Monday, December 14, 2009

NSAID Drugs and Natural Alternatives for Pets


Veterinary NSAIDs Approved for Use In Dogs:


ETOGESIC (etodolac)
RIMADYL (carprofen)
METACAM (meloxicam)
DERAMAXX (deracoxib)
PREVICOX (firocoxib)
ZUBRIN (tepoxalin)
NOVOX (carprofen)

What are NSAIDs?
NSAIDs are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs used to control the symptoms of arthritis, including inflammation, swelling, stiffness, and joint pain. Inflammation is the bodys natural response to irritation or injury and is characterized by redness, heat, swelling, and pain. NSAIDs work by blocking the production of prostaglandins, chemicals produced by the body that cause inflammation. Some NSAIDs may also be used to control post-surgical pain.


NSAID Side Effects
Despite the FDA's stamp of approval a drug's risks may not be fully known until the drug is widely sold. Some NSAID side effects can be serious or life threatening. Common side effects seen with the use of NSAIDs in dogs may affect the kidneys, liver, and gastrointestinal tract and may include:

Not eating or eating less
Lethargy, depression, changes in behavior
Vomiting
Diarrhea, black tarry colored stool
Yellowing of gums, skin, or the whites of the eyes
Changes in drinking habits
Changes in skin (scabs, redness, or scratching)
Kidney/Liver failure

Adverse Events
Through November 2004, the FDA received almost 13,000 adverse-event reports about Rimadyl, far more than for any other dog pain reliever.


Pfizer's database includes almost 20,000 adverse-event reports. The FDA's data include those "possibly" or "probably" linked to the drug. Adverse events for all drugs are believed to be under-reported.

Deramaxx has been used by about 1 million dogs since its 2002 launch, owner Novartis says. The FDA's data include 2,813 adverse-event reports for Deramaxx, including 630 dogs who died or were put down.

If you suspect a possible side effect to a NSAID medication, STOP giving the drug to your dog and call your veterinarian immediately!



Natural Alternatives to NSAIDs
Why not look into natural options such as Cosequin, Glucosamine, Chondroitin Sulfate, Green Lipped Sea Mussel Extract, Glycoflex, Cartiflex. Alert: dogs with diabetes should not take glucosamine, which is in Cosequin and many other holistic formulations. We have seen exceptional results using high grade human herbal products for dogs with osteoarthritis. To easily calculate dosages from human products for dog or cat use we recommend "Pet Remedy Charts" Herbs to the Rescue for Dogs or Herbs to the Rescue for Cats.



Turmeric / Curcumin
The rhizome (root) of turmeric ( Curcuma longa Linn.) a popular cooking spice, has long been used in traditional Asian medicine to relieve arthritic pain. Laboratory and animal research has demonstrated anti-inflammatory, hepatoprotective, enhances wound healing, prevents platelet aggregation, lipoxygenase inhibitor, antioxidant, and anti-cancer properties of turmeric and its constituent curcumin. Potential interactions: Based on animal studies, turmeric's blood thinning properties may cause problems in patients taking blood thinning drugs (warfarin). Turmeric should be stopped prior to scheduled surgery. Turmeric may lower blood sugar and should be used with caution in animals being treated for diabetes or hypoglycemia. Powdered turmeric can be given in capsule form or mixed into food. To easily calculate dosages for natural remedies we recommend using "Pet Remedy Charts."

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Vaccines




Sensible Guidelines

Whether or not to vaccinate is an individual decision, and deciding what to do can be a difficult choice. While some veterinarians and owners refuse to vaccinate altogether, many others take a middle ground approach. They inoculate against only the most life-threatening conditions, give one vaccination at a time, and detoxify the animal afterwards. Here, in more detail, are what we think are sensible guidelines to follow:
You may want to vaccinate only for the most important communicable diseases. Because of the dangers associated with vaccines, many holistic veterinarians encourage pet owners to take a long look at the risks and benefits of each vaccine, and to choose only the ones most needed. When two or more are necessary, space shots two to three weeks apart or rotate vaccines so that the animal is not getting several every year. Three vaccines that most holistic veterinarians recommend for dogs and cats are those for rabies, distemper, and parvovirus.

