St. John's Wort is best known for its antidepressive qualities, not only in dogs but in humans too. However, it has a whole array of other beneficial properties as well.
Uses for St. John’s Wort
St. John’s wort aids dogs that suffer from anxiety disorders, like separation anxiety, and various aggressive disorders. This herb can also offer a holistic healing for your pet.
Because of its antibacterial qualities, it is excellent to use for the treatment of minor injuries like stings and insect bites. It accelerates healing and also eases pain.
Also, St. John's wort has a particular use for dogs that have arthritis. It can decrease pain, speed up the healing rate, and has a particularly good effect on helping heal nerve damage.
And let's not forget to mention its antiviral qualities, which make it an excellent option for treating viral infections.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
If you thought only humans suffered from this disorder, you're in for a surprise since your dog can suffer from it, too. And if you've noticed any repetitive behavior in your dog, such as repeated tail biting, it might be wise to ask your vet about how St. John's wort may help.
St. John's Wort has a calming effect on a dog's nervous system so that it can be used as treatment. It can offer your dog a better sleep quality by increasing the deep sleep phases, develop better cognitive functions, improve mood, and increase your pet's level of interest and activity.
St. John's Wort can be used to make a great all purpose skin oil for dogs. It can be used topically to treat skin conditions, small cuts or minor burns, paw pad irritations, etc.
All you need to do is use dried herbs of St. John's wort and combine them with calendula and comfrey. Mix them in a jar and pour in olive oil until the jar is full. Seal the jar, this is important, and place it under the hot sun where it can stay for several weeks. Then strain the mixture before using.
Still, consult your vet or do a small test because, although St. John's Wort is primarily safe, there have been some rare instances where some dogs have developed what is called a photosensitive rash from coming in contact with it.
Also, if your dog is likely to lick the area where you apply this mixture, it is strongly recommended to use an Elizabethan collar for a couple of hours after application to restrain the dog from licking the topical application and upsetting their stomach.
St. John's Wort can relieve muscular joint or nerve pain issues where the nerve ending was injured. Although there are some recipes for internal consumption, most are applied externally, as an oil infusion or cream, on the painful areas.
Finding and Using St. John’s Wort
St. John's Wort can be acquired in different forms, such as pills, dog treats, and certain chew toys. It is often sold together with other herbal remedies.
Do not give St. John's Wort to your dog unless you have talked to your veterinarian first. A vet will be able to advise you and let you know if it is a good idea to use St. John's wort, and most importantly, the dosage required for your particular dog.
The length of treatment depends on what condition your pet is being treated for, how they react to the use of the herb, and whether or not there are any negative effects. Don't try to assess them yourself, consult your vet.
Also, if an emergency should occur due to the use of this herb, your vet will already be informed about the fact that you were giving St. John's wort to your dog, and thus will be able to offer better help.
Remember that it is always necessary to have a correct diagnosis from a veterinarian before you try and treat your dog with any herbal remedy, including St. John's Wort. For instance, a dog owner may assume that their dog has arthritis after noticing symptoms such as stiffness when walking, lameness, increased sedentary behavior or a reluctance to exercise. But these symptoms can relate to many other problems, such as cancer, Lyme disease, lupus, and Cushing's disease, to name a few.
Avoid administering St. John's wort if you're already using any other medication or herbal remedies with antidepressant properties. Consult your veterinarian before starting any new treatment and do not discontinue other medications in order to start treatment with St. John's wort without discussing it first with your veterinarian.
Consider that you might start seeing results after one or two weeks, so be patient and don't increase the dosage by yourself.
Remember that just because it's natural, it doesn't mean it is safe. An incorrect dose of St. John's wort can lead to photosensitivity, cataract formation, and decreased vision.