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Essential Oils: Proving Treatment for Hot Spots on Dogs

Treating hot spots on dogs has always been tricky to do as there are multiple causes of skin irritation and itching. Just ruling out the initial cause of the irritation can take time. Dermatitis is often presented as an allergy to the dog’s environmental surroundings or diet and is usually treated with elimination diets, topical therapies, or anti-inflammatories. It can be difficult and time consuming to treat, as well as uncomfortable for the dog. Fortunately, help is on the horizon.


With the overuse of antibiotics to treat bacteria, many people are looking for safer alternatives for their pets and families. Researchers are also looking closely at antibiotic alternatives for effectiveness and finding some hopeful data in the process. Recently, university testing has found that essential oils can be useful in improving canine skin without adverse reactions.


An interesting three-clinic study from 2014 in The Veterinary Journal trialed a combination of oral polyunsaturated fatty acids and an applied essential oil for atopic dermatitis on a range of different breeds, ages, and gendered dogs. Clinics in the UK, USA, and Germany worked together and found a measurable improvement with the test group using neem oil, rosemary extract, lavender oil, clove oil, tea tree oil, oregano, peppermint oil, and cedar bark extract with linoleum acid and vitamin E. The full details of the study may be read here on Science Direct.


Another peer-reviewed study published in the Microorganisms Journal, February 2020, issue 2, “Antimicrobial Activity of Essential Oils against Staphylococcus and Malassezia Strains Isolated from Canine Dermatitis,” looks at the effectiveness of essential oils on canine dermatitis. Nine essential oils were reviewed, and the findings were promising when used for mixed infections. This particular study is available to read in detail here.


How to safely use essential oils for your dog


Because essential oils are taken directly from raw plants and distilled carefully to create a highly concentrated liquid, it’s important to know which ones should be diluted or diffused rather than used at full strength. Keep in mind that these oils should only be “therapeutic grade” oils from a reputable company, such as Young Living. Using oils to support good health means observing your pet for any adverse reactions, starting with a small amount. One single drop of essential oil diluted in a carrier oil, such as grapeseed, almond, apricot kernel or coconut oil is typically enough. If your dog is not happy about the oil smell, allow them an escape route away from you. Use them for two weeks and then evaluate any changes in your dog’s behavior or skin. If no changes are present in the first few days, you may want to change the approach. Using a modality like essential oils allows us to be very individual in our approach. So if something is not showing results pretty quickly, it’s time to pivot! Reach out, I’d love to help!

Here are some essential oils to try for your dog’s skin allergies or dermatitis:


Lavender – Calming, comforting, soothing to the skin. An easy go-to. 

Frankincense – Its healing properties have been cherished for thousands of years. Use topically or internally. 

Purification – Great applied topically to those troublesome ears of pets who love to swim! Diffuse to help with that pet smell!! 

Peppermint – Great to help sooth the itch, relieve sore muscle, deters flies. 

Oregano – Great immune support for allergy sufferers. I prefer this given internally, for example, a drop in a veggie cap wrapped in cream cheese.


How much oil do I need?

Working with someone who has experience in selecting and using these powerful healing elements can be helpful. Every animal is an individual and it is nice to customize. Some respond to one drop and other applications may take several drops with repetition. If you are just starting out it’s a good idea to use a carrier oil to dilute the essential oil so the body has more time to process it. If you feel you’ve used too much add more carrier oil, not water, water actually invigorates the essential oils. 


For help with selecting an appropriate essential oil and its proper use for your dog, contact Mollie.

ABOUT MOLLIE VACCO

Certified health coach, with a focus on natural wellness and holistic modalities
Mom of three boys & wife
Licensed Parelli Instructor & horsewoman

hot spots in dogs
Essential Oils for Horses

Essential Oils for Horses

Proven to Provide Support

In recent years, peer-reviewed veterinary studies have frequently been appearing regarding the
use of essential oils and their use on the equine population, which is very exciting! Aromatherapy
and oils for reducing stress, increasing focus and decreasing pain are being critically reviewed to
understand the benefits for horses. This article explores some recent studies and suggestions on
how to begin using the natural healing of essential oils to benefit your horses.

Specific Oils Proven to Work for Horses
In the study, “Effect of Aromatherapy on Equine Heart Rate Variability,” researchers tested
lavender and chamomile to decrease heart rate in eight dressage horses. The group used a control
of humidified air. Dressage horses are sensitive to environmental changes and can be affected
during competition. During the test, heart rate variability was recorded before, during and after
each lavender treatment and then again 30 minutes afterward. Camomile was tested using the
same process. The researchers found that lavender has a measurable parasympathetic change and
reduced heart rate variability immediately after treatment. Chamomile use does not offer any
measured improvement. The result of the study does indicate that lavender is a proven calming
agent for horses. Download the full article from Science Direct.

