About a month ago, my very sweet cat, Leo, came home with a serious wound on his tail: It was an open, bloody, angry sore.  His tail was swollen and extremely tender to touch.  The wound looked deep.  I took him to the vet because I wanted to make sure there was no foreign material stuck in the wound, plus, I wanted to see what kind of medical care they could offer Leo.

Leo’s wound. His compulsive licking removed some fur.

The cone didn’t last even one day.  He screamed, moaned, and tore that cone off his head like a wild cat. He had fear and panic in his eyes – how to do you explain the purpose of a cone to a cat?!  I know that stress compromises immunity, so I removed the cone.  He instantly calmed down, curled up in a ball, and slept. I know that resting, especially deep rest, engages the parasympathetic nervous system which is the part of a nervous system that encourages healing.

After one day of antibiotics, he developed diarrhea and began looking weak and sick.  The spark in his eyes began to dim.  I was terrified. That’s when I stopped everything I was doing and really asked myself: What the heck am I doing? Here I am with literally thousands of herbs and homeopathic remedies in my apothecary and nearly daily I deal with these kinds of first aid situations in my clinic (albeit with humans) why not apply my skills to my sweet cat?

The reason I didn’t first apply my skills of natural healthcare are because: 1) I was alarmed at how serious the wound looked, plus I have no veterinary training 2) it’s difficult to assess loved ones from a distance and think rationally

I took a breath, emotionally distanced myself for a moment, and pulled out the remedies I would use for a person. Here’s what I did:

*Disclaimer: Please note that Seraphina Capranos is not a veterinarian nor does she have any animal herbal or homeopathic training. The information below is not intended to be distributed as medical/veterinary advice.  Should you have an injured animal in your care, please consult with a veterinarian.*

1. First, I simmered the herb Usnea in a small saucepan with water.  The proportions were about one small handful of Usnea to 2 cups of water. I simmered it until it was rich in colour – a dark brown/black (about 30 mins). Usnea is a Lichen (often confused for moss) that grows abundantly here where I live.  If I didn’t have Usnea so readily at hand, I’d use dried or fresh calendula blossoms. Usnea is a potent anti-microbial and wound healer.

I then soaked a cotton cloth in the very-warm-almost-hot liquid and applied the hot compress to his tail. He squeaked at first, for about a second, then calmed as if he loved the feeling. I held him in my arms with the compress around his tail until it became lukewarm. About four minutes.

I reserved the remaining liquid in a jar.  I used this to apply hot compresses twice a day.

2. I gave him one dose of homeopathic Ledum twice daily, morning and evening. Ledum is a great first aid remedy for puncture wounds.  I suspect Leo was bitten by another cat, or raccoon. Ledum encourages the immune system to protect against infection plus it encourages new healthy cell growth.

I applied Ledum for three days in total.

3. In one ounce of hot water, I placed 5 drops of Echinacea tincture and 5 drops of Alder tincture. The hot water is to burn off the bite of alcohol. Once it cooled to warm, using a dropper, I squirted 1/2 dropper of this solution into his mouth. He was impressively compliant. I curled him in my lap, stuck the dropper into his mouth, and released the solution.  This all took maybe 2 seconds. He didn’t even blink. Nor did he seemingly react to the taste (it’s pretty bitter).

I applied the Echinacea and Alder tinctures twice daily. Both of these herbs are powerfully anti-infective.  If I didn’t have Alder, I would have just used Echinacea.

4. The wound was quite wet and bloody. He wouldn’t let me wrapped it in gauze or anything I would do for a human.  But I had the instinct to put something on it to protect it. I have a nice big fresh aloe plant.  So I opened a stalk of fresh aloe and applied the inner gel to his wound twice a day.  Surprisingly, he let me do this even though the wound was very tender. I just had to be extremely gentle.

SUMMARY:

– Usnea hot compresses twice a day
– homeopathic Ledum twice a day (for only three days)
– Echinacea & Alder tinctures Twice a day
– Aloe gel (fresh) Twice a day

None of this took much time.  I simmered the Usnea just once and then had the reserve to warm as needed. I did the entire protocol before his meals (morning and evening) and around the time I was also preparing my meals so he was sure to be around (he follows me to the kitchen!).

He’s an outdoor cat, and the hardest decision to make was to still let him go outside. I tried keeping him in for the first two days as per the vet’s recommendation. But honestly, he cried so intensely I feel like that just added to the stress he was under.  So I let him have his usual routine which I think put him at peace.  To my relief, he instinctively wanted to spend more time in the house sleeping and staying warm.

RESULT
Within one day of removing the antibiotics and applying the homeopathics and herbs, his mood perked and diarrhea subsided.  To my delight, his tail healed beautifully within four weeks!   Each day it looked better and better. Within one day the inflammation subsided, within a few days it wasn’t so sensitive to touch, and the sore looked less angry.  The healing process was uneventful, with no setbacks. He did continually lick, and, even though the vet may not agree with me, my sense is the natural enzymes from his saliva helped the healing. He naturally stopped licking the wound once it healed over.

About four weeks later. It’s completely healed, with just a bit of evidence of a scab. The fur is slowly growing in. He no longer licks at all.

I learned that just like humans, animals really need the security of their daily routine especially when they are vulnerable or not feeling well.  The stress of the unknown (trips to the vet even if necessary, not being able to go outside etc) can be very compromising, which is even more difficult because I couldn’t really explain to Leo why staying in and away from the possible bully might be a good idea.

I kept a close watch not only on the wound, but his entire well-being.  I made sure his eyes were bright and alert as they usually are, I watched to make sure his appetite and behaviour were normal.  If  at any point his behaviour or well-being seemed off or diminished, I would have brought him back to the Vet for an examination. But I felt very confident in the care I offered because I watched him only get better.

