was completely gone and his appetite and energy level had returned. In fact, Kim’s husband Jim had to have knee surgery several weeks later. Kim used Arnica 200C alternated with Hypernicum 200C every two hours after Jim’s surgery for 2 days. He didn’t have to take any of the nasty pain killers the hospital sent him home with. Dr. Doug also suggested Apis for insect bites and stings, Ledum for puncture wounds, Nux Vomica for hairballs, Aconitum for sudden fright and panic, Lachesis for jealousy, Caulophyllum for labor difficulties, and Thuja for symptoms resulting from vaccination. Dr. Doug recommended the best way to give a homeopathic treatment to a pet is to use the 30C potency in pellet form, give 2 to 10 pellets(the number is not important), dump them onto a folded piece of paper and then into the mouth, and don’t touch them with your hands.

In the next installment of my Dr. Doug Knueven Holistic Pet Care Seminar blog series, I’ll be talking about the benefits of animal chiropractic and pet massage.