We are participating in the Caring for Critters Round Robin hosted by Heart Like a Dog. Several pet bloggers are sharing their experiences with health issues their pets have faced and how they dealt with them. Yesterday Leah at Let's Go Dog wrote about Hip Dysplasia and tomorrow Rebekah at My Rotten Dogs will be writing about Canine Yeast Infections in the Ears. Today, I'm sharing my experience with helping my dog Nicky recover from a dog attack using massage and essential oils. For this post, I'll be focusing primarily on the use of lavender essential oil.
My Nicky had sensitive skin and had allergic reactions to shampoos and topical flea and tick treatments. I've never been comfortable putting harsh chemicals on my dogs' skin to kill parasites or giving them pills that can be as deadly as the parasites they're made to kill. Of course, I'm not a fan of fleas and ticks or heart worms either, so I followed conventional pest control practices to protect my dogs against any pests.
Our veterinarian at the time recommended an oatmeal bath after topical chemical application to soothe his skin. That never worked for Nicky. I knew there had to be better options. When he was attacked in our backyard and badly injured, he suffered an allergic reaction to medications given to alleviate pain. I searched for safe, natural ways to help him heal. I wanted to protect him and Niño from as many chemicals as I safely could.
The attack Nicky suffered resulted in severe trauma physically and emotionally. My sweet little free-spirited boy was now scared and in pain. I was willing to do all I could to heal his spirit and ease his pain. I began studying canine massage, aromatherapy, and essential oil uses. Massage relaxed him, helped his circulation, and helped to break up scar tissue that was forming around his wounds. He loved his massages. It was a great bonding time for us. He would stretch out over my lap any time he wanted a massage. His massages calmed and comforted us both.
As Nicky responded well to massage, and after talking with his veterinarian, I decided to incorporate essential oils and aromatherapy into his recovery. I'll admit I was a bit of a skeptic at first, but once I learned more about the oils and experienced the benefits, I was hooked. As I researched and sampled different essential oils I learned not all oils are pure or therapeutic-grade. It is important that essential oils are pure and not processed with chemicals or diluted. I found Young Living Essential Oils and had great results. I diffused lavender oil during his massages and times of stress and before grooming and vet visits. I also incorporated lavender oil into his massages by spreading a couple of drops on my hands before the massage.
After Nicky passed away two years later, I put the oils away. As much as I enjoyed and benefited from them, they reminded me of my sweet boy and my heart was too broken to enjoy them. That was a poor decision and not fair to Niño, which I truly regret.
Three years later when I adopted Delia I was once again drawn to essential oils. Delia also has sensitive skin and had allergy issues in the past, so I didn't want to use harsh chemicals in her care.
Once again, I turned to essential oils and I am glad I did. Not only have the oils benefited Delia, but also family members, friends, and myself.
I will be sharing our experiences, information and tips about essential oils and canine massage in upcoming posts, but will leave you with a few important points for now:
- Purity of essential oils is imperative for safety. All essential oils are not the same. Look for pure, therapeutic grade essential oils that are NOT diluted with other oils, chemicals or synthetic fragrance.
- A little bit of oil goes a LONG way. Introduce oils slowly and sparingly. Just one or two drops of lavender should suffice for a massage. Keep oils away from eyes and inner ears.
- ALWAYS talk to your veterinarian before starting any new therapies with your pets.
I'll be sharing more about essential oils and blends we have used with good results, what to look for in essential oil quality, tips and tricks we've learned, and more about benefits of massage. I hope you'll join us in our journey!
Disclaimer: The information on this website is based upon my research and personal use of Young Living Essential Oils. I am not a doctor/veterinarian. Products and techniques mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Statements on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products on this site are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician and/or your pet's veterinarian before using these products. Information found on this site is meant for educational and informational purposes only.