The rabies vaccine is high-risk for vaccinosis in a percentage of dogs and cats - but it's necessary as it is required by law for all dogs and cats in most localities. To minimize side effects, the rabies vaccine should be given by itself, signally, and homeopathic antidotes - discussed later, under 'Vaccinosis' - should be given at the same time.

Distemper is a fatal disease that strikes both dogs and cats that can be easily controlled with a vaccination which has been around since the 1950s. This vaccination does not seem to be a threat to animals and does more good than it has ever done harm.

Parvovirus is another lethal canine disease. Since a vaccine was developed in the late 70s, the incidence of parvovirus in domestic dogs has also been lowered.

The Holistic View

Our position on vaccines is not anti-vaccines, but rather pro vaccine-safety. That means, we strongly believe that we should only inject substances into our pet's body, and especially into the bodies of puppies, kittens and the unborn, that have been rigorously studied and proven safe both short-term and long-term.

In the opinion of many holistic vets, the, canine and feline rabies (mandatory by law), canine and feline distemper, and canine parvovirus are the only vaccines that should indisputably be given to all pets.

With regard to other vaccinations, each case needs to be considered individually.

Feline leukemia is a disease against which cats are routinely vaccinated, and yet the vaccine is not all that effective. Not only that, but there are problems. Feline leukemia is one of the vaccinations to which cats may have serious adverse reactions, including injection-site fibrosarcoma tumors, which must be surgically removed, sometimes along with the limb they are associated with. In light of this, the owner of an indoor-only cat, who is not likely to come into contact with any other cats, may feel confident in not giving the feline leukemia vaccine to their pet (only 1 percent of indoor-only cats manifest the disease -- 30 percent of outdoor cats develop an acute form of the disease). By the way, if your cat tests positive for feline leukemia be sure to test again in three weeks to be extra certain that the first result was not a false positive reading.

It is a good idea to avoid vaccines of lesser importance, especially when there are other, less drastic ways to treat the condition. For the average, healthy pet, the corona virus is nothing more than a short lived case of off color diarrhea that goes away on its own in a few days if the animal is kept quiet and warm. A less healthy pet might succumb to this infection, even here the usefulness of the corona vaccine has not been established.

Boarding kennels will only take animals that are inoculated annually with the bordetella vaccine. A problem with the procedure is that kennels will take animals the day of or after they've been vaccinated, long before immunity to the disease has had a chance to develop. In fact, after a single vaccination of bordetella, you need to wait two to three weeks and then follow with a booster before getting any sort of immunity at all. I myself have known of two dogs who were inoculated nasally who died right after the procedure due to an allergic reaction to the vaccine. Bordetella (kennel cough) to me, is like a human being getting a cold. You get over it. If your animal has had the inoculation once and its immunity is proven via blood titer, haver you veterinarian write the kennel a note so stating, along with a copy of the results of the titer for proof. As an extra precaution, supply your pet with extra vitamin C and echinacea during its stay.

There is quite a bit of concern about animals, especially those in the Northeastern states, contracting Lyme disease. While this fear might be somewhat overplayed (only 5 percent of dogs that are bitten by ticks contract the disease), you will still need to take preventive measures; however, vaccinations are not the hoped-for-solution. In fact, both shore and long term effects of the Lyme vaccine are proving to be as devastating as the disease itself, or even more so. Soon after the inoculation pain, the animal may have local reactions such as swelling, pain, and even an allergic reaction leading to breathing difficulties. Later on deeper difficulties may develop. These include immune suppression and autoimmune reactions in any number of body systems. Thus, your dog or cat may develop seizures, arthritis, dermatitis, or thyroiditis. Repeating the Lyme vaccine annually could prove devastating with the development of kidney or liver disease, or even cancer. It would be a better idea to have your animal's Lyme titer checked yearly.

