The herb yarrow is used for treating open wounds, where it can stop bleeding and inhibit bacteria. It can serve as a vascular tonic, removing small blood clots and improving circulation. It can be tried in cats with cardiomyopathy, especially those who have developed embolic disease.
Anti-inflammatory properties also make it useful for pets with osteoarthritis, and dermatitis. And for pets with urinary infections, yarrow¡¦s antibacterial properties may prove useful. It may be used for pets with respiratory diseases, including pneumonia, because it can dilate respiratory blood vessels. It is also useful for relieving inflammation of the digestive tract and can act as a mild de-wormer.
It may also reduce fever and stimulate appetite. Do not use in pregnant animals. Yarrow may cause allergic reactions. Do not use for extended periods of time as yarrow contains thujone, which can be toxic if consumed in large amounts for extended periods of time.
Yellow dock is a cleansing herb that stimulates liver function and evacuation of the bowels to remove wastes from the body. Yellow dock is useful for chronic skin disorders that may be attributed to toxicity within the body. It can also be used as treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, in cancer patients, and as a remedy for anemia due to its high iron content. Yellow dock is most commonly recommended for short-term use at the beginning of therapy to get a "quick cleansing," as its action is often quick and dramatic.
Excess yellow dock can lead to intestinal cramping, vomiting, and diarrhea; it should not be used during pregnancy or in pets with intestinal blockages or bleeding. It should not be used in pets in whom excess iron could be harmful. Large amounts can cause cramping and diarrhea.
Yucca contains many nutrients and chemicals, including plant glycosides called saponins. Two saponins, smilagenin and sarsasapogenin, optimize nutrient assimilation in the intestinal tract. The saponins act as precursors to corticosteroids produced by the body.
The saponins allow yucca to be used for pets with inflammatory diseases such as osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.
It can inhibit urease, making it ideal to use for pets with excessive urine or fecal odors.
The yucca plant is viewed as an anti-inflammatory that may be included in some nutritional supplements for pets with arthritis. Response of pets with osteoarthritis to supplementation with yucca is usually good. Some doctors have reported a point of tolerance may be reached in some patients where good results are no longer obtained. In the laboratory, the yucca plant contains chemicals that can be converted into steroids, this may be true for conversion in the body as well.
Use for only five days at a time (five days on and two days off is recommended).
In large doses, in excess of 15 percent yucca root, or for long periods of time, vomiting may occur. Do not use for more than five days at a time. Yucca is generally accepted as safe based on its long history of use as a food. However, it sometimes causes diarrhea if taken to excess. Safety in young children, pregnant or nursing women, or those with severe liver or kidney disease has not been established. Similar precaution in pets is probably warranted.
"Y" Herbs for Pets
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Shawn Messonnier, DVM
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Shawn Messonnier DVM Past Supporting Member, Oncology Association of Naturopathic Physicians Author, the award-winning The Natural Health Bible for Dogs & Cats, The Natural Vet’s Guide to Preventing and Treating Cancer in Dogs, and Breast Choices for the Best Chances: Your Breasts, Your Life, and How YOU Can Win The Battle!
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