Saturday, August 10, 2013

HOME TREATMENTS FOR ANXIETY, AGGRESSION, EXCITABILITY. DOMINANCE AND FEAR

BEHAVIORAL PROBLEMS - Home Treatments
for Dogs, Cats, Horses and Birds

Over the past few years there has been a much greater recognition of the behavioral problems that can affect both cats, dogs and horses. There are now a number of veterinarians and animal behaviorists trained to help with problems of this type. Sometimes drugs are prescribed as part of the treatment, but trusted natural remedies such as valerian and skullcap can often help without all the side effects.

Herbs can aid in resolving some of the more common behavioral problems in dogs, cats and horses. Some forms of epilepsy can also benefit from using herbal remedies of this type.

Herbal remedies have long been used to treat problems of this nature, in both man and in domestic animals. Some of the herbs were once used routinely by the veterinary profession. Notably, this included Skullcap, known in the past as “Mad Dog Weed”, a colloquial name derived from its use in controlling frenzied canine behavior.

Collectively, the herbs most used fall into the category that herbalists describe as nervines (calming to the nerves). Some of these are tonics, which strengthen the nervous system and are useful in situations where stress is evident. Some of the herbs have relaxing properties and will reduce levels of anxiety and excitability.

HERBS OF USE

Valerian (Valeriana officinalis)

Valerian is well known for its relaxing and sedative properties. It is widely used in this context and is of most value in cases of excitability and anxiety (it is also used for pain). It finds application in situations where a degree of tension or a state of hysteria is involved. It is well known to help calm without causing anxiety.

Skullcap (Scutellaria laterifolia)

This herb also reduces anxiety levels and has a general calming effect. Skullcap also acts as a tonic to the nervous system, providing a general boost where the system has been under stress. More specifically, it has been used successfully in the past to treat hysteria, nervous spasms and epilepsy (seizures or fits).

Vervain (Verbina officinalis)

Vervain strengthens the nervous system and helps calm anxious animals. It is especially good for setteling hysterical behavior and is thought to have some effect in treating epilepsy. It works well alongside or in combination formulas with the other calming herbs.

MAIN USES AND INDICATIONS

Dogs
  • Anxiety
  • Excitability
  • General nervousness
  • Fear
  • In helping control aggression
  • Destructiveness
  • Hysteria
  • Noise sensitivity/phobia (fear of fireworks or thunder)
  • In the management of epilepsy
  • Car, travel and motion sickness
  • Heightened sexuality

Cats
  • Anxiety
  • Excitability
  • Nervousness
  • Fear
  • Over-grooming, linked with behavioral problems, such as stress or anxiety
  • Eczema, linked with stress situations
  • Spraying, where linked with nervousness or stress
  • FLUTD (feline lower urinary tract disease) where linked with stress

The above herbs are gentle in their action and slow to take full effect. Therefore, it may take between 3 and 6 weeks before improvement is seen. Once the desired effect is achieved, it may be possible to reduce the dose gradually until your cat or dog is weaned off of the herbs. Treatment can be continued safely for some time. Some animals will need to be on a low maintenance dose, depending on the individual animal and the nature of the problem being treated.

The above herbs mentioned are for animals aged 6 months or over.

FLOWER ESSENCES

Flower Essences provide an alternative means of dealing with behavioral issues and can, if necessary, be used alongside herbs or homeopathic remedies. Flower essences all work on the psychological level and can safely help with a wide variety of behavioral problems. Flower remedies are available as drops, and they are easily administered in a water dilution to cats and dogs. For full benefit, I usually recommend their use for a minimum period of 3 months.

Rescue Remedy

Bach Rescue Remedy is a combination formulated for acute emergency situations, and stress or distress of any sort. Common indications include, after injury or accidents, reactions to noises such as thunder or firework phobias, for trips to the vet or shows and competition, before or during travel, after surgery, change of owners or housing, boarding, abandonment, loss of a companion, grief and in any other similar stressful or potentially stressful situation.

Single flower remedies or combination remedies can be used for shy timid animals which lack confidence, appear insecure or those who are easily spooked. Combinations also works well for anxiety and nervousness which is fear based and for withdrawn and submissive animals, especially those which may have been subject to emotional or physical trauma.

Remedies that combine well in emergency formulas:

Bluebell: For being grumpy, withdrawn or aloof
Star of Bethlehem: For the effects of past trauma
Cherry Plum: For uncontrolled irrational thoughts
Clematis: For being inattentive, dreamy
Elm: Useful when overwhelmed by events
Impatiens: For irritability, impatience
Olive: For being exhausted
Rock Rose: For panic and alarm
Walnut: To allow adaptation to changes

Flower Essences for Separation Anxiety

A blend flower essences can work together to help ease the trauma of separation, pining, grief, dog kenneling and cat boarding and the physical problems that can occur such as destructive behavior or excessive barking. Flower remedies can also help puppies and kittens, or older animals, adjust to a new home or rescue environment.

Remedies to consider in combination, for trauma of separation:

Aspen: For apprehension
Bluebell: For being grumpy, withdrawn or aloof
Chamomile: For moody, irritable animals, relieves tension
Chicory: For being over-possessive or clingy
Elm: Useful when overwhelmed by events
Gentian: For despondency
Honeysuckle: For homesickness or being stuck in the past
Mimulus: For shyness, timidity, known fears
Mustard: For sadness
Pink Cherry: Soothing, nurturing, comforting
Rock Rose: For panic and alarm
Star of Bethlehem: For the effects of past trauma
Vervain: For over-enthusiasm
Walnut: To allow adaptation to changes
Zinnia: For dull animals that lack playfulness

Over Dominance Issues in Pets

Flower remedies, will help with temperamental animals that are impatient, stubborn, difficult to control, headstrong or that are snappy, irritable or jealous. It can help establish the pecking order and reduce unwanted dominant traits. They help encourage cooperation and calm the animal when it is needed.

Flower remedies to consider for overly dominant pets:

Bluebell: For being grumpy, withdrawn or aloof
Chamomile: For moody, irritable animals, relieves tension
Cherry Plum: For uncontrolled irrational thoughts
Chestnut Bud: Where there is inability to learn by experience
Chicory: For being over-possessive or clingy
Holly: For jealousy and suspicion, envy, hatred
Impatiens: For irritability, impatience
Mimulus: For shyness, timidity, known fears
Vervain: For over-enthusiasm
Vine: For dominance issues, arrogance, inflexibility
Walnut:To allow adaptation to changes

Flower Essences for High Strung Animals

A combination of different essences can help overactive, excitable, irritable and unpredictable animals. Properly combined flower essence remedies will help pets to cope with stress and balance their emotions. This means less restlessness, excessive attention seeking and tension in dogs, cats, horses or birds.

Flower Remedies to consider for over reactive pets:

Agrimony: For hidden worries
Aspen: For apprehension
Bluebell: For being grumpy, withdrawn or aloof
Chamomile: For moody, irritable animals, relieves tension
Chicory: For being over-possessive or clingy
Cherry Plum: For uncontrolled irrational thoughts
Beech: Ability to handle the inconceivable, grounding
Impatiens: For irritability, impatience
Rock Water: For being inflexible
Scleranthus: For uncertainty
Vervain: For over-enthusiasm
Wild Oat: To determine the path forward

Where appropriate, when considering the use of either homeopathic remedies, herbal supplements or flower remedies in the home treatment of pets, you should seek specific professional help, such as from a qualified behavioral consultant or through the the use of PET REMEDY CHARTS as a guide to choosing the correct remedy, dosing and the length of time a remedy should be given.