Dos and Don'ts of Vaccinating

Before vaccinating, always consider the health of your animal. Is pet lively and vigorous, or does it have symptoms of an immune system that is already compromised? If your pet is fighting cancer, for example, or experiencing a flare-up of a chronic skin problem, it's best not to further disrupt its immune system with a vaccine. Although vaccine labels clearly state, "for healthy animals only," some veterinarians will vaccinate sick animals regardless of the warning unless an informed owner insists the animal not be vaccinated at the time.

If the animal is undergoing another medical procedure, such as neutering, your vet may think this is an opportune time to vaccinate, but you should never allow it. Multiple procedures, anesthetics, and medications will place further stress on the immune system and at the same time may lessen the effectiveness of the vaccine.

Never vaccinate an animal that is younger than 6 weeks old. Preferably, shots should begin at between 9 and 16 weeks. Very young animals acquire a natural immunity through the antibodies in their mother's colostrum, the first milk feedings. This protection may last as long as 14 to 16 weeks. When vaccines are given too early, maternal antibodies may interfere with the immune response.

Vaccination Schedule

PUPPIES

9 weeks - distemper, modified-live vaccine (killed not available)
12 weeks - parvovirus, killed vaccine
15 weeks - repeat nine-week immunization
18 weeks - repeat parvovirus, killed vaccine
21 weeks - rabies, killed vaccine (three-year, if possible)

KITTENS
9 weeks - feline distemper/rhinotracheitis/ calicivirus vaccine (combination only)
12 weeks - repeat nine-week immunization
15 weeks - rabies, killed vaccine (three-year, if possible)

Vaccines should be given singly. (Especially true of the rabies vaccine.) Avoid combination vaccines, which may be convenient to use but are detrimental to the health of your pet. Ask your veterinarian to order individual vaccines (although for some vaccines, this is not possible) and to give just one shot per visit. Additional vaccines should be spaced at least one week apart, or preferably two or three weeks apart. Also, used killed vaccines, when these are available. Modified-live vaccines are banned in Scandinavia because their abilities to replicate and mutate make them far more dangerous.


Detoxification/Vaccinosis

Detoxification after an inoculation is essential. To offset possible negative side effects from vaccines, many holistic veterinarians give their patients the homeopathic remedy Thuja, which is considered the most important antidote for preventing or reversing vaccine-induced illnesses. Realize, however, that Thuja, like vaccines, is not a panacea, and that the best approach is to vaccinate as little as possible.

Thuja can be bought online or in health food stores that carry homeopathic remedies. Use a 30C potency for any size or any age animal.

One homeopathic pellet is crushed and placed on the tongue once daily, an hour before or after a feeding for seven days after a vaccination to help eliminate compromising effects on the immune system.

Things That May Help


Request that your veterinarian use 25 gauge needles when administering vaccines to your cat. Small hypodermic needles are less likely to carry irritating hair and debris under the skin.

Request that your veterinarian massage the area where the vaccine was administered. Massage spreads out the antigen (vaccine) lessening inflammation.

Veterinarians that see many cases of VAS sometimes begin giving their vaccinations in a lower rear leg. Although the plan is somewhat gruesome they realize that a tumor occurring on the leg would allow the leg to be lost but the cat to be saved.

Be sure your veterinarian keeps accurate records of the brand of vaccine used and the site where it was given. Although this may not help your pet, it will help us to determine which brands of vaccine may be causing problems. To identify the vaccine used, it is now recommend that the feline panleukopenia-calicivirus-chlamydia-rhinotracheitis vaccination be given on the right shoulder. Rabies vaccination should be given on the right rear leg as far down the leg as possible. Feline leukemia vaccination should be given on the same spot on the left rear leg.

