Valerian Root for Pets


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     Valerian root benefits for dogs and cats 

The Value of Valerian

Valerian is an herbal remedy whose root is the source of its benefits. This has been used for a very long time to help with many different issues. Since the 17th century it has been widely used in Europe.

Mainly, valerian is known for its calming effects. The actual way this effect is caused in the body isn't fully known but may be related to increasing one of the brain's nerologic transmitters bringing about relaxation. This herb can help with falling asleep, staying asleep and making sleep more restful due to a better quality of sleep. It has been used and it recommended to calm a hyper pet or relax a nervous one.

In some people it has been found that valerian helps with headaches, especially stress induced ones. As it can cause relaxation in general and relaxation of muscles specifically it can ease muscle and joint aches and pains.

Stress related or induced digestive disorders, such as inflammatory bowel disease can be aided by this herb as it also relaxes the gut muscles.

In people, valerian has been shown to lower blood pressure and slow fast heart rates. Valerian has anticlotting properties as well so is good for certain heart conditions which may increase the chance of developing clots.

The main side effect is drowsiness and decreased awareness. At HIGH dosages some have experienced headaches, blurry vision, lightheadedness, restlessness, and heart palpitations. This may be due to adrenalin kicking in if too high a dose is given to counteract the overdose or may be a direct efect of valerian. Again this is rare and only at HIGH dosages. Rarely, a patient may get nervous and anxious instead of relaxwd by valerian.

The liver does process this herb to remove it from the body so if any prior liver disease is present, use only under advisement of your veterinarian and at reduced doses. Also, if too high a dose is given for long periods of time liver damage can occur.

If any of the negative issues occur listed above, discontinue use immediately and contact your veterinarian. At usual doses, for short periods in healthy pets, all should be fine.

Another caution is don't use valerian if your pet is on any prescription sedatives, barbituates (such as for epilepsy) or anti-depressants without consulting with your veterinarian first. The effect can be additive and cause an overdose. And definitely, don't give any valerian before an anesthesia procedure to avoid cumulative effects of sedation and anesthesia that could be detrimental.

Clinically, valerian is good for seperation anxiety, fear from loud noises, digestive issues caused by stress and can be useful in cats who urinate outside the litter box if that is stress induced. Often valerian is used in combination formulas to increase the calming effects and reduce side effects.

There may be other uses as stress can cause all kinds of physical and behavioral issues and what our pets consider stress is often different than what we consider it. For example, cats find any change in routine stressful. Most pets get anxious when their owners go on vacation. I am sure you can think of more.

Here's hoping your beloved animal family member has a happy and calm existence. If not always so, I hope this data helps.

To see our products containing valerian, see the following pages for Nutricalm Capsules and also Liquid Nutricalm.

RECOMMENDED ENTERTAINMENT: Spend time in your yard with your pet. Yes, I am hoping Spring arrives soon. (If not fenced in, use a leash, please to avoid runaways or mishap with cars.)

Until next time,

Dr. Jan


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