Homeopathic Treatment for Dry Skin In Cats
Although cats owe their usually glossy coats to the natural oils in their skin, factors such as allergic reactions, improper diet and flea infestation can reduce these vital oils, causing dry, brittle, flaking skin and a dull, patchy coat. Dry skin in cats can be treated by topical creams, a change of diet and avoidance of allergens; some owners also resort to homeopathic treatments in addition to conventional medical therapies in an attempt to soothe their cats’ itching.
Features of Feline Dry Skin
There are a wide variety of possible causes for your cat’s dry, flaking skin. Flea allergic dermatitis is one possibility; some cats react with extreme itching to a relatively minor infestation of fleas. There are dietary triggers to allergic dermatitis as well: beef, beef by-products and corn and wheat gluten can all cause reactions. Although your cat instinctively craves fish, too much tuna in the diet can cause low levels of vitamin E, which can also contribute to itchy skin.
Thyroid problems can create hormonal imbalances, kidney disease can cause toxins to build up in your cat’s bloodstream, and heart disease can affect the cat’s circulatory system, which in turn reduces the amount of oxygen reaching the skin, resulting in cell die-off and flaking. Grass, environmental pollutants and inhalants can also be factors.
A homeopathic veterinarian will likely advise you to stop feeding your cat commercial food and strive for a more holistic diet. In keeping with the theory of homeopathic medicine–stated as “like cures like”–a homeopathic veterinarian will prescribe minuscule qualities of the same substances that, if given in larger amounts, would cause the same symptoms in a healthy cat.
She may prescribe sulphur–which ordinarily has a burning effect on skin–diluted down to an infinitesimal amount in order to stimulate your cat’s natural healing mechanisms. She may also use equisetum arvense, also known as horsetail, used homeopathically as a skin tonic due to its high content of the health-producing compounds sterols, as well as taraxacum officinalis, which is made from dandelion, for its high content of vitamins A, C and D, as well as iron, lecithin and potassium. She may recommend spirulina, a sea algae, to soothe skin and keep it hydrated, and fucus vesiculosis, or bladderwrack, an iodine-rich sea vegetable used in supplements to promote proper thyroid function.
Other homeopathic treatments she might prescribe include chamomilla, made from chamomile, to soothe itching that occurs at night, and viola tricolor, made from the wild pansy, to help heal open sores from itching and to help stimulate routine detoxification. China, made from Peruvian bark, may be used for inflammation that comes with severe itching and to support your cat’s skin at the cellular level and is considered particularly effective for the type of sudden itching that makes your cat twitch and jump.
Tips and Precautions
Homeopathic medicine should be used as a complementary therapy, not a replacement for conventional veterinary care. If your cat has allergic dermatitis, have her seen by her veterinarian to rule out dangerous diagnoses. Never use lotions made for humans on your cat. According to the Quality-cat-care.com, a 400 IU vitamin E capsule can be pierced and emptied into your cat’s food to help relieve itching. Brushing your cat’s coat gently with a soft hairbrush can help distribute natural oils along the skin.