For more information on using natural remedies for pets visit our website at: http://www.petremedycharts.com

Antifreeze Poisoning

The Humane society of the United States estimates that tens of thousands of companion animals and wildlife fall prey to ethylene glycol (EG) poisonings and death every year and claim it to be one of the most dangerous household hazards in America.

The American Association of Poison Control Centers reported 2,372 accidental poisonings related to Ethylene Glycol (EG) antifreeze in 1987. 765 of these were children under six years of age. In 2003, The Consumer Product Safety Commission reported that nearly 1,400 children were admitted to emergency rooms due to antifreeze poisoning.

Yearly around 10,000 dogs, cats and children fall victim to accidental poisoning by automobile antifreeze. It doesn't take much either. A few licks or a few ounces is all that has to be consumed to be fatal to a dog, cat or kid.

Antifreeze poisoning occurs in two phases. In the first phase, the animal typically appears groggy, lethargic, uncoordinated and disorientated. Symptoms usually appear about 30 minutes to one hour after ingestion and can last for several hours.

The second phase, which can last up to three days, is characterized by symptoms such as vomiting, oral and gastric ulcers, kidney failure, coma and death.

Veterinarians say that antifreeze is the number one cause of poisoning in pets; within a few hours of ingestion, byproducts of ethylene glycol produce crystals that cause severe and life-threatening liver and kidney damage as the body tries to remove them.

Cats are particularly sensitive, with as little as one teaspoon being fatal, and it barley takes an ounce to kill a 15 pound dog.

If you suspect your animal may have ingested antifreeze get your pet to an emergency veterinary facility immediately - Minutes can make a difference between life or and excruciating death!

The real tragedy is that this lethal substance can inexpensively and easily be made harmless at the time of manufacturing by adding a bittering agent called Denatonium Benzoate. Denatonium benzoate, is the worlds most bitter substance and is a harmless compound that, even in extremely small quantities, makes ingestion impossible. It is harmless to people, animals, plants and the environment. And at the addition of 30 parts per million it will make antifreeze totally unpalatable. We're not talking big bucks here either, one (1) teaspoon per 50 gallons of antifreeze at a cost of pennies per gallon - It comes to about 3 or 4 cents!

Way back in May of 2005 U.S. Senator George Allen and U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman introduced legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, respectively, requiring antifreeze to contain a bittering agent to render the substance unpalatable to pets and children. We wonder why, legislators and manufacturers still haven't pushed this one through?

Here's the good news, there's something we can all do to help right away. The first step is to begin by taking a look under your hood. What color is the liquid in the plastic coolant reservoir... Is it green? Is it red? If so your car's cooling system is more than likely filled with antifreeze containing the lethal chemical Ethylene Glycol. Technically at any moment, all it would take would be a minor traffic accident or a leaky hose, gasket, radiator or water pump to release a toxic spill into the environment or even just a drip onto your driveway that has an inviting aroma, a sweet flavor that will entice animals and children to taste or drink the highly poisonous substance. Most of which do not recover from its deadly effects.

HERE'S WHAT YOU CAN DO: replace the poison in your car with an essentially non-toxic product that works just as well and lasts much longer. Look for engine coolant products formulated with propylene glycol (PG). As compared to ethylene glycol (EG), propylene glycol (EG) is less toxic and safer for children, pets, and wildlife in the environment. Propylene glycol is used at specified levels in the formulation of many consumer products including cosmetics, pet food, and certain over-the-counter medications.

The non-toxic version works just as well in your car too. A recent General Motors service bulletin states, "It is our conclusion that propylene glycol engine coolants will perform adequately under most vehicle operating conditions" and that "... propylene glycol engine coolant may be used in GM vehicles and will not affect the warranty coverage."

We found the safer (containing propylene glycol) antifreeze coolant available at most automotive stores such as: Kragen, ACE, Schucks, Checker auto parts and NAPA.

