A most unusual but effective Pain Remedy for Pets
Vita regularly brews up salves and lotions and researches at length to find natural and safe remedies, health and beauty aids to share with us. Here’s another of her great tips.
As I was reading a book about Natural Pet Cures, I came across this most fascinating information about Pain Relief for pets (and humans alike). The story goes mainly about 2 black cats, Branik and Flek who had the most amazing, unusual craze for Capsaicin.
Capsicum is a genus of plants from the nightshade family, Solanaceae. Some varieties of Capsicum are used as spices, vegetables, medicine, and the fruits have different names according to the place and type. Their common name is Chilli Pepper, but in Britain they are known as Red or Green Pepper, or just Pepper in the US. The large mild variety is called Bell Pepper and in some countries they are known as Paprika (mainly Europe), although Paprika Powder comes from a different type of fruit. So, it can be a bit confusing to find the right varieties.
Most varieties of Capsicum have fruits that contain Capsaicin (methyl vanillyl nonenamide). This is a Lipophilic Chemical that gives a strong burning sensation in the mouth. Most animals find this unpleasant but it doesn’t seem to have an effect on birds. The fruits contain Capsaicin to prevent animals consuming the fruits so that the seeds can reproduce.
The only pepper that doesn’t contain Capsaicin is the Bell Pepper, and the amount of Capsaicin within the fruits mainly varies upon the genetic make-up of the plant.
Back to the story. These two cats, Branik and Flek had this very strange habit of playing with Habaneros Hot Chilli Peppers. There was one incident where the owners of these 2 cats found their fiery peppers lying on the kitchen floor with plenty of tooth and claw marks in them, which showed that their 2 cats had been sampling these Habaneros Hot Chilli Peppers.
At first they thought that may be their cats were showing signs of maturing and their high testosterone levels drove them to it, considering they were both young male cats. But something else was going on! Flek kept on leaping on top of the kitchen counter to check out a variety of peppers that their owners had left there in a vegetable basket. They didn’t just sniff the peppers, oh no! Flek burrowed himself into the basket that was full of Jalapenos, Serranos, Cayennes, Manzanos, and Habaneros. Then Flek emerged with the largest of all Habaneros tightly clamped in between his glossy teeth!
The owners couldn’t figure out what was going on and were totally stunned by this mystery until they contacted a colleague from a Veterinary College. The colleague in question mainly specialized in strange animal behaviour. When this Professor heard about Branik and Flek, he laughed out loud because these cats’ love affair with the hot chilli peppers from hell was completely against common logic. Sometimes vets recommend putting Tabasco Sauce on animal’s bandages to deter them from biting the bandages, so why on earth would these cats take a liking for chilli peppers that are burning hot?
As they got no further with the feline chilli pepper mystery, they consulted their own veterinarian. Their vet suggested that it was probably due to a strong stimulation of Endorphins that attracted these cats to the Capsaicin. Endorphins are peptides, which are a mix of different amino acids that are secreted in the brain, and they give a “Pain-Relieving Effect”. The effect can be compared to that of Morphine and other Opiates.
Although there were no apparent external signs that Flek and Branik were in pain, they could have been experiencing emotional pain, they could have felt lonely, or perhaps some kind of anxiety, which the Capsaicin helped to alleviate through a greater Endorphin production.
Another Capsaicin Story. Ian Anderson (from the group Jethro Tull) lives in Scotland and grows Habaneros Peppers all year round in his greenhouse. He usually purees them in a blender and then pours them in containers before freezing. Several of his cats have also been attracted to these Chilli Peppers in a very similar way as Flek.
On one occasion, one of Ian’s cats was feeling very unwell, but it found enough strength to hop onto the kitchen table where some of the Habanero Purée was sitting in a dish, and the cat started lapping a little bit of the purée. The next day, the cat was perky and active again. Apparently, in New Mexico where lots of Chilli Peppers are grown, sick or injured dogs are often seen eating Chilli Peppers in the Jalapeno Fields, and a little while later they are frolicking around as if they had been healthy all that time. Even Dairy Cattle that are a bit unwell eat pepper skins and afterwards they behave in a normal healthy way.
There seems to be plenty of evidence to suggest that there is indeed a medicinal virtue in the Capsaicin for animals as well as for humans alike. During the past few years, it has become one of the major ingredients for remedies for the relief of human arthritis, muscle pain, and backache. So we can safely conclude that Capsaicin is also a beneficial pain relief for dogs and cats.
It is not a good idea to give peppers to your own cats, but instead administer it in the form of a fluid extract. Ten drops can either be squirted directly into the animal’s mouth or mixed with some wet food. A Capsaicin Ointment can also be rubbed onto those parts of the body that experience the most pain.
All remedies and suggestions are here for your consideration; they do not form a medical recommendation and you should seek the advice of a healthcare professional.