We came home from vacation last month to find our dog, Creasy, suffering from an eye infection. While we were unable to determine the root cause, the dry summer causes so much dust to be stirred up it’s not much wonder those with eyes close to the ground suffer more. I thought it looked better the second day, less swollen, and she seemed to have it open more. There was a lot of discharge, mucous and such, but as we settled back into life at home I neglected to pay much attention to her eye for a couple days.
Two days later, however, we realized it was time for action. The eye was swollen again, the mucosa pink and the mucous had returned. She needed help and she needed it now. My mind spun; I couldn’t wait to brew a fennel, rose and plantain tea and let is cool before I could wash her eye. I chided myself for waiting so long. I consulted Juliette de Bairacli Levy’s book The Complete Handbook for the Dog and Cat a wonderful resource from a vitalist and herbal tradition. Levy recommends raw milk for eye afflictions and as luck would have it I had picked up some raw goat milk from a neighbor earlier that day! I poured some chilled milk into a shot glass and took Creasy outside. Tilting her head back I gentle dropped some of the RAW milk into each of her eyes, letting her blink profusely and repeating several times.The key here is that the milk be raw. No, your Organic, co-op bought milk will not work. No, your Wal-mart skim milk will definitely not work. Sorry. And I’m even sorrier to tell you how difficult it is to find raw milk, but that is for another post.
With eye afflictions, as with ear afflictions, you want to treat both sides even if only one is bothering you. The results were almost instantaneous. The chilled milk soothed the irritation within about 20 minutes. Her eye was open and obviously feeling better. After the first night she looked and felt almost totally normal. As with all tenacious infections you want to continue treatment past the point of obvious recovery; we used the milk treatment about 3 times a day for 3 days total.
This is not the first time that we have used raw milk successfully to treat Creasy. When we was 2 she came down with a case dog warts! Also called canine papilloma, this virus affects younger animals under the age of 4 and is easily passed from animal to animal by licking and chewing on the same toys (hello, dog park nightmare!) We had to keep her quarantined for a few weeks, but we easily identified the tell tale growths on her mouth. Some dogs can get them on the eyes, in the nose and mouth and such, but she only had them on the mouth. While all the information we read encouraged going to a vet ASAP, it was also clear that little was known of the cause and treatment and most cases clear up in 1-2 months on their own.
We decided to use a known and trusted antiviral medicine of our own and boost her immune system as much as possible. We brewed a strong water extract of the medicinal mushroom (technically a sclerotia) Chaga. We love to gather Chaga (Inonotus obliquus.) when we visit New Hampshire and often make tasty teas with it; a lot of folks like to use it as a coffee substitute, it reminds me of graham crackers. We like to add it to sassafras tea and brew it in medicinal soups and stocks.
For the next 10 days we fed Creasy raw milk with some chaga tea and a spoonful of cod liver oil in it twice a day. In a few days the warts started falling off. In about a week she was symptom free. We continued the treatment for a while longer occasionally adding one or the other ingredient to her food over the next few weeks. Easy as pie: no vet bills, no synthetic drugs, no immune compromising drugs, just some love, attention and some good medicine.
My next post will be more about the benefits and uses of raw milk. This is a hot button issue right now in my community; well worth fighting for the right to obtain it.