A Spanish study, “Essential Oils in the Control of Infections by Staphylococcus xylosus in
Horses
,” 2014, tested nine essential oils (cinnamon, palmarosa, two types of cloves, naiouli,
peppermint, oregano, rosemary, and sauce thyme) to look at the antimicrobial effect
against Staphylocccus xylosus isolates. The S. xylosus bacteria is associated with kidney
inflammation (UTIs) in humans and is typically treated with a round of antibiotics. Aside from
rosemary, all of the other essential oils showed antimicrobial activity against 27 isolates of the
bacteria. This study showed high potential in using sauce thyme and oregano in controlling this
infection in horses. The study may be reviewed here in more detail.

In 2018, a larger study on plant extracts in horse feed reviewed existing reports looking at
potential use in commercial feeds. A wide range of herbs and plants from ginger, licorice, to Aloe
vera have antioxidative properties. While the review found that extracts in diets may provide
benefits for stress-related and therapeutic benefits, more research is required to define the correct
dosage, timeframe and type of plant or extract for commercial and safe versions.

Which Oils to Use

If you want to experiment with some practical, natural and safe options,

Young Living Essential Oils are created to be used in the barn with a diffuser or topically to boost regular veterinary care and proper nutrition. The Young Living team and Pat & Linda Parelli have spent time researching how horses react to essential oils and the most effective way to use them. Young Living has a board of veterinarians who oversee animal product development.

Basic Barn Kit for Horses

If you are new to using natural choices for your horses’ health, an essential (and free!) guide with recipes can be requested easily here. Learn to create safe and natural coat conditioner, mane and tail detangler, non-toxic fly sprays, and seasonal transition support recipes for your herd.

Keep essential oils on hand for daily use. Here are some of Mollie’s go-to favorites that you can try!

Lavender

  • promotes general relaxation, use on minor cuts
  • reduces the tension of loading and trailering

Valor

  • balances energies
  • helps horses with unbalanced riders
  • great support for the spine

Peppermint & Peppermint Vitality

  • add to water in the summer to encourage drinking and cooling effects
  • use diluted in water for a cooling sponge bath after riding
  • great boost for fly spray

Thieves Household Cleaner

  • treatment for rain rot and scratches
  • boost your fly spray by adding to the mix
  • abscess soak solution 
  • non-toxic stall and bucket cleaner at shows or between horses

Where to Buy Quality Essential Oils

Need to purchase your essential starter kit or refresh your oil supply? >> Click here

Want to know more about how to use oils? Sign up for Mollie’s Free Oils Mini Course using the popup at the bottom of this page!

ABOUT MOLLIE VACCO

Certified health coach, with a focus on natural wellness and holistic modalities
Mom of three boys & wife
Licensed Parelli Instructor & horsewoman

Using Essential Oils On Your Feet

Using Essential Oils On Your Feet

We talk OFTEN about using essential oils on your feet. The skin is thicker there and even with “hot” oils, there rarely is any sensitivity so it’s a great place to “try an oil out”.

Well, apparently every time we start teaching something, the aromatherapy world decides we MUST be wrong. Ugh…. this is gettin’ old! So, if you’ve seen any debate recently online about how it’s “worthless to apply oils to the bottom of your feet because they have no hair follicles,” read on.

Question: I read that the whole oils absorb on your feet because of the large pores is bunk. That sweat glands don’t absorb the oils and thus its a waste. Is that true?

Yes, you should apply essential oils on your feet, but not because they have the largest pores. Yes, we have large pores on our feet, but pores do not actually absorb anything. Pores are present in our skin to let substances out. The skin has two types of pores – hair follicles housing oil (sebaceous) glands to lubricate the skin and sweat pores serving as the ducts for sweat glands (1). The feet do not have hair follicles, so they do not produce sebum, which essentially acts as a barrier. Feet have a concentrated amount of sweat glands, but again, those act as an EXIT for the body, not an entrance.

From the book, Clinical Aromatherapy by Jane Buckle, studies at Columbia found that diluted essential oils rubbed on the feet affected some volunteers’ autonomic nervous system within minutes, but I’ve also read that after a massage, the chemical constituents of Lavender Essential Oil were found in the blood of a male within 15-20 minutes. My humble conclusion is that it doesn’t matter where we put the oils on our skin – they will be absorbed pretty quickly either way. I did find that areas of the body that are plentiful in sweat glands, sebaceous glands and hair follicles (i.e. scalp, face) are great locations for absorption (2). You can find some of the benefits of applying essential oils on your feet below.

There are a few reasons that putting essential oils on your feet IS a good idea:

  • Oils can easily be applied to the feet and covered with socks if you don’t like the smell of the oil.
  • The palms of the hands and the soles of the feet are less sensitive than other areas of the body, so most people will not have a skin reaction with the application of a neat oil (without being diluted).
  • Essential oils do not actually need an opening or incision in the skin to be absorbed. They are lipophilic (fat-soluble) (2), so they “mix” well with our skin and have a greater tendency for transdermal (through the skin) absorption.
  • Essential oils are made up of small enough molecules to penetrate our cells, so one could conclude that they are small enough to penetrate our skin without an opening such as a pore.

 

From Lindsey Elmore: You don’t need an opening in the skin because the oils are lipid soluble and thus will absorb through the skin, not just openings.

(1) Everydayhealth.com “Pore You” by Ava Shamban, MD.
2) http://ndnr.com/mind…/dermal-absorption-of-essential-oils/