Aloe For Healthy Dogs, Cats, and Horses

Aloe Vera has been proven effective in fighting many types of infection in animals, treating mites, bacteria, fungi, and yeast-related conditions. Acemannan, a compound found in Aloe Vera gel, stimulates immune system response, and has increased the effectiveness of many veterinary vaccines. The gel is gentle enough to use on delicate eye and ear tissue and makes a versatile topical treatment and well as nutritional supplement. Aloe can complement many treatments and boost the effectiveness of some medicinal substances by increasing their rate of absorption.

Pure Aloe Vera gel is great to have on hand for first aid uses. Aloe disinfects cuts and scrapes and encourages cellular regeneration, resulting in faster healing and less scarring. Add Aloe gel to gentle, diluted soap, or apply it directly to the skin and cover with gauze as a wound dressing. Diluted Aloe gel can also be kept in a spray bottle for easy application. Check out our resources section below for a list of animal-friendly products with Aloe.

Common veterinary uses for Aloe Vera

Itchy dogs

Fleas can be a nasty problem. Some dogs are especially sensitive to flea bites, and getting rid of fleas once they’re infected can be tough. Dogs often become obsessed with licking and scratching flea-bitten skin, resulting in sores which are vulnerable to the bacterial infection.

Aloe Vera gel may be used to clean and protect these “hot spots.” In addition to antibacterial properties which disinfect the wound, and the immune stimulant  acemannan, Aloe also has an anesthetic effect, which is why it feels so good on sunburned skin. Applying the gel regularly can soothe the itch and relieve your dog’s need to constantly tend to the wound.

Repeated application of pure Aloe gel will speed healing–three or four applications a day will do the trick. If your dog continues to lick the irritation and prevent healing, one alternative to a collar is to wrap the wound in gauze after applying the gel, changing the dressing at least once every two days until it has healed.

Ear mites and viruses

Some cats don’t resound well to antibiotics, and Aloe can be useful as a replacement therapy for a variety of feline disorders. Feline Infectious Peritonitis, Feline Leukemia Virus, and related syndromes are highly preventable via vaccine, but highly contagious and dangerous if left untreated. In advanced cases, Aloe can be used as a companion remedy to penicillin-based treatments. Aloe has been proven to relieve symptoms including eye irritations, runny noses, and dry skin when used topically as well as intravenously–it’s worth discussing these options with your veterinarian. Aloe nutritional supplements can also be used as a follow-up treatment to prevent recurrence of the disease. For more information on FIP, check out our post.

As with dogs, Aloe can be used to treat fleas or ear mites–a common problem in kittens. Aloe gel is sometimes an ingredient in drops for mite infections. A drop or two of gel can also be added to the solution. In addition, Aloe gel can be GENTLY applied to the outer portions of the ear with a cotton swab to clean, disinfect, soothe, and prevent the recurrence of ear mites.

Arthritis, ulcers, and more

Doses of Aloe gel administered orally have been effective in reducing swollen joints, throat infections, ulcers and digestive disorders including grass sickness in horses. Aloe Vera gel added to the food is a highly effective treatment for gastric ulcers, which occur in over 90% of race horses.

Race horses are also vulnerable to tendon injuries. It is very important that the inflammatory reaction is contained as soon as possible to avoid worsening the injury. Compresses of frozen Aloe gel can help in early on, followed by a heat rub with aloe in the later stages of treatment. Blended with glucosamine, chondroitin and MSM, Aloe also may be used to treat arthritis. Aloe increases the absorption of these agents thus maximizing their benefits.

As with dogs and cats, Aloe may also be used to clean and soothe skin abrasions in horses, as well as hemotomas (deep bruises common on the sole of the foot). Both oral and topical application can be effective treatments for skin conditions caused by allergies, abscesses, fungal infections, and many types of dermatitis.

With any medical condition, consult a veterinarian before beginning a new course of treatment.  Your vet well be able to help you determine the proper dosage for your animal and the best way to better incorporate Aloe into an existing or follow-up treatment.

