10 Common Pet Ailments
As caregivers for our animal companions, we take great pride in their wagging tails, thick fur and sparkling eyes. Equally intense is our worry when they limp, cough or scratch so hard they draw blood. We may fret for a day before visiting the veterinarian. Often, we leave the vet’s office with an optimistic prognosis, a prescription for a salve or other remedy and the expectation of a quick return to normalcy after a few days of home care.
For many minor problems, though, waiting to visit the vet isn’t necessary. Stocking a medicine chest with ingredients for a calendula compress, echinacea tea and other preparations makes caring for your dog or cat’s minor ailments as easy as treating a child’s scraped knee with antiseptic and a Band-Aid. Herbal remedies may not end your fretting, but they can help you and your pet feel better.
We’ve compiled a list of 10 common ailments, herbal remedies used by some veterinarians and instructions for making the remedies. Use these and any treatments cautiously. Work with your veterinarian, the person who best knows your pet’s health conditions. In 1996, the American Veterinary Medical Association officially recognized the importance of botanical medicine and other complementary therapies in veterinary care.
Unless otherwise specified, use these recommended dosages for liquid preparations to be taken internally:
• ½ teaspoon three times daily for cats and dogs weighing less than 20 pounds.
• 1 teaspoon three times daily for dogs weighing between 20 and 40 pounds.
• 1 tablespoon three times daily for dogs weighing more than 40 pounds.
For more information, contact the American Veterinary Medical Association, 1931 N. Meacham Rd., Ste. 100, Schaumburg, IL 60173; (847) 925-8070; www.avma.org. Another good source is the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association, 2218 Old Emmorton Rd., Bel Air, MD 21015; (410) 569-0795; www.altvetmed.com.
Pet Health Resources
• Natural Pet Market
820 N. Main St.
Glen Ellyn, IL 60137
• Earthwise Animal Products
564 Columbus Ave.
New York, NY 10024
Thanks to the ever-patient Aspen O’Brien, who served as our model for this story. Aspen is an 8-year-old keeshond mix who loves to hike, swim and enjoy life in Colorado with her human companions, Mike and Marci O’Brien.