A List of Unsafe Herbs for Your Animal Friends by Dr Elaine Cebuliak

Below is a list of unsafe herbs for cats and dogs:

White Willow Bark: White willow bark contains salicylates, the main constituent in drugs such as Tylenol and Pepto Bismol, which as you know are toxic to cats.

Pennyroyal: Pennyroyal (either the herb or its essential oil) can be found in some flea products because this herb is a very effective insecticide. However, it is very toxic to cats and dogs. Pennyroyal should NOT be used on your cat and, when choosing a flea product, make sure that pennyroyal is not an active ingredient.

Tea Tree oil: Cats are sensitive to ALL essential oils, but undiluted tea tree essential oil is VERY TOXIC TO CATS (AND SMALL DOGS).

Comfrey: Comfrey should be used with care and should not be given to cats in large quantities because it contains small quantities of alkaloids that can cause liver damage or cancer.

Ma Huang (Ephedra): Use this Chinese herb with great caution in cats and dogs. Although some herbalists may suggest using Ma Huang to treat asthma or respiratory problems in pets, this herb may cause arrhythmias (irregular heartbeat) and high blood pressure in animals. In addition, it may cause idiosyncratic reactions in cats.

Wormwood: Wormwood is well-known for its deworming properties and some herbal dewormers have wormwood as their active ingredient. However, it is a very strong herb for cats (and dogs too!) If your cat has worms, try other natural remedies for deworming. Wormwood should only be used under strict holistic veterinarian advice.

Garlic: There is a lot of contradictory information on garlic for pets. It is true that when given in large amounts, garlic can cause Heinz body anaemia in cats and dogs, and should not be used on pets with anaemia. However, garlic has a lot of health benefits and if small amount of garlic is fed regularly to our pets, it can greatly enhance and improve our pets’ health. For example, garlic can be used to repel parasites such as fleas and worms; it is also effective in treating microbial infections, and preventing cancer.

According to Dr. Pitcairn (in the book Dr. Pitcairn’s Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats), cats can be given 1/4 clove of garlic per day.

Poisonous for Dogs: Watch for toxins in your garden due to their natural curiosity, their love of digging, and their tendency to consume anything they come across, dogs are at a high risk for accidental poisoning. This can be particularly true in spring, as front gardens and backyards come to life with new growth, and as dogs and their owners spend more time outdoors.

 · Toxic bulbs, plants and flowers include tulips, hyacinths, daffodils, certain lilies, crocus, and lily of the valley.

· Harmful fertilizers and ground cover include: cocoa mulch, blood meal, bone meal, and any fertilizer containing disulfoton or organophosphates.

Store all poisonous substances in your home, garage, and yard out of reach of your curious canine, and block access to potentially harmful bulbs and flowers. If you suspect your dog has ingested a poison, call your veterinarian at once.

Connect with Dr Elaine at Animal Wellness in Brisbane: www.animalwellness.com.au

Dr Elaine Cebuliak

Dr Elaine is a highly experienced holistic vet and pioneer of Animal Wellness in Brisbane. She also assists with many charitable projects in Australia and in Bali.

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