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
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.
- 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