Greyfort Greyhounds

Stud Book & Kennel Club Registered Sporting Greyhounds
Here are some links to more reference webpages for specific symptoms and their healing holistically:



How is Herbal Treatment Different from Conventional Medicine?

The main difference between herbal treatment for dogs and Western medicine is how diseases and/or symptoms are being viewed. Doctors and vets who use solely Western medicine usually look at a disease in isolation, and a "cure" is to remove or suppress its symptoms as quickly as possible. In other words, a "quick-fix" is the norm. Very often antibiotics are prescribed to treat not only bacterial infections, but viral as well. However, frequent use of antibiotics can greatly weaken our pets' immune system, which will lead to more health problems down the road.

On the other hand, herbalists (and other holistic veterinarians) look at our pets as a whole (including body, mind, and "life spirit") in order to determine the deeper underlying cause or causes of a disease. Instead of just suppressing the symptoms, herbs are usually used to:

  • strengthen the weakened or diseased organ system(s);
  • regulate and boost the immune system;
  • return out-of-sync body functions to a state of normalcy, resulting in long-lasting health.

A lot of illnesses, including cancer, are as a result of a breakdown of the animal's immune system. Herbal tonics can effectively be used to tone and "tune up" the animal's immune system before they get sick.

Herbs contain numerous chemical constituents which can have medicinal effects on our pets' bodies. When used appropriately, the medicinal properties of specific herbs can regulate and normalize specific activities of one or more organ systems.

Further, when several herbs are used in combination, they can have synergistic effects and have immense long-term benefits on our dog's health. Specifically, herbs can:

  • boost the immune system and generally balance, or "harmonize", the body's organ systems;
  • detoxify;
  • be nerve-calming;
  • add nutritious value to our dog's diet.

Herbs have been used by people since thousands of years ago. Many animals, including our pets, instinctively feed on certain types of plants when they are suffering from, say, indigestion or upset stomach. They appreciate the medicinal properties of herbs!

What are the Appropriate Dosages for Dogs?

There are no precise doses for dogs (and cats). Many holistic vets suggest starting out slowly, giving the remedy with low doses at first to avoid rejection and the possibility of stomach upset. Then, after a month or so, when the dog adjusts to her herbal intake, you can taper off or add on, depending on her reaction.

Included below is a general guideline for administering herbs to dogs (from the book Dr. Kidd's Guide to Herbal Dog Care by R. Kidd):

Dog WeightSprinkles
(put on dog's food once/day)
Herbal TeasCapsules/TabletsHerbal Tinctures
1-10 lbs
a small pinch
less than 1/4 cup, 1-3 times/day
1/2 capsule, 1-3 times/day
1-3 drops, 2-3 times/day
10-20 lbs
a bigger pinch
about 1/4 cup, 1-3 times/day
1/2-1 capsule/tablet, 1-3 times/day
3-5 drops, 2-3 times/day
20-50 lbs
2 pinches-1 teaspoon
1/4-1/2 cup, 1-3 times/day
1-2 capsules/tablets, 2-3 times/day
5-10 drops, 2-3 times/day
50-100 lbs
2 pinches-2 teaspoons
1/2-1 cup, 1-3 times/day
1-2 capsules/tablets, 3-4 times/day
10-20 drops, 2-3 times/day
Over 100 lbs
up to 1 tablespoon
up to 1 cup, 3 times/day
adult human dose
adult human dose

Also, when giving herbs (and other supplements for that matter) to our dogs, it is advisable to give them in a manner that the dog's body is allowed a "break" from the herbs.
For example, if you are giving herbs to your dog as a health tonic, use a schedule of
five days on and two days off (i.e. give the herbs to the dog for five days and stop giving for 2 days). Do this for 4 weeks, and then have a one-week break.

If, on the other hand, you are giving herbs to your dog to treat a chronic health problem (e.g. arthritis), you don't need to have a full week off after 4 weeks' administration of the herbs. Instead, you can substitute different products during that period. Many herbs (and supplements as well) have the same or similar properties and functions, and by switching from one to another, you can continue to treat the health problem but at the same time you are not overexposing your dog to a particular herb or supplement.

Precautions When Using Herbs on Dogs

  • Herbs usually act much more slowly than Western medicines so do not expect any "quick-fix" from herbal treatments. In general, it takes at least 60 to 90 days after the beginning of herbal treatments to see any significant improvement in a pet's health conditions.
  • While herbs are, in many ways, better and more gentle to our pets than conventional medicines, it is not advisable to use herbs in the place of vet consultation, particularly in the event of a serious or life-threatening condition. In general, herbs are best used to support and improve the general physical wellbeing of our pets. Also, herbs are best used for treating chronic diseases and are not the preferred means of treatment in emergency situations.
  • It is important that we obtain the best quality herbs from reputable and trustworthy suppliers.
  • While there are lots of safe herbs for use in our pets, there are also some unsafe herbal treatments for dogs and cats (and other small animals). For more information, be sure to check out our pages on safe herbs for dogs and unsafe herbs for pets.

