I am often asked which oils are my favorites, what I take with me when I travel, or what I want to have on hand for emergencies. Certainly, my list is often pretty long - but when I have to narrow it down to just a few...I do have a master plan!
I think about all of the common situations I may encounter while away from home - a sprain, headaches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, cuts, scratches, bruises, or bug bites usually top the list. So, I usually want to pack along oils that have effects for these common scenarios. G.I. Goe is one of those oils that many people do not think about ordering... UNTIL...
Yep... You wake up to that rancid smell. Most humans who share their lives with animals have experienced it, and know what that smell is. Someone had diarrhea in the house! Now, the hunt for the pile begins.
Gastrointestinal (or G.I.) concerns do not have to be just from dietary indiscretion. It is one of the most common complaints we recognize in the veterinary field. Whether your animal has been diagnosed with Inflammatory Bowel Disease, or they just do not produce very "normal" stools - the gut is often misunderstood and a huge source of whole body inflammation and irritation. Even anxiety and nervousness is affected by inflammation in the gut, and once we can address the root causes, we see huge improvements in all areas of health, emotion, and well being.
With the holidays fast approaching (really, I can't believe Thanksgiving is 3 weeks away!), now is a perfect time to make sure you have certain emergency items on hand. Garbage raids, well-intended family members sharing dinner with your dog, your cat helping themselves to the chip dip...all of these scenarios can equal an explosive event for your household.
I would say that almost every condition will have some connection to the G.I. tract. Even if we don't recognize it. I am a huge proponent of a disease state being largely caused by deficiencies. Whether this deficiency is digestive enzymes, vitamins, minerals, or whole foods - the gut is very much needed to break down and absorb these much needed building blocks of healing. After generations of kibble and processed diets, animals start out life in a much deficient state... but that is a subject for another newsletter.
Bottom line - if the gut is unhealthy or inflamed - it cannot perform its job of absorbing and processing the important nutrients needed for healing. And with the word healing - I am not just referring to getting over a major illness or injury. Even a diarrhea episode needs "healing." We may not think of the tissues as injured, we just think about the "end" result! (Sorry, pun intended.) But, for sure we need to address the damaged and very important "organ."
Enter G.I. Goe essential oil blend from animalEO. You can read more about it by clicking on the highlighted link. G.I. Goe is really important to have on hand, BEFORE you need it. Certainly, your dog may "blow" with diarrhea at any time. And, you do not want to be scrambling for items to aid you. A veterinary exam is always indicated, but let's face it - diarrhea or vomiting is not always convenient, nor scheduled when your vet is open or available - especially around the holidays. Although emergency vet clinics are wonderful, there are many of us who still live pretty far out "in the sticks" (or may be hunting or camping away from available care) - and we have to rely on our local veterinary support for emergency care. This can mean in some situations that veterinary care is delayed or simply not available at certain times. G.I. Goe can be incredibly important for times like these.
With horses, cats, and many other animals we rarely fast them (provide no food). However, with dogs, fasting can be an important first step in caring for a vomiting/diarrhea situation. You will want to work with a vet for sure to monitor during a fast, especially if you have a tiny dog, but the most important thing you can do first when your dog starts vomiting or having diarrhea is to STOP feeding them! This can include water in vomiting situations as well. The basic rule is - food in, diarrhea out... We need to allow the diarrhea to stop before adding any fuel to the fire.
Owners rarely like to fast their dog. They look at you with those big brown eyes... Just begging you to feed them. How dare you eat your Turkey left overs while you are fasting them? Come on, just a little bite. Haven't you heard that Turkey is good for diarrhea??? And, we often cave in - offering just a nibble. After all, they haven't blown out diarrhea for at least 3 hours! That must be good enough, right?! WRONG!!! You'll regret it, guaranteed. And the worst part... the fast starts all over again.
When I recommend a fast to a patient (dog) with diarrhea - it will be for 24 hours minimum. Rarely are there exceptions. That gut has to rest, and rest enough that the first morsel back in their mouth does not "whip up" a diarrhea response again. When I handled a large part of our "country back woods" emergencies - I often recommended that the owner start fasting even before I examined the dog. We discussed if the dog was still relatively perky, seemed to still have an interest in food, if there was any blood present, or if there was any accompanying vomiting. If the dog was mainly fine, except for the diarrhea, then starting to fast until I could examine them was a logical step.
With my "oily clients" - I was incredibly thrilled when they had "G.I." oils on hand to use. I knew that my results would be much quicker, and that the animal would feel better faster, if we were able to use oils along with a fast. For a horse, cow, or livestock sort of animal we started to use essential oils - quite often orally - while we were basically just withholding foods until the next meal (maybe 12 hours) - while also offering increased roughage or a more "bland" less rich diet.
For colic situations - we have a description of how we use G.I. Goe on the product information page - CLICK HERE.
