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Herbal Remedies/meletonine

September 13th, 2007, 01:14 PM
Hello hello -

I was just wondering if anyone had any suggestions for herbal relaxers for dogs. My neighbor uses a couple of drops of some liquid herb which is sold to humans but also in a pet store. Im not sure what it is, but it basically chills her dog out for the entire day - the only thing is - she feels her dog is a little bit more agressive in the afternoon - perhaps its cause she was sleeping all day?
My vet reccomended meletonine - Anyone try this?

September 13th, 2007, 02:32 PM
It would probably help if you specified the problem. I've used melatonin for thunderstorms fears, but didn't really find that it worked, though I know many who swear by it.
There are many herbal tinctures available (like Holistic Blends Herbal Pet Calmer), homeopathic remedies (Bach Flower Remedies, most often Rescue Remedy specifically) as well as straight herbs (valerian being pretty strong, chamomille being extremely gentle) and things like DAP diffusers or essential oils. Different things are good for different situations and different dogs though, so more info might help you get more appropriate suggestions.

September 13th, 2007, 08:20 PM
A consult with a holistic Vet would likely help you find the correct naturopathic or homeopathic remedy for your situation. :thumbs up

September 13th, 2007, 09:18 PM
What's the problem that you think your dog needs calming? If s/he is just too bouncy, maybe a good walk would work as well.
I don't like the sound of whatever your neighbour is using; she may be giving too much, making the dog disoriented/aggressive when it wears off.
Definitely do your research, maybe consult a vet who has some knowledge of natural remedies, before going ahead. They are not all safe, IMO valerian should be avoided.

September 13th, 2007, 10:03 PM
I am very concerned with administering most of the holistic substances given to pets. I have seen first hand what one can do when one does not know how the pet (cat or dog) will respond to it. These products, while not as highly regulated as medications, are still chemical substances that can and do interact with other meds, food and a pet's unique system. Medically, Melatonin is really indicated only to help one's biorhythms back on track. Any other reason has never really been proven to work and is not scientifically proven and certainly not worth the risk, even though those have yet to be fully documented. We do not know the long term effects if this drug - and it IS a drug. Valarian is similarly indicated fior relaxation and for help with insomnia - and has a few not short term studies that show it works but like acetaminophen, it can harm one's liver and kidneys and this is especially true in pets though needs much more research. Worse, it often acts as a stimulant - rather than a relaxant with the obvious nasty side effects. I have treated more than a few children whose beloved pet became overly anxius and either scratched or bit them while in that state.

What DOES seem to work - even though there are almost no independent studies to verify or validate it (the company that makes it has sponsored a few but that is hardly good science!) is Rescue Remedy by Bach or cocculine, an herbal substance often recommended in France and available at heath food stores or your pharmacy or in some health food sections of grocery stores.

I have tried both with mixed results. They work in some cats - not all. I have no experience with them in dogs.

Whatever you so, you should consult with your vet before giving anything to your pet!!! We are not vets and anecdotal experience regarding one animal is no testament that a medication will help another animal.

I am unsure why your vet recommended melatonin - perhaps s/he is trying to ge your pet back on a slep schedule? There are as has been suggested many other ways without meds - if your dog gets enough exercise and adjusts to your schedule, that can be as effective as any medication.

Good luck!!

September 13th, 2007, 11:23 PM
for all the suggestions and advice -
Im not very comfortable giving my dog what my neighbor gives her dog - Someone mentioned she may be giving too much - makes sense. Usually, Stella gets a bunch of walks and a lot of excersize, but she is only allowed limited mobility - she has a hairline fracture and is in a splint.
I thought the melatonine might help her relax when we arent around.
How can I get her elimination schedule back on track - at the moment, everything has changed and she is deficating in her crate.

September 14th, 2007, 12:17 AM
...How can I get her elimination schedule back on track - at the moment, everything has changed and she is deficating in her crate.

I'm confused ~ I know you've said she gets a bunch of walks but has your potty break schedule changed? If she doesn't want to put weight on her leg yet, use a sling or a towel under her belly closest to the injured limb so that you are bearing the majority of the weight in that area of her body.

She may be eliminating in her crate because she is feeling stressed out by the splint and/or the crate. If this has happened only within the last few days and she was sedated at the Vets, it may be a result of the sedation or pain medication received. As well, some dogs need a period exercise before they "get the urge". I would just proceed as if all is normal, ensuring she is going out often enough for short periods to get her bizness done at the regular time.

You are, of course, reducing the amount you are feeding her during this time of reduced activity as she doesn't need nearly the same amount of "fuel". And less excess fuel means less "waste".