Animals and Aloe Vera: Aloe Vera can be used by the owner of an animal as a complementary medicinal herb to help a previously diagnosed condition or as a first aid treatment while waiting to see a veterinary surgeon. The following information has been collated by David Urch BSc, MA, VetMB, Dip Herb Med, MRCVS. I have added links to specific items that are available. To see the full range of products available go the Aloe Vera Products page.
Animals and Aloe Vera: Skin Conditions
Aloe Vera is an excellent preparation to use for skin conditions such as allergies, eczema, abscesses, fungal infections, pyoderma and many types if dermatitis. Aloe Vera will help to decrease the inflammation and itching as well as helping to remove dead cells and discharges. It will also encourage a suitable environment for the replication of skin cells so that wounds tend to heal quickly.
Important things to remember when using Aloe Vera on Skin
- Always consult a Veterinary Surgeon – self diagnosis can be dangerous
- Ensure the cause is identified and eliminated
- Don’t over wash areas of skin as it can make the condition worse by removing natural oils and damaging epithelial cells.
- Sometimes you will need to remove the hair over an infected area
- Apply topical Aloe Vera preparations 4 – 6 times daily, then twice daily as the condition improves. Ideally first spray with a solution of Aloe Vera then apply Aloe Vera Gelly.
- Give oral Aloe Vera Gel
- On rare occasion healing crisis occurs change from the Aloe Vera Gelly to the Aloe Vera Propolis crème. If it still persists consult your vet.
Animals and Aloe Vera: Wounds and Burns
These respond particularly well to Aloe Vera. For a wound or burn to heal effectively it must be kept clean and moist with a supply of nutrients. It will also require air and may need protecting. Any dressings used must not damage the new epithelial cells when removed. Aloe Vera can provide all these requirements due to its previously described properties. With minor burns first cool the area by running cold water over it. The area should then be sprayed with Aloe Vera Solution before the frequent application of Aloe Vera Gelly. In cases of severe burns these should be referred immediately to your veterinary surgeon for supportive treatment which can be backed up by Aloe Vera preparations.
Most wounds can be treated in the same way as for skin conditions but some will require veterinary attention.
Animals and Aloe Vera: Digestion
Aloe Vera can prove very beneficial in helping conditions of the digestive system particularly where inflammation is involved. Conditions such as stomatitis, gingivitis and oral ulceration can all be helped using Aloe Vera. The most useful preparations for use in the mouth are Aloe Vera spray solutions and Aloe Vera Gelly. Potentially more serious conditions such as vomiting and diarrhoea also often respond to oral administration of Aloe Vera Gel and starvation followed by bland diets. It is important to remember that if either of these conditions persist then veterinary advice must be taken.
Animals and Aloe: Immunological system problems
A number of disease affecting animals have their origins within the immune system. The most common ones are asthma, hay fever, rhinitis, rheumatoid arthritis, post viral lethargy syndrome (ME/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome), lupus and allergies (which can affect the digestive and respiratory systems as well as the skin). The oral administration of Aloe Vera Gel can be useful in cases of chronic immunological problems through its immuno-modulating properties discussed earlier.
Animals and Aloe Vera: Ears conditions
The commonest ear condition seen in practise is otitis externa where infection and inflammations develop in the vertical and horizontal ear canals. These are often mixed infections of mites, bacteria, fungi and yeasts and may involve foreign bodies such as grass seeds. Aloe Vera solution, Aloe Vera Gelly and those combined with Bee Propolis can be very useful in treating this conditions. Always ensure that the ear has been examined by a vet to avoid missing causes such as grass seeds and tumours.