Flea Relief

  • Shampoo your pet with flea shampoo and spray the animal between shampoos with flea spray.
  • Place a flea collar in the bag of your vacuum cleaner. Any fleas you sweep up will stay put in there.
  • If you don't want to use a flea collar with insecticides, active ingredients such as eucalyptus, cedar, lemongrass, rosemary and marigold won't exterminate, but will deter fleas.
  • Placing an open jar or two of eucalyptus stems and leaves around the house can deter fleas. Place them in rooms where your pet spends the most time (especially those with carpets- fleas love to hide in them.)
  • Give your dog a flea bath with limonene shampoo, and flea-comb him down thoroughly while he's in the water so the fleas drown.
  • Try adding a teaspoon of vinegar to each quart of the animal's drinking water. It helps keep pets free of fleas and ticks.
  • Sprinkle borate powder into crevices of couches and chairs.
  • Stock your yard with off-leaf larvae-eating nematodes (available at pet and garden stores).
  • Getting proper nutrition for your pest is the best flea prevention. Add brewer's yeast to your pet's food, as well as essential fatty acids such as omega-3 and omega-6.
  • Spray screens with distilled water containing several drops of bitter orange essential oil. (Fleas hate citrus scent and will avoid crawling in through the screens."


  • Oatmeal Bath- Put uncooked oatmeal or rolled oats into a sock or nylon stocking and run a tubful of warm water over it. Soak your dog (cats will rarely let you do this) in the water for 5 to 10 minutes. Oatmeal based shampoos are also available at pet stores.
  • Aloe Vera- Break off a piece of the plant and apply the thick juice directly to the raw area.
  • Aggravated skin sores, also known as hot spots, can make your pet miserable. If you see a hot spot developing, clip about one-half to one inch around the sore to prevent hair and other dirt from further aggravating it. Clean the sore with hydrogen peroxide on gauze or a cotton ball, and after it dries spray the area with cortisone cream. Do this twice a day until the sore starts to dry out or a scab begins to form.

Cuts, Scrapes, Abrasions

  • Mix together 1-pint water, 1/2-teaspoon salt, and 1/2-teaspoon calendula tincture.
  • Soak an injured paw in the solution. If the wound is on the body put the solution in a quirt bottle or large syringe and gently apply it to the injured area.
  • Repeat the soaking or application every 4 to 6 hours for the first 24 hours.

Bites and Scratches

  • Rinse out the fresh wounds and punctures with large amounts of this solution: 1-pint water, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon Echinacea/goldenseal tincture.
  • Hydrogen peroxide may also be used to clean wounds, but it can damage delicate tissues.
  • Cat wounds are notorious for forming abscesses. If the abscess is draining, clean it with with Echinacea/goldenseal solution. Always wear latex gloves while handling an abscess.

Tissue Trauma

  • If your pet falls, gets stepped on, is in a fight, or is otherwise bruised, the homeopathic remedy arnica can speed recovery. Give two pellets of arnica 30c once per hour for three hours following the injury.


You can perform the Heimlich maneuver on animals.
  • Lift a small pet, or reach over the back of a large one and raise the back legs, so that the rear end is elevated over the head.
  • Place your hands around the lowest part of the chest and give a quick, gentle thrust inward and upward. 
  • Remember to scale the force of your thrust to the size of your pet. For small pets, imagine you are performing this on an infant or toddler.

Cowpie Stool

  • When your dog scavenges something from the compost pile, it irritates the bowel, creating nerve impulses that signal the gut to speed up. When food moves too quickly through the gut, the result is loose stools. In dogs and cats with chronic inflammatory bowel disease, the gut responds as if irritated at the slightest stress or change of diet.
  • The herb slippery elm, available as powder or capsules, coats the lining of the gastrointestinal tract, counteracting the irritation and allowing stools to firm up. Put 1 tablespoon of the powder (break open capsules) into 1 pint of water and bring to a boil to thicken. Let it cool, and administer by mouth, a teaspoon or less for small pets, several tablespoons for large dogs, every 2 to 4 hours, until the gut settles down (usually 8 to 24 hours).

Burrs in Fur

  • For dogs, comb the burrs in their fur with a metal comb immediately. If burrs are badly tangled rub vegetable oil on your fingers and work the lubrication slowly through the fur until you can pull the burrs out.
  • Cats typically will want to take care of their own grooming, but you can help by gently working through the mess with a wire brush. Most cats won't let you cut the fur or lubricate it the way a dog will.

Itchy Ears

  • Aloe Vera or the contents of a vitamin E capsule can soothe red or inflamed areas of the ear.
  • A gentle cleaning with a cotton swab or gauze dipped into vegetable oil can help to remove a buildup of wax and dirt.
  • Remember that dog and cat ear canals take a right-angle turn at the base of the ear, and be careful not to jam anything deep into the ear canal.

Sore or Runny Eyes

  • A simple rinse of saline solution can help a mild eye irritation. Continue as drops every four hours, until clear.
  • If symptoms increase, consult with your vet.


  • Massage helps to relieve muscle tensions that contribute to pain. Be gentle. Start from the center of the body and work your way outward. If feet are too sensitive, leave them alone.
  • Nutritional research suggests that supplements containing chondroitin sulfate and glucosaminoglycans can help inflamed or damaged joints. Check with your vet or health-food store.
  • Egg-crate foam and other creature comforts can bring relief to older and arthritic pets. Buy enough foam for two or three beds, cover the foam with washable covers (easy to make from old towels), and put them into the places your pet likes to sleep.

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