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Offbeat Animals: treating dogs and cats with plants

12:50  26 february  2021
12:50  26 february  2021 Source:   femina.fr

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Dogs and cats also have the right to natural remedies. But be careful with self-medication, because their use is delicate.

Animaux : soigner les chiens et les chats grâce aux plantes © iStock Animals: caring for dogs and cats with plants

The attraction for alternative medicine is also on our pets. "Today, 10% of veterinarians use plants," said Dr Céline Gastinel-Moussour *, veterinarian, herbalist and aromatherapist, who nevertheless warns: "We cannot cure everything with it! Garlic, although deworming, is toxic to dogs and cats. And natural products are less effective than chemical tick repellents ”.

Characteristics according to the races

First of all, you should know that the use and the doses of essential oils or plants differ from those recommended for humans because of their physiology, coat, weight, licking of skin… Another element to consider: dogs and cats have a much more developed sense of smell than us and can, for this reason, turn away from a remedy. When it comes to doses, it's not just a matter of weight: a rabbit can take ten times more plant products than a cat because it is herbivorous. The cat has another peculiarity: its liver has difficulty metabolizing aromatic molecules.

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"This is why I recommend not to give him essential oils for self-medication without going through a liver checkup from the veterinarian," warns the specialist. In addition, it is very sensitive to odors and the olfactory power of these aromatic extracts can cause it to regurgitate, to over-salivate, or even to flee. These tips also apply to the ferret. Also think about this when using essential oils diffusing for yourself. "Caring for your animal means knowing and observing it well, in order to obtain its cooperation and to note its tolerance or not to the treatments, and to adapt the doses", adds the veterinarian.

For minor ailments and ailments

Fortunately, it's not just essential oils. Hydrosols (also called floral waters when the part of the plant used is a flower) are interesting. These are waters laden with aromatic compounds from the plant obtained at the same time as the essential oils during steam distillation. You can also use herbal teas or decoctions. The fluid extracts (EPS) and the buds (gemmotherapy) are well suited to dogs, less so to cats, who do not like their taste. Avoid anything containing sugar and alcohol, such as mother tinctures, unless your veterinarian advises you. Finally, there are food supplements made from plants (Labbêa) appreciated by dogs and cats.

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Scots pine relieves respiratory problems, sweet orange and valerian calm stress, ginger soothes transport ailments, blackcurrant is recommended in the event of tired joints, aloe vera, against constipation ... But the plants do not only cure minor ailments. Spirulina, turmeric, milk thistle or dandelion are indeed very useful to support the immune system and the various organs in cases of serious diseases. “They bring real well-being to affected animals and really provide relief,” concludes Céline Gastinel-Moussour.

Precautions to be taken

• Never use essential oils on your cat without informing the veterinarian.

• Some animals are allergic to certain plants. Test on a small area and wait 48 hours.

• Do not make your pet swallow pure essential oil and do not apply it to the coat, eyes (even diluted), mucous membranes, ears and genitals.

• Avoid essential oils with pregnant or lactating females and babies.

• If your animal cannot tolerate it, stop treatment.

* Author of Phytotherapy and natural care for my cat, Le Courrier du Livre.

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