They are commonly prescribed, and commonly complained about!
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"Q" was my little old lady - who taught me so much about replacing drugs with essential oils!

As a veterinarian, I am commonly confronted with situations where although a prescription drug may be necessary, it is often not desired by the owner (or veterinarian really).  NSAID's definitely fall into the range of - "they can be so helpful" - but chronically they are expensive and potentially damaging to an animal.

Popular NSAID's (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) on the veterinary market include items such as Rimadyl, Novox, Deramaxx, Previcox, Metacam, and many others.  Traditional aspirin has also been used in dogs and horses, should almost NEVER be used in other species such as cats and exotics, and carries with it a huge set of almost guaranteed side effects.  Other NSAID's such as Ibuprofen, Tylenol (Acetaminophen), and Naproxen - should never cross the lips of any animal and are related with extremely toxic and even deadly exposures.

I remember when I was in vet school - and Rimadyl was newly released.  It was supposed to be this incredibly wonderful thing.  Rimadyl was going to be able to replace aspirin - along with its insanely high rate of bleeding gastric ulcers it caused - as the "miracle anti-inflammatory drug for dogs".  By the way - most people who use aspirin for their dogs, never realize the harm they are doing to their companion.  According to the Merck Veterinary Manual "dosages of...regular aspirin have caused mucosal erosions in 50% of dogs after 2 days.  Gastric ulcers were seen by day 30 in 66% of dogs given aspirin..."  I have seen a variety of studies that show, if you actually do an endoscopic evaluation of the stomach lining after just a few doses of aspirin, you will find damage.  However, aspirin continues to be commonly used for hunting dogs, who are likely some of the most stoic breeds on earth.  It is common for a hunting dog to go "off of feed" and not eat - and many relate it to being so excited to be hunting that they don't eat.  But, how many dogs are suffering from secondary gastric pain from NSAID's and just are not recognized?  And no, buffered aspirin is no different for dogs.  We were taught in vet school, that they amount of "buffer" that would be needed to be effective for a canine stomach, would be about the size of a CANTALOUPE!  Now, that's an aspirin!  Although, I do know several labs who would take on the challenge of chewing up that pill!

But, back to the Rimadyl story.  It didn't take long before thousands of dogs were placed on this new drug.  Sure, it helped the inflammation they had, especially associated with arthritis - however, it started to destroy livers right along side of the benefits.  That was not okay!  I remember the panic and "buzz" in the vet school as everyone wondered "what do we do now?"  As part of that experience, I am one of the first people to avoid a band wagon.  At all costs, I will attempt to avoid the use of a new wonder drug or chemical, the first year it is released onto the market.  I have read the testing done on these new products, which declare them as "safe".  Having 3 to 9 dogs try it for 10 days - is just not an adequate study - and unfortunately, this is how many are evaluated.

I have seen Rimadyl become helpful though.  Somewhere in the years after disaster, veterinarians apparently mastered using Rimadyl, along with some other toxic NSAID's.  Testing liver values before the use, and at regular intervals during use became commonplace.  We would excuse the potential side effects in the name of improving "quality of life".  And, truly, if a dog could not walk, move, and was painful - using a medication that made them feel better, DID improve their quality of life.  Often "us vets" would say, "what is worse, living longer with horrible pain, and poor quality of life...or feeling good for a potentially shortened time frame?"...

Another problem with NSAID's is that they cannot be used together, and certainly should never be used alongside of steroids.  The side effects and negative events just compound each other in dramatic ways - and you are almost certain to have an incredible problem on your hands.

I don't know if words could describe how happy I was to find that essential oils could be used instead of many traditional veterinary drugs - but especially NSAID's.  For my own senior dog, I waited as long as possible to "have to" put her on an NSAID.  I would administer a week or two trial of an NSAID (for Q we used Deramaxx at that time) - and evaluate if she felt significantly better or not.  And, at 15 years of age, we did decide during one trial, that she felt so much better on the drug, than off of it, that it would be worth the risk for her to have those benefits.  Yes, I have lived the turmoil of deciding what to do for an animal family member.

When I learned about the amazing anti-inflammatory benefits of Copaiba, along with its ability to be gastro-protective (actually GOOD for the stomach lining!) - I was intrigued.  So, a trial commenced with Q - and the amazing thing was that I did not have to stop her Deramaxx while I introduced the essential oil.  All of the reports and cases I could find, never seemed to report any drug interactions.  And, after years of using essential oils with my patients who have been on a myriad of prescription drugs, I am very confident that I need not worry about adverse drug interactions.