This slight withhold of food, while increasing fiber and offering bland diets (in very small amounts) - applies to cats as well. For oils - I would usually recommend trying KittyBoost first if it was available - as it actually contains most of the oils within G.I. Goe... However, in a pinch, kitties can also use G.I. Goe - but we recommend a very light application - as described on our website - CLICK HERE. G.I. Goe can also be added to the KittyBoost blend for convenience - and starting out with 2 drops of G.I. Goe being added to a 15mL bottle of KittyBoost is a good starting point. It is very important to never fast a cat for longer than 12 hours without veterinary guidance. Cats are prone to a condition called Fatty Liver Disease, which can be quite fatal, and is often spurred on with a fasting episode - whether intentional or due to illness.
I rarely use G.I. Goe orally for dogs or cats unless it is absolutely called for. Usually we find that a topical application or "more acceptable" application methods work just fine - and I fully believe in doing the easiest methods with the least "complaints" first. Then, if they don't work, we can certainly increase the intensity. (The most common situation where G.I. Goe is used orally in dogs is for severe car sickness.)
Birds and other exotic animals can also use G.I. Goe - and with these animals it can be more common to use tiny amounts orally. Mixing a tiny "toothpick dip" of G.I. Goe into some warm oatmeal or sweet potato for a bird, can be incredibly helpful with G.I. concerns, and very readily accepted. Ferrets can often be treated similarly to cats, and other critters generally will follow a light petting technique. It purely will depend on the type of animal, and their characteristics as to how you proceed with a G.I. situation.
No matter what, you'll want G.I. Goe on hand before you need it. And, if you haven't guessed, it is one of those oils that I always select to carry in my purse or with me when I travel. Traveler's diarrhea, car sickness, nervous tummies, too much Halloween candy, or even the realization that my "two-legged kid" might have the flu - I want G.I. Goe. It always has a spot reserved in my little traveling keychain!
It is also good to recognize that G.I. Goe was formulated specifically with animals in mind. The oils which I saw to be most effective, accepted, and safe are included in the blend, in ratios that create the most synergistic effects. G.I. Goe is a "NEAT" blend, which means it contains undiluted essential oils. For many animals, you may wish to dilute it with Fractionated Coconut Oil as a carrier oil, for easier use. Fractionated Coconut Oil (FCO) is now available to purchase on the animalEO website in 4 ounce and 8 ounce bottles - CLICK HERE.
Examples of several appropriate dilutions of G.I. Goe could include:
- 1 drop G.I. Goe in 10 drops or more of FCO - often used for petting purposes.
- 30 drops of G.I. Goe into a 15 mL bottle of FCO.
- 4 drops of G.I. Goe into a 2 mL bottle of FCO.
The thing to remember with dilution of essential oils, is that you can always make your recipe stronger. So, if you have a particularly sensitive dog or cat (they do not like strong oils near them) - you could even start out with 1 or 2 drops of G.I. Goe added to 2 or even 15 mL coconut oil. You can use that really dilute solution first, and if it is effective - then GREAT! You just saved on over-using your oils and also didn't overwhelm your animal! And if it doesn't work, then add 1-2 more drops to your dilution bottle and try again. There is no harm in gradually increasing how much you will use, until you find just the right mixture for your particular animal - this is especially important for cats and other small critters.
When mixing essential oils with Fractionated Coconut Oil, I do find it is ideal to allow the mixture to sit for a while before use. The oils are allowed to "marry" and often seem to perform better in our clinical experience. The amount of time can vary, and different oils appear to need more or less time to fully pair with the coconut oil. 24 hours or more is a great time frame to strive for, but we certainly have blends that sit for 2 weeks or more before they are ideal. It can be hard to describe, but I can best describe it like cooking pasta. You keep tasting and trying, until it suits you perfectly - not crunchy, not too chewy, and not too soft. Thankfully, essential oils do not turn to "mush" with too much time - they only seem to improve! But, if you find yourself in a situation where you have to place a small puddle of coconut oil into the palm of your hand, along with a drop of essential oil - mix it together and apply...don't worry - it will still work! (Kind of like eating mushy pasta will still provide food, it just won't be quite as perfect and enjoyable!)
Plan now, so you can have G.I. Goe on hand for all of your G.I. needs.
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Please visit www.animalEO.info - and read more about our products, order a few to try out, and come back often for new information, products, and educational experiences! Make sure you are on our mailing list to be updated on all the new happenings.
You can also visit my website www.OilyVet.com for information on classes, links to past newsletters, to purchase books on using Essential Oils in animals, to view You Tube Videos, and more!
And remember, I only recommend the use of what I term, "veterinary grade essential oils" for use with animals (or humans for that matter). The use of essential oils that have not been evaluated and proven safe for use in animals, is not recommended, and may prove dangerous for your animals. Through research, case studies, and retrospective studies - I am documenting the difference in qualities of essential oils in my veterinary hospital - and we are continually striving to provide more information to everyone who desires to use essential oils for their animals.
Until Next Time!
Melissa Shelton DVM
Disclaimer: This information was provided for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, prescribe or treat any illness. If you or your animal have a health concern, you are encouraged to seek the counsel of a health care professional who is knowledgeable in your area of interest.