Many liquid herbal preparations contain a small amount of alcohol to act as a preservative. The amount varies but for most veterinary preparations it’s around 10-20%. Formulations for humans run closer to 30%. While dogs tend to still take these well, cats tend to be more sensitive to the taste and may salivate. There are a few ways to minimize this effect.
1) Mix each dose with hot water to evaporate the alcohol, let cool, then administer.
2) Leave the whole bottle open overnight to evaporate the alcohol. The herb must then be stored refrigerated.
3) Mix each dose with a better tasting formula that doesn’t alter the medicinal effect, then administer. (We carry such a formula at our hospital.)
Whenever possible we carry glycerine based formulas that don’t contain any alcohol, but several important formulas only come in that form. For most patients though, the above recommendations have worked well…even for kitties! Other options for most formulas are powders, capsules, tablets, and small “tea pills”. If you experience any difficulties giving herbs to your pet, please call us so we can help you find the best option.