What I saw in Q, was that she felt a lot better with the essential oil introduced (we used it orally and topically for her).  Eventually, we started to wean her off of her Deramaxx, and she still maintained her benefits - with a spring in her step, a new willingness to get off the couch and actually GO OUTSIDE, and at 15 1/2 years old deciding that "counter-surfing" was back within her range of activity!  I could have lived without that last one...

It has now been about 5 years since Q's adventure with me into an "oily world".  I have learned so much, and have modified how I use essential oils almost continually, to make it better and better for more animals every year.  Instead of just Copaiba, which is still great, I created the Any-Itis line of oils for animalEO.  As the name implies, Any-Itis is good for "ANY -itis" condition - meaning inflammation.  Arthr-Itis, Burs-Itis, Cyst-Itis, Mening-Itis, Lamin-Itis, Spondyl-Itis... you get the picture.

CLICK HERE to read more about Any-Itis on the animalEO website.  Any-Itis comes in a NEAT version and also an RTU version.  RTU means "Ready To Use" and NEAT means that the oils in the blend are undiluted.  Mainly, you will use the NEAT version for animals 50 pounds and larger, including dogs, horses, goats, cows, etc...  The RTU version is perfect for animals who are very picky about tastes, or who are smaller in size - such as small dogs, birds, exotics, and even some cats.

Most cats do not enjoy ingesting essential oils.  And this is the main reason why we will generally select a different way for felines to gain the benefits of essential oils.  For cats - I recommend using the KittyBoost topically instead.  It contains all of the essential oils within Any-Itis and in a format that not only allows for ingestion of the oils via grooming, but with a technique of applying that cats actually ENJOY!  CLICK HERE to read more about the KittyBoost.

If your animal is currently on an NSAID and you would like for them to either use less of it, or maybe even completely eliminate the need for it (and I see this most commonly) - then Any-Itis is your best start.  Please do work with your veterinarian to help you monitor, and decide when and if it is appropriate for you to start to wean your animal off of the anti-inflammatory drugs.  In our practice, I generally start with a low amount orally, lower than the recommended doses, and usually slowly increase the amount given every 3-5 days or so.  I allow for 1-3 weeks to fully evaluate what responses I see for the animal.  But in general, within a month, there will be obvious improvement in mobility, attitude, and function for animals starting on Any-Itis.  At this time, I will start to decrease how much of the veterinary drugs are given, and continue to monitor how the animal is doing.

Most of the time, I can slowly eliminate that NSAID over about a month of time.  And, usually, never need it again.  We continue to use the Any-Itis orally, generally twice a day - and it has been used in this way every single day for years in animals who need it.  We have routinely checked blood work, just as we do for traditional NSAID use, and have seen no negative changes, and actually have seen benefits from not only eliminating the NSAID - but have seen benefits in blood values for animals who have never even been potentially damaged by an NSAID!  Now that is cool!

Any-Itis contains Helichrysum, which is often used in our veterinary hospital for liver support, liver detoxification, and high liver values (along with all of its other amazing attributes).  Having this essential oil regularly used for a senior animal, as well as for an animal who may have already been experiencing liver stress due to medications - is an incredible benefit!  Helichrysum is one of those "expensive oils", but you will find it within many of my blends.  Although it is a hefty investment for me to purchase the quantities needed for animalEO - the rewards are so incredible.  I never have to be frustrated again when I recommend essential oils for people to use, but they would almost always state "but I don't have Helichrysum..."  With animalEO, if it is important for the benefit of an animal, it is in there!

Naturally, if your animal is not currently on an NSAID, but one has been recommended to you, or you suspect your animal is suffering from some sort of inflammation - you can just start using Any-Itis!  You should still start with a low dose, and gradually increase it to the point where you feel you are seeing benefits.  I give the lowest effective amount that I can, so for even a huge dog, this could be 1 drop twice a day.  If it works... it works!  And there is no need to give more than is necessary.


ORDER animalEO Essential Oils for Animals by CLICKING HERE

If you are new to our newsletter, and would like a bit more background information about animalEO - please view this past newsletter to answer some common questions - by CLICKING HERE.  Remember, this is a past newsletter, so it will have some old links for Facebook groups within it - so please only use it for informational purposes only.  The links within this newsletter, are all up to date.  But, please do read this past newsletter before emailing me with a question - the majority of answers are there!

Please visit - 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 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.

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