Banana Patch

I’ve done it only once before. So when my initial efforts to treat Evelyn’s wart failed, I thought maybe I was crazy, or maybe my previous success was just a fluke.

BUT NO! IT WAS NOT A FLUKE!

Let me back up here a minute. Evelyn had a pretty big wart on the back left paw, far left toe, under the pad, for months. It caused her to limp slightly.

Last year, I had succeeded in ridding Pearl’s paw of a wart that emerged following a splinter extraction by using the inside of a banana peel. For Evelyn, I treated hers several times by the same method —  scraping out some of the inside of a banana peel, applying it directly on the wart, and wrapping her foot in self-sticking gauze. Voila! Banana patch!

This time, though, nothing happened.

No change. Zip. Nada. Nothing.

This wart was stubborn!

or so I thought…

After all we’ve been through, wart removal rested on the back burner for a long time. Other matters were much higher on the priority list. So I gave up for a while until we could deal with more pressing concerns. Once we got the incessant scratching under control, I decided to tackle the wart again. I was determined to get rid of it because the alternatives included letting it stay and continue to bother her, or cutting it off. And cutting in/on/around a paw pad is bad news in my book, even with a laser.

Finally, with multiple failed attempts under my belt, I discovered the error of my ways: I wasn’t getting deep enough into the banana peel to get to the good stuff. You really have to get into the deeper fibers of the interior of the peel, beyond the top couple of layers that sit between peel and banana. The fiber in that inside layer is a different, sort of juicy consistency than the banana itself or even those weird long thread things that sometimes stick on the banana after you peel it open. It’s almost like getting into the gel of an aloe plant, but it’s nowhere near that thick.

All it took was 3 days of application, and

POOF! No more wart!

I’ve done it twice now, on two different dogs.

It. Works.

So, before you go running to the vet for surgical wart removal, try a banana patch.

pugs & kisses!

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Herbal Healing for the Liver: Milk Thistle Seed

You have to be careful when using herbs.

I admit they intimidate me. There is so much information about what they do, how to prepare them, what level can produce toxicity, what is safe for internal use, what must only be used externally, what is safe for dogs, but not for cats.

I mean, the mind boggles.

But, I’m taking it little by little.

This is not a race: It’s my journey. (And I’m glad to have a few of you as traveling companions, so thanks for coming along! HOLla!)

I had some recent curiosity about Milk Thistle Seed. I’d never heard of it before beginning my course.

Milk Thistle Seed reputedly reverses liver damage in both people and pets.

Drugs, medications, and chemical pesticides, whether injected, ingested, or applied topically to your pup on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis, will damage the liver because as we all know, the liver is a critical filter for the body. And when toxins passes through it (drugs & pesticides don’t have to be fatal to be toxic, let’s not be fools), damage occurs to the cells in the organ.

Further, a highly processed commercial diet will also damage the liver eventually because, as we now all know,  the processing of these convenience foods destroys the molecular structure of the nutrients that may have at one time existed in the product.

Failing to support proper liver function can ultimately claim a life. For reals.

Ok. I get it.

How do you go about healing it when you can’t really see that it’s damaged, and you don’t know the signs of a damaged-but-functioning internal organ?

Frankly, I think we must assume it’s there if we feed dry kibble, apply chemical flea & tick repellent, and dose medications– all of which I’ve done for years. After all, our dogs are very stoic companions, and often by the time they begin to exhibit symptoms, the disease, whatever it may be, is usually fairly advanced.

How do we support the liver properly? For starters, get off the processed foods. Feed a balanced, nutritional raw, whole diet.

Then, supplement with Milk Thistle Seed.

  • It’s a little brown seed that produces a pretty little purple flower.
  • Find you a good herb shop (e.g., the Golden Temple) & they’ll have it on the shelf. 
  • Grind it up or brew an infusion and add to food.
  • How much? I really don’t know.

I have been scooping a quarter teaspoon of seeds into my mortar and grinding them with the pestle until the shell breaks down. They’re pretty small and tough little seeds, so it takes some elbow grease to get them to break up.I’ve not made an infusion yet, so I’ll have to get back to you on that.

I divide it between Pearl & Truman and sprinkle on top of the food. We’ve done 4 days on, 4 days off, 4 days on. I’ll continue that rotation for the next few weeks.

