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Article reprinted from "In Touch" the
 magazine for Forever Living Distributors

Your Veterinary Questions Answered
by our Advisory Board Member
 

David Urch
BSc MA VetMB MRCVS

Q: Is Aloe Vera beneficial in cases of diabetes?

A: Although Aloe Vera does not specifically act in these cases, it is often found that in both people and animals there do seem to be beneficial effects. In practice dogs are the most common species we see with diabetes. I have found that if 60-80 mls Aloe Vera Gel is added to their diet daily for at least 6 weeks, many have shown a more consistent blood glucose level and in up to 20% of cases, the insulin dose required has been reduced. It is important to remember that one must never interfere with any drug prescribed by a veterinary surgeon. It is always the vet's responsbility to decide on any change in medication.

Q: Can Aloe Vera be used for kidney disease?

A: Mature cats commonly suffer from ageing kidney disease. One often notices that they drink from unusual places such as ponds, bird baths and puddles. They lose weight, often suffer teeth and oral problems with bad breath and they will often bother you for food but will either decide then not to eat it or eat only a little. There are a number of veterinary drugs which are used to help this condition including special low protein diets. I have found in practice that Aloe Vera can be used in conjunction with these, producing beneficial effects for the cat. I generally advise 20 mls Aloe Vera Gel added to the diet or fluid daily. The Aloe Berry Nectar can also be used. With both preparations it is often best to add a teaspoonful to the diet to start with and then to increase slowly to 20 mls, since many cats are fastidious eaters.

Q: Are there any Aloe Vera preparations which can be used for 'sweet itch'?

A: Yes. Sweet itch is an allergic dermatitis caused by a biting midge called 'Culicoides'. The skin reaction is very pruritic (itchy) with considerable inflammation. This leads to a lot of rubbing and self inflicted trauma to the skin. It is important to keep the pony/horse away from the midges, so it is best to keep them in, particularly around dusk and dawn. When trying to help this condition I have obtained most beneficial results by first incorporating 100 mls of Aloe Vera Gel in the diet daily, washing off the ears with Aloe Soap and then spraying with Veterinary Formula at least 4 times daily. The Aloe Gelly is also very useful in this condition and if the areas become infected I use the Aloe Propolis Creme.

Q: Is Aloe Vera Gel suitable for elderly animals?

A: The Aloe Vera Gel is an excellent preparation for our more mature animal friends. It acts as a general 'pick me up' and helps keep all systems, particularly the immunological system in peak performance. I recommend the following amounts:-

Cats       15-20 mls per day
Dogs      40-60 mls per day
Horses   100-200 mls per day

Each year I am called to examine mature horses and ponies from January onwards because they are losing weight and showing signs of not coping. When these are examined and blood tested, many show signs of poor digestion and liver/ kidney problems usually associated with the ageing process. These animals need a well balanced, appetising and nourishing diet with protection from the weather. Have their teeth checked and worm regularly.

Q: Can Bee Propolis tablets be used in animals?

A: Yes. Bee Propolis is one of the most effective natural antimicrobial agents known. It can be used alone but if used with antibiotics it often increases their potency. For mild infections I have found that animals require fairly large amounts and although it does not always completely stop the disease process, it often decreases both the clinical signs and the duration to recovery. When trying to help any condition affecting an animal, if there is no improvement then one should always seek veterinary advice.

Q: My cat has ear mites, can I use Aloe Vera to help rid her of them?

A: Although Aloe Vera will not specifically kill mites, I have found in practice if the ears are firstly cleaned out with small amounts of Aloe Soap diluted with warm water, you can clean out the discharges from the ear. Then I apply a few drops of Veterinary Formula, massage this gently in and then remove carefully with cotton wool. Finally, I introduce a small amount of Gelly into the ear, gently massage in. Repeat the Veterinary Formula and Gelly twice daily for one week and only use the Soap if there is a lot of discharge. If there is no improvement after 3 days seek veterinary advice.

Article originally published in In Touch magazine - February 1998