After having the worst reaction ever to a worming pill, I decided it was time to find a natural alternative which was safe for the four-legged and two-legged family members.
Because we live on a farm and are in constant contact with animals, I regularly worm the entire household (humans, as well as the cats and the dog) – obviously using a human variety for us and the appropriate worming pill for the cats and Monday (the dog). A few years ago I had a severe reaction to a worming pill – it was truly awful; I vomited for hours and eventually curled up in a ball on the bed wishing unspeakable things on the manufacturers of worming pills.
I vowed never to take another worming pill or subject the rest of the family (two and four legged) to those dreadful things ever again.
Looking for an alternative required a bit of research and eventually I decided to give Diatomaceous Earth (DE) a go.
The most interesting thing was the improvement in our older cat’s health.
Finn (the older cat) went on strike when Monday (the dog) arrived on the scene. He refused to go outside for nearly 2 years. I can’t absolutely, conclusively connect the dots but when I stopped using worming tablets and moved him to DE his health improved, he became happier, healthier and starting venturing outside again. Now he never uses his inside dirt box (rain or shine) and spends most of his time outside following the sun around the house.
Our cats are quite fussy when it comes to food. To get them to eat the DE, I put one heaped teaspoon into a bowl with a raw egg and a good squeeze of MYBeau – I use the dog one for the cats as well as the dog. Fish oil would work just as well and has some great benefits but our cats love the MYBeau and aren’t so wild about fish oil.
I try to give the cats DE for about 3 days a couple of times a month. If I forget and see one of them vomiting food – this is a good indication of worms. I will immediately give them DE for at least 2 days after that – it seems to be enough – the vomiting stops straight away. The improvement in Finn’s health has been staggering, he’s now 15 years old and has always been hard to keep weight on – since using DE he holds his weight.
Monday (the dog) will eat anything; I put one very generous teaspoon in her food mixed with a raw egg, or just mixed in with her food. I give it to her for 3 days, a couple of times a month (she’s 41kg). I’m told it is best to do at full moon and whilst I try my best, I confess this rarely happens – I obviously need to be more more lunar attuned. I’ve read that some people put it in their own food every day and I’m sure this is a good practice but I never have.
So what the heck is this stuff?
Diatomaceous Earth (DE) is fossilised fresh water algae or diatoms (which is where the diatomaceous bit comes from), which build up their shells by absorbing minerals. When the diatoms die they collect at the bottom of the river in sedimentary deposits. These deposits are mined, milled and dried – creating the powder we know as Diatomaceous Earth.
DE works in a mechanical way, not a chemical process – the diatoms are like little spiny honeycombs, which work like cheese-grater cylinders. They stick to the insect (or worm) rubbing and absorbing body fluids. They can absorb up to 6 times their own weight so essentially they dehydrate them.
There are thousands of different Diatoms – some live in salt water. The DE from salt water is used in industry and pool filtration and is completely unsuitable for animal use. There are also a variety of different grades of fresh water or ‘food grade’ DE. Some is used for filtering products such as beer and again this is not recommended for animals.
We did a great deal of research, phoning experts and reading up about ‘food grade’ before trying DE from DENZ. Their DE is expertly milled and completely suitable for use on or in animals.