Monday, 11 November 2013

Arnica Montana - Herbs for Dogs and Cats

Safe to use as an alternative medicine
for most dogs and cats
In this article...
1. Arnica
2. Health Benefits
3. Cautions

4. Side Effects
5. Drug Interactions
6. General Guideline for Daily Herbal Intake

*product images are generic examples only, not recommendations or endorsements*
1.0 Arnica
Also known by the name: Carduus marianus, Silybum mariamum, Silybum, Silybin, Silymarin, Silymarine, St. Mary’s Thistle, Marianus, Marianum, Our Lady’s Thistle, etc.

Arnica is a member of the daisy family. Arnica is a perennial alpine herbal plant with orange-yellow daisy like flowers. At one time the wild Arnica Montana plant grew in abundance in regions of Europe and America. A hardy meadow and mountain plant it was known to grow at elevations up to 8,500 feet. Today, the wild arnica plant is considerably scarcer and is a protected plant in many parts of Europe.

Arnica was first used in Europe in the 16th century as a medicinal plant. The flowers heads alone are used for medicinal purposes -as an ingested and topical treatment. The whole plant including the roots are also used for medicinal ingested and topical treatments.

Medicinal Properties of Arnica Montana

Arnica, an anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory herb that has many other properties from the following active ingredients:
  • Inulin;
    • Antidiabetic;
    • Immunostimulant;
    • Lypolytic;
    • Probiotic;
  • Flavoinoids;
    • Antioxidents;
  • Sesquiterpene lactones;
    • Reduce inflammation by promoting the dispersion of fluids that build-up in bruised, injured tissue;
      • This increased circulation and drainage helps to speed healing by improving the flow of blood, lymph and platelets in and out of the affected area;
    • Helps to clean-up inflammatory waste and lactic acid – thus reducing swelling and moderating pain after injury, muscle strain  and surgery;
  • Magenese;
  • Mucilate, and;
  • Multiple volatile oils.
Arnica Montana can be used in various forms:
  • Topical:
    • Cream;
    • Gel;
    • Diluted tincture;
  • Ingested
    • Homeopathic:
      •  Tablet/pill or tincture;
  • See section 6.0 below for dosage and safe usage guidelines.
2.0 Health Benefits

A partial list...
  • Antibiotic;
  • Anti-inflammatory;
  • Anti-diabetic;
  • Immunostimulant;
  • Lypolytic;
  • Probiotic;
Ingested use tablet/pill…
  • Aches;
  • Altitude sickness;
  • Brain injuries;
  • Bruises – pain and swelling;
  • Emotional stress (including due to trauma, trauma before and after surgery);
  • Muscle exhaustion from over-exertion;
  • Other injuries;
    • Blows, falls, fractures (for pain management);
  • Sprains;
  • Spinal cord injuries;
  • Painful joints:
    • Cartilage;
    • Muscle.

Topical Use cream, gel or tincture…
Applied to skin to reduce/treat:
  • Aches;
  • Acne;
  • Arthritis;
  • Bruises – pain and swelling;
  • Insect bites;
  • Muscle exhaustion from over-exertion;
  • Other injuries;
  • Blows, falls, fractures (for pain management);
  • Septic conditions;
  • Sprains;
  • Pain:
    • Cartilage;
    • Muscle.
  • Post labour;
    • For postnatal treatment of episiotomy stitches or tears – adding a few drops of arnica oil to warm distilled water to bath the area to speed healing.

3.0 Cautions…
  • Arnica should never used on open tissue injuries - damaged or broken skin, as arnica can cause bleeding due to its sesquiterpene lactones that work to quickly stimulate dilation and circulation of peripheral blood vessels – this can lead to increased blood flow  of an open tissue or already bleeding wound;
  • Arnica is not intended for prolonged use as it can, over-time cause adverse side effects;
  • Never use arnica gels, creams, tinctures around the eyes or mouth area.
  • If your dog or cat is pregnant or lactating do not use arnica;
  • If you dog or cat is allergic to arnica or related members of the daisy family – Astercaeae/Compositae family (i.e. chamomile, marigolds, etc.), ragweed do not use arnica.
  • As arnica can irritate the digestive system do not use as an ingested treatment on dogs or cats that have a stomach or intestinal condition such as:
    • Crohn’s disease;
    • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS);
    • Ulcers,
    • Etc.

4.0 Side Effects...

If arnica is used for too long as a topical application it can cause:
  • Abrasion if dog or cat licks the area of application;
  • Irritation of skin:
  • Lesions;
  • Redness.
If arnica is ingested for too long or in higher than recommended dosages (excessive amounts) it can cause;
  • Diarrhea;
  • Dizziness;
  • Irritation of the throat;
  • Ulcers of the mouth;
  • Vomiting;
  • An extremely toxic dose can cause:
    • Depressed circulation, respiration and temperature;
    • Heart problems;
    • Nervous system paralysis;
    • Organ failure;
    • Collapse and may cause;
    • Death.

5.0 Drug Interactions…
  • Anticoagulant, Antiplatelet drugs
6.0 Administration and Dosage

Ingested use – Arnica 30c…
  • Arnica contains the toxin helenalin – for this reason ingested use arnica should only ever be used in homeopathic form (i.e. Arnica 30c);
  • For prevention of infection, tissue damage (bruise or closed wound), trauma
  • Dosage
    • Dosage is every two hours for up to three doses – then stop dosing.
    • For severe cases of infection, tissue damage (bruise or closed wound), trauma dosage is every fifteen (15) minutes until symptoms are relieved;
    • Dosage can be given once or twice a day for up to a week after the injury occurred. 
    • Dosage should be given no closer than 15 minutes prior to or after feeding;
    • Don’t allow ingestion of water or other fluids for fifteen minutes after treatment.