Resources

  • Aloequine nutritional supplements for horses
  • Equinature all-natural treatments for skin conditions, ulcers, and more
  • Corta-flex all-natural nutritional supplements for horses with Aloe
  • Finish Line Horse Products Aloe Vera nutritional supplements gastric ulcer treatments for horses
  • Vet’s Best natural flea and tick shampoos and leave-in treatments for dogs and cats
  • Organic Oscar Aloe Vera bathing products for dogs
  • Earthbath natural products for dogs, cats, and horses
  • Healthy Pets carries a variety of Aloe ear cleaners, shampoos and more
  • Flying Basset Organics Aloe Vera Extract for internal or external use
  • Espree Natural Pet Care for dogs, cats, and horses including Aloe vera hot spot foam, bathing products, and eye wash

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Comments

  1. Stina says

    I have a staffy with the typical staffy skin of itches and allergies. I have found that applying pure Aloe Vera gel has helped soothe his skin and given him relief. But it was interesting to read the other aspects of it as well. However, my vet did tell me that eating or ingesting the Aloe leaf is toxic to dogs. I would hope that this is different regarding the gel. Can anyone confirm?

    • Pep says

      I have given my dogs aloe vera gel with no problem. I don’t give them too much. If you are going to give them aloe vera gel from your backyard, you have to be extra careful with the bitter sap because of laxative, and depending on the size of your dog. Otherwise you can get 100% aloe ver gel (I use George’s because it is 100%, no preservative) and here’s the link as guideline to start with. Always start small before increasing but never go beyond, because it can be toxic. HTH
      http://www.ehow.com/info_8749225_internal-uses-aloe-vera-dogs.html

    • says

      The aloe leaf itself contains substances which are toxic to dogs. Even the inside of the outer leaf too as this contains latex. However, the aloe gel found inside the leaf is non toxic and this is the substance which has numerous benefits for humans and animals alike.

  2. Robyn John says

    Our 4 year old staffie has had a continuing skin condition since he was 8 months old. It has varied between fungal and or bacterial infections ( according to the vet ). We tried changing his diet 9vet recommendation) over 6 months to no avail.
    I have tried using various shampoos that include all anti itch/ control of mites/ fungal and bacterial infections. Sometimes they work then other times he is worse for it. Aloe Vera I have also tried with some success. Then there are the Aloe products with oatmeal as a shampoo and as a skin conditioner. I have also tried collodial silver which works sometimes. Then there is bathing him in selsen dandruff shampoo which a vet suggested. This also works at times.
    We have also tried medication -anti fungal & bacterial drugs which help a bit but are very expensive.
    We have also tried a quarterone injection which helped a lot but we don’t want to have him on that constantly either.
    If anyone has a suggestion that WORKS please let me know.

    From Robyn….frustrated Staffie lover

    • pamarshall1962 says

      i have a 14 year old dog w/all kinds of skin problems w/fleas & icthing w/loss of hair, the best & cheapest way i have found that helps him is; 1. bath it in babt shampoo w/lemon or lime that’s been sliced boiled for 2 min. & left to steaped over nite, 1/4 baby shampoo & the rest w/ the steaped juice, 2. twice a week take fresh plain yogurt rub over entire body leave on for 20 min, & rinse, (do not wash or bath animal afterwards) & another thing change your pets diet to fresh meats uncooked for about 2 or 3 weeks, it help there inmune system fight back better, try that & let me know how it goes.

    • says

      I too have a Staffy cross – Haribo!! He likes to sunbathe lying on his back with all 4 legs splayed. So, he regularly gets sunburned as I live in a sunny place. I use Aloe Gelly on him and this reduces the redness and any soreness. I also use this for any cuts, grazes etc he gets whilst out looking for lizards in the rocks. I loved this product so much and saw so many uses that I became a distributor for it and you can see my Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/ForeverTouchProducts and see a link on there for my online shop where you can order it for your Staffy too!

  3. Joyce says

    My cat was diagnosed with feline leukemia and sent home to die. The vet told me she would be dead in a couple of weeks. She was dehydrated, wouldn’t drink or eat. I brought her home and started giving her aloe vera juice orally. (I used a high MPS aloe vera juice – available from http://www.aloemaster). In a few days she was drinking water on her own. Then I started force feeding her, 3 or 4 times a day, with a mixture of cottage cheese, yogurt, aloe vera juice, MSM, and a couple of other natural ingredients. 2 or 3 weeks later she was eating on her own and running around like a kitten. She lived another 8 years and died at age 19! I give aloe vera the credit. I had seen a study done by TX A&M prior to all this where they used extract of aloe vera and had excellent results in cats with feline leukemia. That information was taken off the internet not too long afterwards. The vet in Canada couldn’t believe it when I took her back several months later. I told him about aloe vera and I’ve told subsequent vets since then. They have to tow the line, however, and don’t seem to want to pass on this all natural remedy.

  4. marion king says

    my staffie is the same and scraches himself silly aloe vera gel works !! i’m going to try it on his ears ( they get infected FUNGAL INFECTIONS ) and have today got an aloe vera plant, so i have it to hand

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