Alternative Remedies For Parasites
Note: It is important to consider that when one cat at home is diagnosed as suffering Parasites, all cats at home may require treatment.
Always, consult an Aromatherapist or a Holistic Veterinarian before treating your pets with Aromatherapy.
Warning: Do NOT buy Aromatherapy Oil products from Health Shops or any other commercial outlet, only buy from a reputable Aromatherapist or Holistic Veterinarian and ALWAYS state what they are being used for. Commercial oils are not the same and often contain other products mixed with the oil which can be toxic to your pet. Ask your Aromatherapist or Holistic Veterinarian as many questions as possible, good sound advice from the knowledgeable is priceless.
Quote from a PIA-Certified Aromatherapist, and member of the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy regarding cats and essential oils: "Cats cannot efficiently metabolize the oils, and they can build up in their bodies, and can eventually lead to toxic levels causing death, or symptoms of toxicity." Unquote.
Which in simple terms means that you could use them for some time with no symptoms of toxicity in your pets, similar to heavy metal build up in the soft tissues and organs, as happens with lead and zinc exposure. It is also recommended that if you use essential oils in your home for burning or just for the aroma, that cats are probably fine as long as a door is open so they can go to another room.
Fleas, Lice and Ticks - These are all surface dwelling parasites.
Fleas are small, dark brown insects that run rapidly through the fur.
Lice are tiny, gray insects that move very slowly and from clusters, particularly on the ear-flaps.
Ticks resemble smooth, gray warts. They fix their mouth parts into the skin and do not move.
Symptoms to look out for are the physical evidence of parasites - an affected pet may scratch and groom excessively and, if the pet is allergic to flea bites, there may be raised red bumps on the skin.
Please note: DO NOT use Rosemary or Penny Royal on pregnant animals.
- Essential oils cedarwood, eucalyptus, terebinth, lemon, rosemary and lavendar all help to prevent external parasites. they can be given by massage or added to water (three drops per 150 ml of water) and combed or brushed into fur.
- Sulfur - one dose should be given weekly to prevent flea infestations.
- Pulex - is a soothing treatment for flea irritation.
- Tansy and fleabane are flea repelling herbs. Penny Royal is often mentioned as well, but can have devastating toxicity effects if used incorrectly, safer to not use this one.
- Garlic is also very effective, one third of a chopped clove should be added to food daily.
- Brewer's yeast may be given by mouth, or brushed into the fur.
- Bathing in dilute cider vinegar helps eliminate fleas and is also a good preventative measure. Use at a rate of one teaspoon per 2.5 cups of drinking water.
Mites are tiny parasites too small to be seen with the naked eye.There are three main groups of mites: surface, mange, and ear mites.
Surface mites live on the surface of the skin and cause irritation leading to scratching and itching. Two common species are 'cheyletiella' - the rabbit fur mite (found on several species, not just on rabbits), and harvest mites - orange mites that affect feet, legs and stomach mainly in the autumn (USA: Fall). Treat surface mites as for fleas.
Demodectic and sarcoptic mange are unusual diseases of cats, and for this the literature is relatively scarce. Demodectic mange is caused by demodex canis, a tiny mite that cannot be seen without the aid of a microscope. Sarcoptic mange, also known as scabies, is caused by a microscopic mite. The female mite causes the characteristic intense itching as they burrow under the skin to lay their eggs. The eggs hatch in a few days, develop into adults, and begin laying their own eggs in less than three weeks.
Mange mites are burrowing mites, living deep inside the skin and causing intense irritation, often with secondary infection of the skin. the two commonest types of mange mites are sarcoptic mange and demodectic mange (also known as: demodectic otitis externa, demodectic red, or puppy mange).
The first is especially common in dogs, often picked up from foxes, and potentially transmissible to humans (known as scabies when affecting people). Telltale signs of sarcoptic mange are crusty ear tips, fierce itching, and hair loss, particularly on the ears, elbows, legs, and face in the early stages. Later on, the hair loss spreads throughout the body.
The second usually occurs when the immune system is damaged. Treat with immune system boosters as well as the remedies below.
Cheyletiella mange, also known as walking dandruff. It affects puppies and is caused by a large reddish mite that can be seen under a magnifying glass. This mange is identified by the dandruff dusting that occurs over the dog's head, neck, and back.
Walking dandruff is highly contagious but short-lived. It causes mild itching. The mite that causes the mange dies a short time after leaving the host.
- Lemongrass, lavender and rosemary may be used by massage, or diluted (3 drops per 150 ml of water) and brushed into the fur daily to treat mites.
- Basil, citronella, virginia cedarwood and cinammon leaf can be used in a similar way as mite 'repellents' to help protect pets against mites.
- Sulfur - especially if the pet prefers not to be too hot.
- Psorium - especially fro pets who love heat.
- Bovista - where face is particularly affected with intense itching.
- Garlic is a good remedy for all parasite problems.
- Fresh lemongrass can be brushed into a pet's fur to treat mites.
Ear mites live inside the ears, where they cause intense irritation, a large amount of discharge (usually dry, crumbly, and black in dogs and cats), and visible head-shaking or ear-scratching. Ear mites are a common cause of aural hematoma and are most common in young animals, especially kittens.
- Sulfur - for pets that avoid heat and prefer to be cool.
- Psorium - for pets that love warmth.
- Rhus tox - for severe itching and soreness of ears.
- Graphites - if discharge is thick, sticky and smelly.
- A mixture of equal parts of thyme. rosemary and rue infusions, mixed 50/50 with olive oil is an effective ear-cleaning remedy, which will kill mites at the same time.
- Olive oil and Vitamin E (3 teaspoons of olive oil with 500 iu vitamin E) will clean and heal the damaged, inflamed ear canal.