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.

For more information on using natural remedies for pets visit our website:

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Natural Remedies for Anemia in Pets


Symptoms of anemia include loss of appetite, weakness, listlessness, fatigue and pale gums.

An anemic condition means that the red blood cells or erythrocytes are decreasing and not being replaced as fast as they should. There are several tests a veterinarian can do to detect anemia. In dogs, between 35 – 55% of the blood should be red blood cells. If the hematocrit (the ratio of the volume of red blood cells to the total volume of blood) is lower than 35%, a dog would be diagnosed as being anemic.

• Hemorrhagic AnemiaLoss of Blooddue to hemorrhage or slow bleeding (internal or external) 
• Aplastic Anemia, due to diseases of the bone marrow, usually caused by serious chronic infections, the over-use of certain powerful prescription drugs, vitamin deficiency
• Hemolytic Anemia, caused by parasite infestations, protozoa or bacteria, streptococci 

Hemorrhagic Anemia
If not too severe the body will usually correct the problem by making more red cells. The remedies that will step up the process and reduce bleeding include:
  1. Aconitum 12c. For sudden onset of an acute state leading to fever or inflammation which may cause broken blood vessels, nose bleed, etc.  The blood will  be bright red.
  2. Arnica 30c. When the hemorrhage is caused from the effects of a trauma to the body. The animal may be oozing dark colored blood from any orifice.
  3. Ficus Religiosa 6c. This is a very good remedy to stop hemorrhage. Especially when the animal is vomiting blood or if there is blood coming from the bowel or uterus.
  4. Crotalus Horridus (rattle snake) 200c. When there is hemorrhaging throughout the body (can be but not always associated with a severe disease, cancer, etc.). The color of the blood is dark and very fluid and does not clot. Blood may ooze from the ears, nose. The color of the urine may dark red and bloody. The animal may vomit dark black blood or bloody slimy mucus and or have intestinal bleeding. It can also be beneficial for absorption of intra-ocular hemorrhages and non-inflammatory retinal hemorrhages.
  5. Ipecac 30c. Consider this remedy if the bleeding bright red, gushing and there is a lot of it. Characteristically the bleeding comes in large surges not in a continuous stream. There may be bleeding from the bowel and lung. The animal may vomit and have an aversion to food.
Aplastic Anemia/Hemolytic Anemia
  1. Silicea 200c. Dosing is done on an as needed basis (refer to blog post "How to Give a Homeopathic Remedy to Pets"). Consider this remedy if the anemia originated from a long standing infection. For marrow dysfunction, it has a specific affinity for the bones (where red blood cells are made). In cases where anemia and malnutrition exist together silicea can be beneficial.
  2. Plumbum Metallicum (Lead) 12c. 2 times daily as needed up until 2 weeks. As with all remedies, you should discontinue dosing as soon as the animal has markedly improves. The blood, alimentary and nervous systems are the specialities of Plumbum's action. There is a rapid reduction in numbers of red blood cells; hence unhealthy pale appearance, jaundice and anemia. There may be weakness in the limbs, weight loss, depression, yellowness in the whites of the eyes, greasy face, blue lines along the margins of the gums, colic, hard stools, ineffectual urging to urinate (drop by drop), cardiac weakness, dry coat, tongue trembles, disposition to yawn and stretch. 
  3. Arsenicum Album 200c. This remedy is valuable in the treatment of chronic anemia especially if the animal exhibits extreme exhaustion and weakness. The anemia may be accompanied by vomiting and diarrhea. These animals will seem restless and thirsty but only for small drinks of water.
  4. Ferrum Metallicum (Iron) 3c or 30c. This remedy helps to increase hemoglobin, it is especially useful in young, animals who are not thriving. These subjects lack strength and weaken after any active effort. The guiding symptoms include great weakness, cold extremities, oversensitiveness, the animal may have flabby relaxed muscle tone, emaciation, white gums, heart palpitations. The Ferrum type pet may be worse late in the evening around midnight. Dose: 6c, once daily for 1 week, followed by 12c once daily for 1 week followed by a 30c once daily for 1 week. This should produce a rapid rise in hemoglobin. If Iron is going to aid in the pet's recovery it will do it rapidly. Dosing the remedy should be discontinued as soon as the improvement has taken placeIf there is no improvement early on in the dosing, the remedy should not be continued.
  5. Ferrum Phosphoricum 3x, increases hemoglobin. In pale anemic subjects, with violent congestions. These animals are often susceptible to respiratory problems and fevers. Hemorrhages, are bright and can flow from any orifice.
  6. Calcarea Phosphorica 6x, 3 times a day for 2 weeks will stimulate the formation of new blood cells in young animals who have developed anemia after an acute disease. The animal may have bone problems, cold extremities and poor digestion. This remedy is more suited to young lean animals rather than animals who are fat and slow moving.
For Conditions that arise from the result of anemia:  

Natrumn Muriaticum (Chloride of Sodium) 6x, 3 times a day for 3 weeks. This remedy is of value in unthrifty conditions arising as a result of anemiaAnimals needing this remedy may also have one or more of the following problems; the animal eats well but becomes emaciated, intermittent fevers, great weakness and weariness, oversensitive, prefers to be alone, dry mucus membranes, dry cracked skin and lips (especially in the middle), eruptions where the body meets the legs, eczema; raw, red and inflamed, alopecia, gastric problems, constipation, enlarged glands.

Acupressure Points for Dogs and Cats

Acu-points for Anemia

Spleen (SP) 6, strengthens the blood building organsSpleen (SP) 10, nurtures the bloodStomach (ST) 36, strengthens the bodies qiUrinary Bladder (BL) 23, tonifys the blood, strengthens the kidney and spleen

The spleen, pancreas, kidney and liver contribute to making the blood. Deficiencies in any of these organs could lead to anemia. The 4 acupressure points in this treatment are focused on strengthening and restoring the spleen qi and the quality of the blood.

Healing With Whole Foods
Foods Rich in Iron and B12

These foods will warm and nourish the spleen and regulate the qi: oatmeal, potatoes, chicken, lean red beef, mackerel and sardines.

Beef liver will provide the B complex vitamins, protein and is one of the best sources of assimilable iron.

Kale is a warming food, it will aid in blood clotting and will help to nourish and strengthen the spleen.

Kelp is rich in iodine and trace minerals 1/8 to 1/2 tsp. daily depending on the size of the animal.

Nutritional yeast is high in B12, small cats/dogs 1/2 tsp. daily mixed into food. Medium/large dogs 1 tsp. daily mixed into food.

Black Strap Molasses is high in iron and sulphur. 1/2 to 3 teaspoons daily, depending on the size of the animal (mix with food or a treat). 

Herbs for Anemia

Alfalfa contains considerable amounts of vitamin K. K is thought to help accelerate replacement of red blood cells. Herbalists use alfalfa as an appetite stimulant and to strengthen to the body. It contains protein, fiber, high amounts of chlorophyll, calcium, trace minerals and vitamins A, B12, B1, C, D, E and K. 
• Cats/small dogs: 1/4 tsp. powder daily, mixed into food
• Medium/large dogs: 1 tsp. powder daily, mixed into food

Note: Alfalfa should be used in small doses. It should not be used in animals with Hemorrhagic anemia because of it's 'coumarin' content which has anticoagulant qualities.

Visit our website to learn more about alternative healing methods for pets. "Pet Remedy Charts".