Take Immediate Action

# 1. CALL - If you suspect antifreeze poisoning call an emergency veterinary clinic, your veterinarian or if you can't reach someone immediately call the ASPCA 24 hour poison hot line at (888) 426-4435. The animal must be treated within 3-4 hours of ingestion, before irreversible kidney damage is done.

# 2. INDUCE VOMITING - PURGE THE POISON. In cases of antifreeze poisoning, getting your pet to vomit is the most important thing that you can do. To induce vomiting, give hydrogen peroxide at 1 teaspoon per 10 lbs of body weight. If your pet doesn't vomit in 10 minutes, repeat again. NEVER do more than 2 treatments of peroxide. You can also try salt: dilute 1 teaspoon of salt in a tablespoon of water per every 10lbs of body weight.

NOTE: DO NOT INDUCE VOMITING if something caustic has been consumed (such as drain cleaner or bleach).

# 3. RACE TO VET - DELAY ABSORPTION. Activated charcoal is readily available at most pharmacies. It delays absorption of any toxin by binding to the toxic compound in the stomach. The easiest way is to give charcoal is in capsule form.

The veterinarian will give your dog 4-methylpyrazole or your cat ethanol to keep the antifreeze from breaking down into toxins.

Supportive Remedies

After professional veterinary care many holistic veterinarians recommend enzyme supplements, probiotics, and essential fatty acids, as well as taurine, which the kidneys contain and which plays an important role in your pet's kidney health.

Herbal formulas and nutritional supplements may help maximize kidney function, including those containing diuretics like carrot, dandelion, and sesame seed; antioxidants like blueberries and lactoferrin; anti-inflammatories like turmeric, wheat grass, and barley grass; desiccated sea plankton with electrolytes to help kidneys function better; and chlorella which could speed healing of damaged kidney tissue.

Homeopathic remedies to consider: If used early enough, Lycopodium 200c may help to limit the damage to the liver and the kidneys. If after giving Lycopodium there is kidney damage, think about Apocynum 200c.

For guidance and complete dosing instructions, we recommend using "Pet Remedy Charts" for the species specific modalities.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Probiotics for Pets

Friendly microbes known as probiotics come in a variety of species. Probiotics are beneficial micro-organisms that are normally found in the body. They can be purchased in health food stores in supplemental form made for people as well as veterinary products made for pets. They feature Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacteria bifidum, which occur naturally in the animal's large intestine. These supplements were generally thought of as a simple aid to better digestion.

Here lately though, the scientific community's view of the probiotic universe has become as outdated as the theory of the world being flat. For one thing, science discovered a number of beneficial microbes occupying niches all along a pet's gastrointestinal tract. They also came to the conclusion that probiotics provide animals with other benefits that go far beyond their digestive effects.

Specialized Colonies
Probiotic bacteria are usually seen as inhabitants of the large intestine. It's true that a healthy animal's colon harbors hundreds of beneficial species (amounting to trillions of individual organisms) while some sections of the gastrointestinal tract, most notably the stomach and upper small intestine, of the dog and cat do not provide an ideal probiotic environment because of acidity. But we now know that other parts of the pet's digestive system are inhabited by their own specialized colonies of healthful microbes.

The lower small intestine, the part that connects to the large intestine, plays host to its own probiotic community. One of the organisms found there, Lactobacillus sporogenes (also called Bacillus coagulans), has shown an ability to fight destructive free radicals.

Better Digestion Plus +
Friendly bacteria make vitamins right in the pet's intestines, including A, B1, B3, B6, B12 and Biotin. They also aid hormone balance and, of course improve elimination. Probiotics help synthesize vitamins and allow the animal's body to more readily absorb other nutrients, particularly minerals. They protect the digestive tract's mucosal barrier and inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria. And probiotics help keep a potentially troublesome yeast called Candida, and other infections, in check. What's more, probiotic supplements can help regulate a pet's immune function. Nearly 80% of all immune cells in the animal's body reside within the intestines, where they defend against harmful bacteria. Probiotics not only help stimulate the immune system when needed but will also help tone down an overactive immune response which accompanies most chronic skin allergies and respiratory problems.

