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St Johns Wort for pets

What Can St. John’s Wort Do For My Pet?

Posted by Nikki Wardle on April 24, 2018 at 9:00 AM
Nikki Wardle
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As scientists and doctors uncover more about the healing powers of natural substances, alternative treatments have woven their way into the day-to-day prescriptions of western medicine. From acupuncture to herbal teas, many doctors are recommending treatments that have been around for centuries and are now proven true through scientific research. These alternative therapy plans can be just as powerful for your pet when recommended by a licensed veterinarian. Here’s why.

St. John’s Wort Use in Alternative Pet Therapy

For humans, St. John’s wort is used most often to reduce anxiety and depression. Veterinarians prescribe St. John’s wort for dogs who suffer from similar disorders. St. John’s wort is an herb that can be given in pill form.

Veterinarians may prescribe St. John’s wort for your dog to combat:

  • Separation anxiety
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Arthritis

St. John’s wort has properties that make it wonderfully multipurpose. For instance, it has been used as an antibacterial and antiviral healing aid for treating minor injuries and illnesses.

Your vet may suggest St. John’s wort as an alternative therapy in conjunction with a treatment plan if your dog suffers from any of these issues. You may have incorrectly assumed only humans struggle with anxiety, depression, and OCD, but pets do, too. This can cause them to engage in unwanted behaviors like tearing up your house while you’re gone due to their separation anxiety or OCD-related issues such as repetitive tail biting. St. John’s wort can serve as a calming agent for your dog’s nervous system, improving cognitive functions, mood, and sleep. With the right treatment plan and the oversight of a veterinarian, St. John’s wort can have a powerful positive effect on your pet’s overall health.

This herb can also have pain-relieving qualities. It is often prescribed as a pain reliever for dogs suffering from muscular, joint, or nerve pain, including arthritis. St. John’s wort can be administered as a pill or in dog treats and toys.

Consult Your Veterinarian

Do not give your dog St. John’s wort—or any alternative treatment—without consulting with your veterinarian first. Your vet can help you decide on a treatment plan and appropriate dosage, ensuring your dog gets the best possible care. Never assume you know what your dog is suffering from and administer medication without a licensed veterinarian. You could potentially misdiagnose your dog and leave medical issues untreated.

For more information about Intermountain Pet Hospital’s alternative pet therapies, contact us.

Topics: Alternative Veterinary Medicine