I took some notes when I had the benefit of being on a phone conference call with Dr. Melissa Shelton, DVM. Dr. Shelton is a Holistic Vet who uses traditional veterinary care as well as holistic care. She started using Young Living Essential Oils for her family and as a way to control odors in her home and animal hospital, which is in her home. In her practice she has linked many animal health problems to the use of household cleaners and air fresheners. So having a way to control odors without causing harm to her patients was very important to her. She started diffusing a Young Living blend called Purification in her home and hospital and found that it controlled the odors really well and did not harm her pets or patients.
On a personal note after the call ended I realized that our dog Lulu has not had the chronic upset stomach problems that she was having before we moved. We moved into our current home a few months ago and we left behind a lot of our old cleaners as well. We used to use the wet swiffer mops every night on our kitchen floor and we no longer do that. She used to get a really horrible upset stomach with bleeding & gas. She has not had that once since we have been here and I am beginning to think it has to do with the changing of our cleaning products. We now use the Thieves cleaner on our counters, floors and bathrooms – it so much better than anything you can buy in the stores. I will do another post on Thieves and “green” cleaning options soon.
As Dr. Shelton started seeing her family benefit from using the oils she then looked at the Veterinary community to see if there was any information on using oils with animals. What she found over and over from traditional vet care was that essential oils should not be used on animals. BUT Dr. Shelton would meet people who were already using YL oils on their pets and she would hear story after story of how these oils helped animals when traditional care could not. So she started educating herself and she started using them on her own pets, then she began to offer them to patients in her hospital. All along she was able to document with blood samples and tests with before and after results of using the oils. She is currently writing The Essential Oils Desk Reference Book for Animals.
She only uses Young Living Essential Oils, so all of the following information is based on YL oils. One of the first thing she recommends doing is to get rid of scented products in the home, cleaners, candles (even those that are ‘natural’), air fresheners (like Fabreeze or Glade Plug-Ins), even scented kitty litter. Of course water and diet are important factors as well so please look into giving your pets filtered or spring water and good quality food. I’ll post Dr. Shelton’s website at the end of this post and you can refer to her site for more info on which brands to look into.
Even in the aromatherapy community many would say that oils can be used on dogs but not on cats. Dr. Shelton has found that cats benefit from using the oils just as much as the dogs but that care must be used. She told a story of a cat named Cowboy who had some neurological damage and a blocked bladder. The cat could not urinate and they tried every conventional method available but nothing worked. The cat would certainly die if it was not able to void it’s bladder but the owner did not want to put the cat down so Dr. Shelton suggested doing a ‘kitty raindrop’. The Raindrop Technique was developed by Gary Young and it involves using 7-9 different oils all along the spine. I have not heard of anyone using this technique on cats before Dr. Shelton. She dilutes the oils with a carrier, such as the Young Living V6 blend, and applies the oils from tail to head (if the cat allows that) or from head to tail just like if you were petting your cat. Cowboy started receiving daily raindrops and was soon able to pee. When his owner went from daily to every other day raindrops Cowboy became blocked again. So for this cat not only did the oils not hurt him they were the only thing that helped him!
Essential Oils can also be used to control fleas, ticks & heartworm problems. For dogs Dr. Shelton suggested using the longevity oil blend either in a capsule or by adding it to their food to repel fleas and ticks. The longevity blend is also high in antioxidants and has anti-cancer benefits as well. For a small dog up to 20 lbs use 2-3 drops or 1 capsule, for a medium dog 25-50 lbs 3-5 drops, and for a large dog 50 lbs and over use 6-7 drops.
You can also do a raindrop monthly on your dog and put a drop of purification on your dog before going outside. Just like people, dogs may have different reactions to the oils, one oil may work better for one dog than another, so look for signs if the oils are bothering your dog and you can either dilute or try different oils. Other oils that could be beneficial in keeping fleas and ticks away are lemongrass, idaho tansy, palo santo, rosemary, & oregano. You could add these oils to a spray bottle and spray on your pet before going out.
For Heartworm first check to see when it is active in your area. Dr. Shelton recommends using ParaFree and longevity for dogs and Ocotea for cats twice per week. My notes on the suggested dosage are a little unclear but this is what I have written down. Small dogs up to 25 lbs 1/2 to full capsule, med dogs 25- 50 lbs full capsule, lg dog over 50 – 90 lbs 1 can 2-3 times per day, and for giant dogs 90+ lbs 1 capsule 3 times per day.
For pain management like arthritis she suggests using copaiba topically and orally. Sulfurzyme and BLM (the capsules only as the powder contains xylitol, which is harmful to dogs) helps pain and surgery healing. She also uses helichrysm.
For anxiety, which could be a training/pack issue, she uses, lavender and peace and calming.
For Lymes Disease, she suggested doing raindrops, using longevity, ocotea, life 5, Ningxia Red, omega blue, thieves and immupower.
There was so much to talk about in so little time so as you see my notes are not as complete as I would have liked. Young Living Essential oils can also be used on horses. You can contact Dr. Shelton at her website www.crowriveranimalhospital.com if you would like to schedule a phone consult. You can also find her past newsletters on her website which are packed with helpful information.
This information is not intended to diagnose or treat any illness. Please consult a health care professional.