I may not be using enough, but I don’t think I’m in danger of overdose. Plus, it is my hope that over time, the cumulative effect of even this small amount will feed and repair the liver.

pugs & kisses,

HOListic Tip of the Week

How Slippery is your Elm?

If you are considering a HOListic approach to your dog’s health & nutrition, powdered Slippery Elm bark needs to be in your bag of tricks.

It is the inner bark of the Slippery Elm tree, and acts in all of the following ways:

**VOCABULARY WARNING**

  • Demulcent — used internally to soothe and protect irritated and inflamed surfaces & tissues
  • Emollient — used externally to soften, soothe, and protect skin surfaces
  • Nutritive — provides nourishment
  • Diuretic — promotes the production and secretion of urine
  • Mucilaginous — has soothing effect on inflamed mucous membranes

You can mix the powder with warm water, juice, milk, or an herbal tea, and as a water-soluble fiber, it will nourish the body while relieving stomach issues. It is ideal for any pet recovering from an illness. You can also use it externally to soothe, say, a skin rash, for example.

It forms a jelly after you mix it with liquid, and is kind of slippery. (Get it? Slippery?)

I mixed it with warm water and added a couple of tablespoons to food to cure diarrhea. I mixed a thicker consistency to get more of a jelly to apply externally to relieve a little hind leg skin irritation on Pearl recently.

Give it a try!

pugs & kisses,

Benefits of Probiotics in Your Pet’s Diet

A+ Answers all natural raw fermented goat milk with probiotic curds

It seems like probiotics are everywhere on TV these days. Jamie Lee Curtis trying to get you to eat yogurt. That other girl on the flag football team talking about probiotics in the huddle. *eyeroll*

Setting aside massive mistrust of advertising, I believe probiotics–in the right amount and quality–make a positive difference in digestion, nutrition, and health. I take them myself daily, and I can tell a difference on the days when I forget.

I had never thought my dogs might benefit from them until this past summer when Pearl was on round after round of antibiotics. I fed her plain yogurt during those times to keep her stomach from being torn up by the medicine. But feeding it to them as a matter of course did not occur to me until I began to focus more intently on their wHOLe health.

Maintaining a healthy gut and the digestive flora that thrives there is so important to good health, both in people and pets. Poor diet weakens or destroys the good bacteria in the digestive tract making the breakdown of foods and the concomitant absorption of nutrients more difficult or impossible. When we get sick because our immune system is weakened by poor nutrition, we take synthetic medications to rid ourselves of symptoms, which further inhibits normal gut function. When we don’t absorb nutrients, then the food we ingest is literally a waste. We get hungry again quickly, and before long, we are in a cycle of just filling the hole without thinking too much about what is being tossed in there. We have no energy, we turn to sugar and caffeine to get through the day, we gain weight. Sound familiar?

We treat our dogs the same way. We are all guilty of giving little or no thought to what we toss in the bowl.

Scoop a cup of kibble from the bag and go on about our lives. (Please stop)

We get frustrated when they come begging. We supplement with doggie junk food (Snausages, anyone?), or we train to control the behavior without thinking that maybe they really are hungry because their nutrition is deficient.

If you popped a multi-vitamin and chased it with a bowl of cereal twice a day, would you look longingly at someone else’s hot meal? Probably. 

One simple way to improve the gut health of your dog, even if you’re still not on board with a RAW, wHOLe food diet, is to supplement with probiotics. They are of course in yogurt (thank you Jamie Lee), kefir, and more recently, I found them in the raw goat’s milk that A+ Answers makes. It’s an additional protein source that is easier for dogs to digest than cow’s milk. A+ Answers has fortified the “Additional Answers” raw, fermented milk with curds containing over 200 different living species of probiotics.

Goat’s milk is also a natural antihistamine. Adding local raw honey to the goat’s milk has made a difference, particularly in Truman’s nasal allergies. Pugs, with their short noses, have a tendency to cough & snot, sneeze & wheeze. Compared to my previous Pugs, these guys do so at a very minimum. I rather enjoy waking up to a Pug in my face when he doesn’t spray me with the former residents of his nasal passages.

I highly recommend A+ Answers raw goat’s milk. A couple of ounces at each meal is all you need.

Pour a little love!

pugs & kisses,