The animal's delicate probiotic balance can be upset by illness, stress, poor diet, and drug treatments. This is especially the case with use of antibiotics, which kill the good bacteria right along with the bad. This often leads to gastrointestinal upsets such as appetite loss, vomiting, diarrhea and irritable bowel syndrome. Supplementing probiotics during drug use has been found to help lessen the discomforts and irritation to the intestinal lining. In this case the animal should be given the probiotic at least 1 hour after taking the medication for maximum effectiveness. Dosage: If you us a human product, calculate an animal's dose according to it's size. I recommend using a probiotic for at least 1 month in such cases and ideally for two or three months to fully reestablish the beneficial bacterial colony in the gut.

Probiotic supplements whether manufactured for human or animal ingestion need to contain enough live organisms to be effective; the manufacturer should provide lab verification of viability on the label. A quality product should also contain a prebiotic, a substance that feeds the microbes. Such as that found in acai pulp (A high-energy berry from the Amazon Rainforest high in, antioxidants, amino acids, and essential fatty acids).

Improved digestion alone is certainly reason enough to give probiotics to our pets. But when taking into account all their other benefits it isn't going to be the only reason.

Dosing Guidelines: To help you easily calculate doses or adapt human herbal or nutritional products for use with dogs, cat, horses or birds use the "Dosing Guidelines" on Side 2 of the "Herbs to the Rescue" chart from "Pet Remedy Charts".

We invite you to visit our website for more information on natural pet health care at: http://www.petremedycharts.com

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Garlic Supplements for Dogs


Garlic (Allium sativum)

A member of the lily family, Garlic is the same genus (Allium) as onion. The latin translation of Allium means "hot" or "burning," and the word "garlic" translates to "spear plant." This refers to the leaves of the garlic plant that have a spearlike shape.

Plant Properties

Raw garlic cloves contain a high amount of a sulfur-containing compound called allin, as well as the enzyme alliinase. When raw garlic is chewed or crushed, the allliin comes into contact with the alliinase enzyme, which forms the compound allicin (it's medicinal property). When alliinase is heated, however, it becomes inactive. So, if you cook it is won't be nearly so therapeutic as it is in it's raw state. Garlic also contains amino acids, vitamins, and minerals such as selenium and germanium.

Clinical Uses

• Antimicrobial Effects

Garlic has a wide spectrum of antimicrobial activity against viruses, bacteria, fungi and worms. Garlic seems to work best in building immunity and preventing infections, rather than treating acute conditions ― with the exception of respiratory tract infections like bronchitis, and pneumonia.

Animals who have immune suppressive conditions, are at serious risk of developing secondary infections from many different organisms. Garlic is one natural option that can help with protection from these infectious agents.

• Heart Disease

Inhibits platelet aggregation (blood clotting). Long-term use of garlic helps to protect the elasticity of arteries. Lowers blood pressure.

• Cancer

Garlic's sulfur compounds are key in preventing some cancers by helping to control carcinogens (cancer-causing substances).

• Systemic Toxicity

Garlic is one of the best foods and supplements to use to promote detoxification. The high sulfur content helps the liver to detoxify various substances so that they can be metabolized and excreted from the body.

• Ear Infections / Ear Mites

• Garlic oil can used to treat ear infection and ear mites.

Garlic Is A Hot Little Number!

Although there is no known toxicity in it's natural state caution should be used with regard to safety and effectiveness when choosing a garlic preparation to give to dogs.

In a scientific study the effects of garlic products, including dehydrated raw garlic powder, dehydrated boiled garlic powder and aged garlic extract, on the gastric mucosa of dogs were determined using three commonly sold preparations, raw capsule garlic powder caused severe mucosal damage, including erosion. Boiled garlic powder also caused inflammation and reddening of the mucosa, whereas aged garlic powder did not cause any undesirable effects. Among the garlic preparations, Aged Garlic Extract could be the most suitable form, particularly for long-term use. Aging in particular may be the most effective method to eliminate the toxic effects of raw garlic. When supplementing pets we recommend using, "Kyolic" Aged Garlic Extract.

