Sycamore Animal Hospital owner Sandra Snell (pictured with cat Frank) will be the guest speaker at Tuesdays doTERRA Essential Oils for Your Pets presentation. Snell offers holistic healing for pets and people and will discuss how the use of essential oils with traditional medicine can help support pets immune systems. (Provided photo)



Essential oils have become a popular home remedy in the past several years, with oils and kits available everywhere from mainstream retailers to Facebook.

And while many devotees are familiar with lavender’s uses in calming stress, for instance, or peppermint’s invigorating properties, they may be less aware of the oils’ applications for pet health.

A free educational seminar titled “doTERRA Essential Oils for Your Pets” will be held at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Central Church of Christ, 307 E. Hardin St. The program will feature Sandra Snell, owner of Sycamore Animal Hospital and practitioner of holistic healing for both pets and people.

Snell and program organizer Barb Deerwester will share ways to support pets’ and human family members’ immune systems with essential oils while allowing attendees to experience the oils firsthand.

Deerwester, a licensed nurse and doTERRA brand wellness advocate from Van Buren, says essential oils are an effective “complementary” tool for medical care and can even make certain medicines more potent. Oils like frankincense, wild orange and lemongrass, for instance, are used in conjunction with her Labrador retriever mix’s traditional cancer treatments.

Clifford, who also serves as Deerwester’s husband’s therapy dog, began receiving essential oil treatments at Snell’s clinic after a cancerous tumor on his leg was only partially able to be removed. Snell administers a diluted version of the oils to the pads of the dog’s feet, and massages the oils into his skin. She also uses a combination of acupuncture, reiki, chiropractic techniques and holistic oponopono, a Hawaiian practice of reconciliation and forgiveness, in Clifford’s care.

“I’m basically a holistic practitioner,” Snell says, adding that she often uses these more “alternative” approaches in conjunction with traditional medical practices. “If we’re talking life-threatening, I’ll throw everything at them. We’ll do the ‘hail Mary’ approach.”

Snell formerly used herbs as a homeopathic option, but found that essential oils are much easier to administer, as they can be used topically or even ingested.

“Trying to get an herb into a cat is … I basically gave up. You’ve got the ninja effect going on,” she says.

Just as in human patients, Snell appreciates that every animal is an individual. She can run a bio scan on an animal and determine a way to bring their body back into balance, then create a personalized blend of doTERRA essential oils to use in the animal’s treatment.

A dog or cat who can’t walk, for instance, most likely suffers an underlying back or disc issue and could benefit from the use of cypress or juniper oils, she says. Skin conditions, seizures or eye discharge in pets are often associated with liver issues, and diluted frankincense applied to the pads of their feet has often shown improvement.

Deerwester’s husband, Gary, also benefited from the use of essential oils throughout his experience with stage four head and neck cancer. Oils were used to combat nausea and to provide sanitization, as scientific experiments show doTERRA oils can be used to kill viruses and bacteria.

Deerwester points out that the largest pores in the human body are located in the feet, so a foot massage using essential oils can work wonders for a variety of conditions. Typical combinations include lavender or frankincense to help lower blood pressure; lavender or wild orange to combat depression and anxiety; peppermint to soothe headaches; and oregano to combat gastrointestinal distress.

For more information about Tuesday’s program, call Deerwester at 419-722-7178.

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