Yesterday saw a whole bunch of us interested folks going to explore the arboretum at Ardnagashel in Glengarriff, West Cork, but apart from admiring the wonderful trees we also received lots of information on the seaweeds and lichens along this stretch of coast. Ardnagashel was established by the Hutchins family and it was as part of the Heritage Week of Ireland that these activities took place, in memory of Ellen Hutchins (1785-1815)who was a remarkable Irish Botanist. The talks on the lichens and seaweeds were given by Howard Fox, who is the State Botanist (National Botanic Gardens) and by Maria Cullen. This ‘life’ introduction to the seaweeds and the lichens of the coast of Bantry Bay was so very interesting. a true first introduction in this field for me. Later in the afternoon Madeline Hutchins (Ellen’s great great grand niece) took us through the forested area of this garden and…
It all began with a brush, some fish oil, and some turmeric. For good measure, some digestive enzymes too.
About a month ago, I cat-sat a 15ish-year-old cat for a week. She was bony, flaky skinned, clumpy-furred, and lethargic. It as just as well that her ‘usual people’ didn’t tell me they expected her to die of old age while they were away.
Kitty ate, drank, and partook of her litter box normally. After a couple days of checking in on her twice daily, her snow drifts of dandruff, her languor, and her scrawniness nagged at me.
Day three, I took action. With each morning and evening visit, I began three things:
Vigorous brushing with a slicker brush, the kind with the bent wires.
A capsule of fish oil squirted into her mouth twice a day too.
A capsule of turmeric sprinkled over her kibble.
Each day, she looked significantly better; livelier, not nearly as angular, and her dandruff had dwindled to snowflakes. Now that her ‘regular people’ continue the protocol, she’s prettier than ever!
The following week, I took one of my dogs for a rabies vaccination. After the vet administered the shot, he started slicker brushing my dog. He said, “All dogs and cats need a thorough brushing daily.”
“Doesn’t it hurt short-hairs and geriatrics?”
He answered, “Once they get used to it, they love it. It helps their skin and circulation.”
What a difference! With each brushing, my dogs shed less hair and skin flakes. Today, their coats practically glow with shine and good health.
Digestive enzymes came into play when my dogs’ halitosis and flatulence were becoming chronic. After meals, one of them would pace and pant for hours, her stomach gurgling. When I saw digestive enzymes on sale at the pet store, I decided to try dosing them with my own. Each meal, I split a tablet between the dogs. Now their breath smells much better and they settle quickly after meals!
Like with anything I give my dogs, I started small when testing the try fish oil, turmeric, and digestive enzymes. Then I looked for loose stools, which would indicate that I should cut back. Cats and dogs alike took to vigorous brushing right away, the proof in how they try to elbow each other out of the way once I get started.
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