Leo sleeping in a box with his stuffed animal. Two of his favourite things.

Have you used natural medicine for the animals in your life?  I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

14 Comments

  1. Jill on May 8, 2018 at 1:08 pm

    My 6 month old cat had a puncture wound which I thought was from barbed wire. He developed an abcess on the top of his paw. My vet said it was from a cat bite and surgically removed the nasty swelling, stitched the wound and applied the necessary antibiotic medication injections. The wound wasn’t healing, so cat was put on a course of antibiotic pills for 30 days. Still the wound wasn’t healing. The vet said it was a fistular. (Lab had checked for cancer – negative.) I decided to try homeopathy and purchased Ledum palustre liquid. Am I doing the right thing?

    • Seraphina Capranos on May 14, 2018 at 1:38 pm

      Ledum is a very good choice. If that doesn’t help, I suggest reading up on: mercurius Sol. as a remedy or Hepar Sulph and see if one of those fit.
      And of course, I cannot stress enough, wash the wound in the above herbs I wrote about here.

      Good luck!

  2. Sara Logan on August 12, 2017 at 12:15 pm

    Could subra be used internally for a cat? My cat was born with a chronic upper respiratory infection. He’s always congested and it’s affected his teeth. We had him on antibiotics, but the doctor said he’d have to be on them forever. I want to find a natural alternative for him.

    • Seraphina Capranos on August 12, 2017 at 6:44 pm

      Hi Sara,

      I’m sorry I don’t know what subra is, so I can’t say whether it’s safe for internal use. I recommend consulting with a vet.

      Warmly,
      Seraphina

  3. Moss on May 17, 2016 at 11:53 am

    Using this post right now! Mean neighbourhood cat attacked my beloved kitty.

    • Seraphina Capranos on May 17, 2016 at 12:00 pm

      Oh no! Moss I hope your kitty heals up well. Please keep me posted with an update!

  4. Anne on March 16, 2016 at 1:47 pm

    Fantastic advice. So true that cats do not need the stress of a visit to the vets when they are needing to heal. My cat’s mystery wound was deep but very clean from his constant licking, so I cut an aloe vera leaf and applied the juice that I squeezed out. Surprisingly my cat allowed me to apply the aloe vera without a fuss – I think that the vibrations from the tone of my voice explaining my intention to help him heal were a contributing factor to his acceptance of my aid. I ony needed to apply 3 times and I started to see a significant improvement and cicitrization. So pleased I found your article as I was quite concerned about the appropriate action to take and reading your story gave me the confidence to take things into my own hands rather than running to the vet. A big ‘Thank You’ from my heart.

    • Seraphina Capranos on March 16, 2016 at 2:49 pm

      What a great story Anne, yes, it always amazes me how animals are tolerant in some surprising circumstances. Fresh aloe – so simple yet so effective. Thank you for sharing!

  5. Karin Beviere on January 29, 2015 at 9:54 pm

    Hi Seraphina,
    I’m so glad you had this experience! I have a story too… when Mr Kite had an abscess a few years ago, I gave him daily Silicea and hot compresses. The first time I did the compress, he resisted but settled quickly into it. THEN, each time I would go and reheat the cloth, he would lift his paw up for me so I could wrap the compress around it. It was profoundly heart opening and so amazing to experience his trust in my help! And of course, he healed just beautifully. Natural medicine is wonderful for our cats. Thank goodness we can offer it to them.

  6. cecile petra on January 29, 2015 at 8:44 pm

    This was soooo timely Seraphina. I opened this email while sitting at a vet clinic with my cat!! I have no idea what’s wrong with her, but she’s not eating and quite listless. Vet said there was a slight fever and took blood/urine tests. The bill came to $281 for a 15 minute consult and two tests!! Once I have the results tomorrow, I hope I can use homeopathy and/or herbs for her, to not only avoid more expensive vet bills, but also since it would likely be far less invasive. I’ll keep you posted!

    • admin on January 29, 2015 at 8:54 pm

      Wow Cecile, my heart goes out to both you and your cat! Often I get a diagnosis from a vet which can be very helpful (rule out obstructions, chronic diseases, autoimmune diseases), and then from there use the natural medicine.

  7. Gaianna on January 29, 2015 at 5:00 pm

    I Love this story Seraphina! And yes, my 3 year old Tommie has come home with wounds and ticks that have had me seriously concerned. For the ticks, after pulling them out asap (and being careful not to squeeze their infectious juices into Tommie) I used the homeopathic remedy Calendula to help heal the swelling. This would work like a charm, within 1-3 hours the swelling would go down. In fact, calendula is one of Tommie’s favorite remedies, I use it on him a lot. One time I came home to find he had a big wound over his eye where he couldn’t open his eye at all! It was 10pm at night so I thought I’d give him calendula and then take him to the vet in the morning. I was actually really worried about him. But by the morning his eye looked completely normal! I just couldn’t believe it! I also give him Aconite when he comes home scared and within a minute or two he’s back to his little sweet self.

    I took your homeopathy courses and have become my own vet! 🙂 You have no idea on how many vet bills I would have come across if I didn’t have this knowledge. Plus it really makes me feel empowered by taking me out from feeling helpless into being able to really help the situation in ways I’ve not thought possible! Thanks Seraphina!
    Gaianna!

    • admin on January 29, 2015 at 7:15 pm

      Wow! Thank you SO MUCH for sharing Gaianna! That’s amazing! It really is so empowering to use natural, safe, effective remedies that continually work. I love it! IT’s wonderful to hear from you, and I’m so glad you’re doing so well!

  8. Elaina on January 29, 2015 at 1:44 pm

    How lovely that you were able to do this for him Seraphina. Elaina

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