The safety of enteric-coated garlic products was also studied. Direct administration of pulverized enteric-coated products on the gastric mucosa caused reddening of the mucosa in test animals (dogs). When an enteric-coated tablet was administered orally, it caused loss of epithelial cells at the top of crypts in the ileum in the intestinal tract. Enteric-coated garlic products by pass the stomach and deliver garlic directly into the intestine, which is not a traditional route for garlic intake in any species!

Historic use of garlic as a condiment and herb has always been via oral ingestion and not via direct delivery into the stomach or intestines, in the form of a concentrated, standardized surprise! The safety of such delivery systems for garlic is unknown not to mention unnatural!

Contraindications of Use

• The use of garlic is contraindicated in animals who are anemic. Research indicates that garlic causes a type of anemia in animals, especially in cats. Even in healthy subjects it is a good idea to dose in moderation.

• Garlic does have natural blood-thinning effects, so if your pet is on blood-thinning prescription drugs, or if your animal needs surgery garlic should not be used.

• The use of garlic should also be temporarily avoided in bitches or mares who are nursing young. Garlic can change the taste and smell of the mother's milk. It can also contribute to colic because it passes from breast milk into the baby's intestinal system.

How To Give Garlic To Dogs

For safety, we recommend using an odor-free, aged extract, such as the brand ‣ "Kayolic Aged Garlic Extract."

Dosage:

Dogs:
Small dogs get 1/2 capsule Aged Extract daily, with the dosage increasing with the pet's size, ranging up to 2 capsules given in a split dose, depending on the dogs weight. Or, you can add 1/2 to 1 small minced/pressed clove daily mixed into a meal.

http://www.petremedycharts.com

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Upper Respiratory Infections in Cats


Natural Remedies

Note: Veterinary diagnosis is essential.

Symptoms: Discharge from one or both nostrils. The mucous discharge (catarrh) may build up and cause partial obstruction of the nose and difficulty in breathing. The cat may have to breath through it's mouth. The discharge may be thin and watery, thick, or stringy. The color may vary from yellow or green to greenish-yellow and it may contain blood. The cat may also have bouts of sneezing, runny eyes and a cough. Loss of appetite often accompanies the problem because the cat is unable to smell its food.

Homeopathy to the Rescue

The color, consistency and type of discharge produced, along with the cat's temperament is the guiding information that you can use to help you select the best remedy.

Natrum Muriaticum 30c, three times daily for 5-7 days only if needed. Stop dosing as soon as the cat improves. Only repeat dosing if the symptoms return. Chronic sinus infections. An egg white like thin watery discharge that last for 1 to 3 days then the nose becomes blocked and stuffed up. Violent sneezing (if this remedy is used early on during the sneezing period it can stop a cold in it's tracks). Loss of smell and taste. Loss of appetite. The eyes may tear, look wet and sticky. There may be coughing. The animal may be irritable, oversensitive and want to be left alone. Weakness and debility.

Hepar Sulphuris 30c, twice daily until improved, up to 7 days. Hepar. Sulph., is beneficial if there is infection present in the sinuses and the nose becomes sensitive to pressure or touch. The pet may rub it's nose and eyes due to burning an itching. Keynotes to this remedy are: red eyes, scabby nostrils, red anus, etc. These animals typically have a weak immune response. Their disposition can be sensitive to even the slightest impressions. These animals may have unhealthy skin, eruptions and glandular swellings. Show signs of chilliness and prefer to be covered and warm. Bouts of sneezing from going out into the cold. Thick, offensive smelling discharge and ulcerated nostrils. Sulphur pets may be quite thirsty for frequent drinks of water but lack appetite for food. The often feel worse in the morning.

