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By: "Linda Carlson - Little Critters Farm"
About the Author

Rated 1.9 by 9 responses.

The subject of alternative treatments for critters is exciting, controversial, sometimes confusing and a rapidly growing subject. Todays interest in natural animal care is a logical extension of the changes that are taking place in human medicine. The demand for natural pet care is growing fast. There are many gentle, effective methods that don't have the adverse side effects of some drugs, and people are starting to demand them for themselves as well as for their pets. The AVMA has even adopted guidelines embracing alternative medicine and there is a growing number of veterinarians who are learning about and practicing holistic and alternative ways of treating animals.

About 10 years ago I started using herbs & vitamins for some ailments that conventional medication had done little to help. I had the onset of arthritis which runs in my family. I had carpel tunnel (syndrome) so bad that the doctor highly suggested surgery on both wrists. I would get several severe sinus infections every year requiring huge doses of antibiotics. After a few months of using natural alternative treatments of herbs & vitamins these problems disappeared and have never returned. Along with those benefits, I have also been able to reduce stress, increase energy and much more. As a result of the early benefits, I became fascinated with the subject. I decided there was a better way and began studying about herbs & vitamins on my own. I already had a background in diet and nutrition.

It was not long before I extended my reasearch & learning to animals
We may feed our animals the best food possible but think of all the other things we put IN & ON them. Over vaccinating, filling them with pills, pushing this & that down their throat, using powders & spray with chemicals and more....... Don't get me wrong - I do it too. I don't avoid needed vaccinations or treatments. None the less - much of it is not natural. I am not alone in my belief that much of it is just not good for them. But - we use what is available to us. I think we can do more. NO... I know we can do more.

Stress & the Immune System
In 40 years of raising all kinds of pets & livestock, I have to admit I have had little to no success using many of the traditional medications available for respiratory problems and stress.

Believe me - if you start searching you will find alternative treatments and remedies for critters everywhere. For goats too. Tinctures: Look up information on tinctures. You will find that many of them have water & alcohol included. Whole herb treatments: A good suggestion if your goats will eat them. Powdered forms to mix into the grain. Again - good idea if they will eat it. My personal experience with these products has been with little to no results. Very expensive and a lot of waste. Most of the goats will not eat it at all, or will eat very little of it. And most of what was offered did not include vitamins in the mix.

I set about devising a way to administer specific doses of herbs & vitamins to my goats so that they would eat it all; no waste and affordable. (I have had 2 very minor colds and no flu in almost 10 years) - so I patterned this treatment after what I take myself. I did some adjusting for size & weight and altered a few ingredients.

I had a few of my goats doing a lot of coughing this fall. Some even had runny or snotty noses as well. I mixed up a treatment and gave it to the entire herd of 15 goats for 5 consecutive days. It was mixed into their grain in a way that makes it stick - thus - every last bite was eaten. Nothing wasted and no hassle. Within 3 days after the 5th day of treatment, all coughing and runny noses were completely gone. - except for one little wether who had - had a chronic cough for a few months. I mixed up a stronger treatment, added a few ingredients and treated him orally for 3 more days. He too, cleared up completely. As a follow-up, I mix an "immune booster" that I give to the entire herd about every 7 to 10 days. This keeps the IMMUNE SYSTEM up, and prevents the symptoms from re-occuring. So far, this has worked 100% with absolutely no side effects other than beneficial ones.

We all want our goats to be healthy and we do our best to feed them a healthy diet with free choice minerals and more. Many of us go further with learning all we can about digestion and nutrition & additives. We read our labels, find out about soil content, and do what we can to feed the proper amounts of vitamins and minerals needed. But, do we sometimes forget about the immune system???

In the wild, they would take care of this on their own. Under our care they rely on us. Due to all the un-natural things that we do with our goats, we must realize the stress factors involved in their daily lives. Our presence itself is not natural. They are penned, clippped, bathed, trimmed, wormed, collared and led & tied. We haul them, show them, sell them and ship them. Breeding is controlled and we are, often, right beside them when they deliver. Of course we are doing all of these things to make their lives as comfortable as possible. And because we love them and care. It's still stressful..

Stress is the #1 leading factor in the deterioration of the immune system. Thus, our goats can get run down without any visible signs until that nasty cough, congestion and/or runny nose shows up. Keeping the immune system UP in the first place can prevent many of the problems that arise.

Lastly, I want to say... I am not a doctor, veterinarian, scientist, or a healthcare worker. Although I am schooled in diet and nutrition and have spent 10 years studying the benefits of herbs & vitamins. I use them & I sell them. I am not against traditional medications by any means. Especially when they work. And there are certainly times when it is absolutely necessary. I do feel natural alternatives can often, be beneficial companions with, or replace traditional medications with very positive results.

I highly recommend that you purchase herb & vitamin supplements from a reputable manufacturer or from a distributor who sells supplements they get from a reputable dealer. Do your homework regarding the use and administration of supplements, or seek guidance from a knowledgeable source.

All of my supplements come from a manufacturer that has been in business since 1975. I trust and respect this company and have worked with them for over 4 years...

About the author:
Linda Carlson & the Little Critters Farm is located in Montana where they raise Nigerian Dwarfs. She has spent most of her life living and/or working on ranches and has had livestock and pets all of her life. Health has always been a priority and a subject of interest to her. Linda is the current President of the Rocky Mountain Nigerian Dwarf Club which covers several states.

Agricultural Research Service

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