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Horsetail For Cats & Dogs


Horsetail (Equisetum arvense (Equisetaceae)) is a perennial plant common to most areas. It is from the fern family Equisetaceae, that reproduce by spores and the stems have a scratchy nature. But horsetail has many medicinal components such as tannins, flavonoids, and alkaloids. Its real claim to fame is that it contains large amounts of silicic acid and silicates, in fact, the most within the plant kingdom. In China the herb has been used for centuries and in Japan, the shoots are often eaten as preventative medicine as it has both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.

This high level of Silica (a mineral) naturally found in horsetail supports connective tissue, especially the regeneration of the connective tissue and the amazing thing is that the silica is easily absorbed by the body.  The Silica content also aids the absorption of calcium by the body. Horsetail is considered a good herb to help with wound healing or bleeding as it's an astringent herb, which causes the tissues to contract, thereby helping slow the bleeding and increase the rate of healing.

Horsetail is used as a treatment for a number of health conditions as it's a diuretic, has astringent properties, is antibacterial, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidative, it's also a coagulant and helps soothe inflamed mucous members as it is a demulcent herb.

Benefits of Horsetail

  • Rich in trace minerals
  • Helps stop blood flow as it acts as a clotting agent
  • Helps with Bladder problems such as UTI's
  • Can help with prostate problems
  • Helps with cysts and urethritis 
  • Arthritis and rheumatism
  • Helps repair connective tissue
  • Using it as a wash can help relieve problems of skin irritation such as eczema.
  • Helps with the healing of sprains and hairline fractures
  • Helps in the treatment of infected wounds
  • Helps reduce the effects of osteoporosis 
  • Helps strengthen bones
  • Can help with kidney and bladder stones
  • Helps speed up the healing of cuts and bruises
  • Supports healthy hair, nails, and skin and helps combat baldness
  • Helps reduce edema
  • Help with those pets that have issues with bladder control or incontinence
  • Helps with ulcers in the stomach or respiratory tract

Is Horsetail Safe for Pets? 

Yes, but only temporarily. Bear in mind horsetail is not a plant your pet would choose to eat so proceed with caution when using horsetail and remember less is more. This herb should not be used for extended periods of time. 

If you're wanting to use horsetail with cats, it is recommended you do so under the supervision of your holistic or homeopathy vet. 

Horsetail is an excellent herb but can be potentially toxic so it is not worth the risk of giving this to your cat without proper monitoring. Horsetail may also need to be mixed with other herbs to balance out the effect of the herb, depending on the ailment being treated. If in doubt use another herb that has similar properties. 

However if it's the high silica content you need then ensure you're using the herb under vet supervision as it's not worth compromising your pet's health, especially if your cat or dog is already suffering from a health issue.

Side Effects 

  • If your pet's condition worsens or does not improve speak with your integrative vet
  • Long-term use can affect the level of vitamin B in the body as horsetail aids its breakdown
  • Taken regularly without a break can irritate the kidneys in some animals
  • Should not be given to pets that have severe kidney disease
  • Not to be given to pregnant or lactating animals
  • Check with your vet if your dog or cat is on allopathic medicines prior to using 
  • If your pet is a diabetic, check with your vet prior to giving horsetail as it may interfere with the blood sugar levels
  • Long term use may cause thiamine deficiency

How to Give Horsetail to Cats & Dogs

Forms of use:
  • Tincture
  • Poultice
  • Homeopathy pellets
  • Decoction

Administration can be via
  • Can be given orally as a homeopathy remedy
  • A tincture can be given orally or applied topically
  • Can be applied topically

Horsetail Dosage for Pets  

Cats & Dogs

It's best to consult your homeopathy or holistic vet for your pet's individual health needs, especially when using this as an internal supplement/medicine. As with any herb or plant, they are natural medicines. Not all horsetail products are created equal so please be careful in your choice. The quality of a herb is important, especially when using the herbs as medicine or preventative medicine. There have been cases of horsetail products being mixed with a related plant called Equisetum palustre, which can be poisonous to animals. 

