Treating Conditions In Dogs and Cats With Herbal Therapies and Nutraceuticals | Holistic Vet


Hi I’m Dr. Ilana Smolkin for healthcareforpets. comI’m here to talk aboutherbal therapies and nutraceuticals foryour pet. Herbal therapies andnutraceuticals are becoming more andmore common in both human and veterinarymedicine. Herbal therapies can be what weconsider Western herbals and those arethings that you may even have in yourspice cupboard or your tea rack. Things likecamomile, fennel and turmeric forexample ginger. Chinese herbs are anothersort of branch of herbal medicine. Nutraceuticals a term that kind ofencompasses anything that’s “natural” thatused to help you or your pet. There’s alittle bit of overlap between that andthe herbals but often I think ofnutraceuticals things like your omega-3fatty acids, glucosamine things like thataren’t a true herb, they’re not really aplant extract but again somethingthat can help support your your pet’shealth that’s not a drug. Lots of conditions can be treated herbally. I’ve seen great success and practicewith Cushing’s disease and being able totreat them with herbal therapies andgastrointestinal conditions so diarrhea,vomiting or just poor digestion ingeneral, skin conditions, and eventemperament issues so anxiety and sleepdisorders all sorts of things can betreated with herbals as well a lot ofthese conditions can use herbalsprimarily although sometimes herbs arethen mixed up with traditional medicineor Western medicine to try and get thatbetter effect so for example IBD oftenwill still need steroids with treatmentbut herbals can sometimes make thosetake effect quicker, sometimes get us offthe steroids faster or sometimes we seepatients that have kind of basicallyreached as far as their they can go or aplateau with traditional medicineand we can’t quite get them back totheir great health and herbs can helptake them there the rest of the way. Although I see more and more herbaltherapies being offered online or at petstores, I think there’s a few points thatare really really important for us tokeep in mind. 1. ) Depending on whatcountry you live in, regulation not quitethere yet as far as herbals go so youwant to make sure you’re getting herbalsupplements from a really reputablesource because we need to make sure thatwhat you’re getting is what you’regetting. Is there really that herb in there?Is there really that amount in there? Ithasn’t been substituted out forsomething else? Because herbs can bedangerous if the wrong one is taken. Forexample here in Canada the regulatorybody for herbs even distributed througha veterinary clinic is still optionalfor companies to buy into whether theywant to or not. Another important point and something Ihere absolutely every day in practice isthat its natural therefore it’s safe. That’s not true, think of arsenic, arsenicis a natural chemical that’s found inthe cherry I don’t want to take anyarsenic do you know so just becausesomething’s natural does not make itsafe you need to discuss whatsupplements you’re giving to your pet,with your healthcare with yourveterinarian, or with someone who hastraining. Not every veterinarian is going to havetraining in this so they might need totake some time to do some research or torefer you to someone that does have thistype of training. Another great examplethat I see is tea tree oil, people usethat on themselves all the time andlove to use it for wound healing but it’sactually toxic to the dog and I’ve seensome pretty bad complications from itsuse in the dog. Natural therapies canalso interact with a medication thatyour pet might be on, sometimes herbalmedicine or natural therapies can lessenor damper the effect of that medication,or sometimes it can heightenit and potentially make it up to a toxiclevel so that’s why discussion with yourvet is so important so that they knowexactly what you’re giving. Now Iabsolutely don’t want to scare peoplebecause I love herbal therapies andsince I started this training and doingthis herbal therapyI’m really been able to heighten thekind of conditions they treat and it givesme other options when we’ve kind of runout of ideas with Western medicine orpotentially come to a roadblock in ourdiagnostic process. Maybe we know there’skidney disease but we can’t get it anyfurther than that and even with referralthey couldn’t figure out exactly what’sgoing on. Well just because we can’t find thespecific drug that might help sometimessupporting that, that system with anherbal therapy can be really helpful andI’ve seen great success with that. Butagain for the best care for your petit’s important that this is done with ahealthcare professional and that youdon’t take matters into your own hands. Or that you find a veterinarian that istrained in that because it can bedifferent between humans and animals. Tofind a veterinarian that’s trainedthere’s lots of options out there,there’s certain licensing body ororganizations that you can go to to tryand help find a practitioner that isregistered and licensed because what’smost important to us is your pet’shealth here at healthcareforpets. com

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