Topical Application – using Tincture…
  • For arthritis, prevention of infection, tissue damage (bruise or closed wound), trauma, sore muscles, and sprains.
  • Preparation:
    • Mix 1 tablespoon of arnica tincture (use alcohol-free or low alcohol) with 1 pint of purified water;
    • Dip a cloth, cotton ball, sanitary pad, etc. into the arnica/water mixture;
    • Apply to the arthritic joint, bruised or wounded area making sure to moisten the skin (not just the fur);
    • Wrap the area in gauze or cloth;
    • Secure the wrap so that your dog or cat cannot remove the wrap and lick the wound or arnica.
Topical Application – using Cream or Gel…
  • For arthritis, prevention of infection, tissue damage (bruise or closed wound), trauma, sore muscles, and sprains.
  •  Preparation:
    • Apply to the arthritic joint, bruised or wounded area making sure to moisten the skin (not just the fur);
    • Wrap the area in gauze or cloth;
    • Secure the wrap so that your dog or cat cannot remove the wrap and lick the wound or arnica.

Holistic Support

Holistic Wellness and Behaviorist Services

Do you need holistic advice to support your companion animal's health and well being? Become a client. Book your consultation. My professional holistic nutrition, wellness and behavioral services are available to you:
🌿 Holistic Wellness Services for Dogs and Cats πŸ• 🐈
🌿 Holistic Behaviorist Services for Dogs πŸ•

My Holistic Client Services are Available Worldwide:
πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦ Canada
πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ UK and other European countires
πŸ‡¦πŸ‡Ί Australia and other Oceania countires
πŸ‡­πŸ‡° Hong Kong and other Asian countries
πŸ‡¨πŸ‡· Costa Rica and other Central American countries 
πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί European countries
πŸ‡ΉπŸ‡Ή Trinidad and Tobago and other South America countries
πŸ‡ΏπŸ‡¦ South Africa and other African countries
πŸ‡ΈπŸ‡ͺ Sweden and other european countries
πŸ‡¦πŸ‡ͺ United Arab Emirates

Available Holistic Consultations and Sessions:
πŸ“± FaceTime
πŸ“± Facebook video or voice calling
πŸ’» Skype
πŸ“ž Phone
πŸ“§ Email 
🚢🏻‍♀️ In-Person

Menu of Holistic Wellness Services for Dogs and Cats πŸ•πŸˆ
For more information go here. 
✅  Maintain Health, and;
✅  Address Health Issues and Conditions:
✓ Treatment and Remedy 
 Pre-Surgery holistic support protocols
 Post-Surgery holistic healing protocols
 Pre-Vaccine holistic support protocols 
 Post-Vaccine holistic support protocols
 Natural Insect and Parasite Prevention
 Natural Treatment for Insect, Parasite Infestation, Co-Infection, Disease
✅  Custom Designed Whole Food Diets - raw or gently cooked, and;
✅  Advice and Recommendation: 
✓ Premade Diets - raw, dehydrated, freeze dried 
✓ Supplemental Fresh Foods - raw, gently cooked
✓ Super foods
✓ Treats - raw, dehydrated, freeze dried, gently cooked
✓ Herbs 
✓ Alternative Medicines

Menu of Holistic Behaviorist Services for Dogs πŸ•
For more information go here
In-person Sessions - available locally
Voice and Video Sessions - available worldwide 
✓   Obedience Training
✓   Behavior Modification
✓   Psychological Rehabilitation

Affiliations to Companies
✓ None.
✓ I don't sell food or supplements.
✓ I'm not aligned with any companies.
✓ I choose to maintain my objectivity in selecting best-solutions for my individual client's needs.

Article and graphics by Karen Rosenfeld


  1. Hi there, I purchased some Arnica 30c (GNC brand). It says to let it dissolve in the mouth. Is this safe to give my cat, or is there a company/store that carries homeopathic Arnica in pills safe for them?

    1. GNC Arnica contains magnesium sterate - not recommended. Purchase Borion Arnica 30 C


Important Note

1.0 Use of Foods, Herbs, Alternative Medicines:

Safe use of items and protocols in the article above, is your sole responsibility.

Foods, herbs and alternative medicines have health issue, condition and conventional drug interactions. Safe use of all substances and protocol are your responsibility.

Before you use any substance or protocol do your research. Check for cautions, contradictions, interactions and side effects. Do not use substances or protocols not suitable to your animal's individual circumstances.

If your animal has an underlying condition substances and protocols may conflict.

2.0 Definition of Holistic…

Food, herbs, alternative medicines are NOT ‘holistic’ they are a substance and MAY, or may NOT be ‘NATURAL’.

If you use a ‘natural’ substance (ie. an herb) you are using a natural substance, not a holistic substance.

Holistic is not defined by use of one or several substances. Holistic is an approach.

Definition of “holistic” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press


"relating to the whole of something or to the total system instead of just to its parts"

"Holistic medicine attempts to treat the whole person, including mind and body, not just the injury or disease."

Holistic is a way of approaching life, and within that health, and well-being.

3.0 Expectation a natural substance remedies a health or behavioral situation.

A natural substance used to treat symptoms. But, if factors causing the underlying issue remain you do not have a remedy.

Remedy requires a comprehensive approach. It is necessary to identify root cause. Remove items that trigger, cause or otherwise contribute to issues. Holistic approach includes design, implementation to treat, remedy and maintain long-term health.

4.0 Leave a Comment

I review all comments and publish those deemed appropriate for this site.

I answer questions deemed appropriate when I have time to do so.

Wishing your dog and cat the best of health!

Karen Rosenfeld
Ottawa Valley Dog Whisperer
Holistic Behaviorist - Dogs
Holistic Diet Nutrition Wellness Adviser – Dogs and Cats