The appropriate dose of horsetail depends on a number of factors such as the overall health of your pet and any condition you're trying to treat, whether it is acute or chronic. Remember as great as this herb is there can be adverse reactions so proceed with caution and seek your vet's advice prior to using horsetail with your pet. Under the supervision of your vet, this can be a good herb to help with UTIs, connective tissue repair, supporting bone health, joint repair, etc. 

General-purpose guidelines. 

Decoction (Tea). Use the aerial parts fresh or dried (the parts of the plant above ground). This is perhaps one of the safest ways to give horsetail to your cat or dog as the tea can be made weak and you can begin to micro-dose your cat or dog and monitor how they get on. Also, herbal teas are not as strong as tinctures. This will also enable you to find a dosage that fits your individual pet's needs. Steep 1 teaspoon into a mug of hot water for 10 minutes. To give internally you may need to dilute the tea down further with water and begin with micro-dosing with one to two drops building up to the dosage your vet recommends, which may be around a 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon for cats and small dogs through to 1 teaspoon for larger breeds, perhaps once or twice a day depending on the animal, age and health condition.  Alternatively, add the tea to 2 litres of water and use it as a wash to help with skin issues, wipe off any excess and leave to dry naturally. You can also dab some of the cooled tea onto specific areas of the skin to help reduce inflammation.   

Poultice: Make it into a poultice using horsetail solely or mix it with a bit of olive oil or castor oil to form a paste. Soak the herb for about 15-20 minutes. Make your paste and spread on a gauze or cheesecloth and apply over the infected wound. This can also be applied to swollen and painful joints. You may need to apply the poultice 2 or 3 times throughout the day. 

Horsetail liquid extract/tincture: Follow the manufacturer's or your vet's instructions as any dosages will be dependent upon the potency level of 'the mother' used in the formula your pet's size and your pet's ailment. You may need to dilute the drops in water prior to administering. Please ensure you select tinctures that are alcohol free, or look to burn off some of the alcohol to reduce the level of this toxin entering your pet's system. 

Horsetail capsules or tablets. These may need to be diluted in water in order to enter the bloodstream faster otherwise they'll have to work their way through the digestive system.

The homeopathy product: This will again be determined by the ailment you're treating and the potency or strength of the dilution. This should be guided by your homeopathic or holistic vet as the incorrect potency will unlikely give an improvement or may cause adverse reactions.

No one size fits all as each animal is different and how their individual body processes an illness or toxin out of their body will vary. Your pet's recovery will also depend heavily on the diet you're feeding to your cat or dog. You can not expect your pet to have a miraculous recovery if you're feeding non nutrient rich food such as kibble. Like us, animals are what they eat so the further away you are from feeding your pet raw food as nature intended, the closer your pet is to disease and illness. 

Equally, there is no point in just treating the physical elements (symptoms) of the illness presented whilst ignoring what the body truly needs for good health which is real food appropriate to the species of animal. This applies to both allopathic and holistic medicine. Treating only the symptoms ignores all the aspects that create good health and the longer your pet has been suffering ill-health the more you'll need to rebalance your pet's health on a physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual level as all these elements will be impacted by the disease so the body will need to be reset on all levels to once again create cellular homeostasis.  

If you're wishing to use horsetail for your cat or dog to help them heal from an acute or chronic health condition, do so under the guidance of your holistic or homeopathic vet so that they can work out potency and dosages per day relevant to your pet's own individual health needs, this is especially important for chronic illnesses. Always observe your pet for any changes and work in harmony with their body.

This article is not meant for diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with your holistic veterinarian for proper diagnosis and your pet's individual treatment plan. One of the best things you can do for your animal is to know where your closest certified veterinary homeopath is. Most issues with animals are caused by poor nutrition or exposure to toxins. Herbal or homeopathy medicine works with the body to clear the toxins and sort out any deficiencies. Natural medicine also has fewer known side effects than any allopathic medicine sold in standard vet practices and increases the longevity of your cat and dog.

NOW, we'd love to hear your feedback so LEAVE A COMMENT and feel free to share this with people you think will love it.

Natural lifestyle, naturally health, naturally thriving!!


Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine - Andrew Chevallier

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Friday, March 31 2023

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