This article was authored by Klaus Ferlow, HMH (Honorary Master Herbalist), innovator, lecturer, researcher, writer, founder Ferlow Botanical Enterprises Ltd, Vancouver, B.C. manufacturing/distributing organic toxin-free medicinal herbal and personal care products to professional health & wellness practitioners in Canada and parts of USA since 1993.
Because all plants contain thousands of chemicals with thousands of biologic activities, dosages can vary and still be effective. With so many chemicals present one can hardly miss in seeking a single chemical, even at levels as small as parts per billion that would contribute to the resolution of an ailment. It is believed that our bodies like those of pets and domesticated animals can "reach" into this herbal potpourri and find at least traces of a compound, which will help resolve a medical problem.
When a Veterinarian prescribes a "magic bullet" solution for an ailment it contains only selected chemicals. This "magic bullet" can be very effective if the diagnosis and the prescription match. Too often this is not the case! However, a herbal remedy with its thousands of chemical compounds has a much larger chance of offering a useful biologic activity. In other words, the herbal "shotgun" may be more effective than the "magic bullet".
Unlike many drugs, herbs are relatively safe and gentle. They are very forgiving and offer a much greater margin of error and fewer adverse effects. However, one very important thing to remember in dealing with herbals is that they are slower acting and will take a bit longer to work. The most common cause of failure when using herbs is giving up to soon. Time and consistent use are a herbs "best friend".
When looking at specific dosages for pets there are two important considerations:
1) the weight of the animal
2) the type of illnesses (acute, long term, restorative etc.)
These are major elements when considering the dosage use. Generally a 1:5 ratio tincture made form dried material is often equivalent in strength to 1:1 extracts made from fresh material. Most tinctures have a strength of 1:5 so a dose would equal 1 drop per pounds of the body weight up to 50 pounds then 1 drop for every 4 pounds after. For acute problems the dosage would not be increased but the number of dosages given in a day would. For example: a maintenance dose would be twice a day and acute doses could be up to 4 - 5 times a day.
These are the major benefits in using a premium quality Physician grade high potency liquid herbal tincture:
1) the dose can easily be dropped directly on the pets food. No trying to force a pill or tablet down
2) the closer a product is to be liquid state the more easily and effectively it is absorbed into the system
3) the tinctures contain only purified water, grain alcohol and herbal extracts, no artificial fillers, colorants or other harsh hazardous chemicals etc.
4) the products travels easily with you
This is a time of renewed interest in herbology and is applications for humans as well as pets and more Veterinarians treat animals holistically. More detailed information is readily available through books and the internet.
Complementary and Alternative Veterinary Medicine by Allen M. Schoen & Susan G. Wynn
All You Wanted To Know About Herbs For Pets, by Mary L. Wulff-Tilford & Gregory Tilford
This information is offered for its educational value only and should not be used in the diagnose, treatment, or prevention of disease. Any attempt to diagnose and treat illness should come under the direction of your health care practitioner.