Silica 30c, twice daily or until improved, for up to 5 to 10 days. Silica's nature is yielding and anxious, nervous and excitable. The silica type usually have one infection after another. They have a poor immune response, generally have poor skin, teeth, gums and lack energy. This remedy is useful if the condition has become chronic and longstanding with a whitish color pus-like discharge. If the animal is sensitive to cold, touch and noise, has a history of repeated vaccinations and it's body type is thin and weak think, Silica.

Kali Muriaticum 6c, twice daily for up to 4 to 8 weeks or until improved. This remedy is of great value when there is a profuse buildup of thick white mucus in stuffy colds. This remedy is useful when sinusitis and excess mucus production has become chronic. With mouth breathing, scabby eyes, repeated bouts of throat inflammation. Swollen glands. The animal may sneeze early in the day. The nose may be obstructed with loss of smell. Dry, hard bloody crusts of blood around the nose.

Arsenicum Album 30, once daily until improved, up to 5 to 7 days. Arsenicum animal may show signs of anguish and restlessness and feel worse in the evening. Show great exhaustion after the slightest exertion. Their discharge is often green, watery and very acrid which makes the nostrils sore and inflamed. The discharge may start or be heaviest on the right side. The face may be painful. The eyelids may be red, ulcerated, scabby and red. The nose may be stopped up causing the animal to sneeze frequently without relief. Cleanliness is a charcteristic of the Arsinicum state — the animal may spend a lot of time trying to clean their nose. There may be bleeding from the nose. The throat may be sore making it hard to swallow. The Ars. patient will generally be, fearful, thirsty and chilly.

Kali Bichromicum 200c, liquid dose every two hours until improved, then stop dosing. Repeat dosing only if the symptoms return. For ongoing cases where the mucus is very thick, greenish-yellow, sticky and stringy. The nose may become obstructed resulting in violent sneezing. Sore throat often accompanies the nasal congestion and the animal may show signs of difficulty swallowing. These animals usually will have a thick crusty build up around the nose, that does not come off easily. If you try to remove it, the skin will come off too, resulting in bleeding sores. If the mucus is sticky and thick, to the point of making the animal feel like it is suffocating because it is almost impossible for them to breath, think Kali Bic.

Pulsatilla 30c, 3-4 times daily until improved. This is a right sided remedy so you would choose it particularly if the right nostril was blocked. The nose may have dried green flaky discharge in the early part of the day. The mucus can be thick then thin, it may alternate back and forth changing color and consistency from yellow to clear to greenish-yellow. The Pulsatilla temperament is usually sweet and clingy.

Acupressure Points for Respiratory Infections in Cats

LI20: This point is located on both sides of the cat's face in the depression at the end of nose where it meets the face. It is used to treat chronic sinus infections. If the cat's face is not painful to touch hold the point gently for 10 to 30 seconds 2 or 3 times a day. Work the point on both sides of the face.

LI4:This is the master point for the nose and sinus cavities. It is located between the dewclaw and the first long toe. 2 or 3 times a day, work the point by massaging the webbing in a back and forth motion.

Herbs to the Rescue

• If the nasal discharge irritates the nostrils apply homeopathic Calendula ointment or aloe topically.

To boost the cat's immune system:

Echinacea: Dilute 15 drops in 1 ounce of purified water. Suggested dose: 10 drops of the diluted herb, 1 time daily for 2 weeks. Stop for 7 days then repeat 1 time daily for 2 more weeks.

Eyebright: Steep 1/2 teaspoon of dry herb in 1 cup boiling water in a covered cup. Cool and give 1 to 2 teaspoons mixed into food or a treat (make fresh daily). The tea may also be used as a wash for the eyes and nose.

Antioxidants to Restore Immunity

Vitamin C in moderate doses: if the cat is eating, 10 mg/lb two or three times daily, mixed into a meal.
Vitamin E: 5 mg/lb once daily mixed into food or a treat.
Cod Liver Oil: 1/2 to 1 teaspoon daily.

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