Jul 27, 2009
Can 4 drops of Rescue Remedy cause a dog to become gravely ill? Izzy is a 4 yr old Chihuahua mix that came into our emergency clinic last weekend with bloody diarrhea and vomiting. Her owner had put 4 drops of Rescue Remedy, a homeopathic flower extract, into some water and Izzie drank all of it. The next day, she was lethargic, not eating, and started to have severe bloody diarrhea. She was so weak when she got to our clinic she could not stand up.
Poor Izzie’s owner was racked with guilt. She was convinced she had poisoned her dog, and unfortunately another veterinarian had told her that Rescue Remedy could be fatal. Well, it turns out you could probably give multiple bottles of the product to one dog without causing any harm, because it only contains microscopic amounts of plant extract. Of more serious concern is the alcohol base that the plant extracts are in. It is probably questionable whether products like Rescue Remedy have any beneficial effect at all with dogs, but that is my own skepticism getting in the way of an open mind.
Izzie’s blood work showed that her blood was way more concentrated than it should be (PCV=66% if you like lab numbers), and much of the fluid had leaked out into her intestines. This is typical of a disease syndrome in dogs known as HGE (hemorrhagic gastroenteritis), which may have many different causes including bacterial infection, stress or dietary indiscretion (ie eating a dead animal).
The treatment for HGE is IV fluids and IV antibiotics, and that is what Izzy got. Most likely, her bloody diarrhea was due to the stress that prompted her owner to give her the herbal product in the first place. At our hospital, we have seen many animals get better with IV fluids and treatment, even if the diagnosis was unknown. We have an almost religious faith in the ability of IV fluids to help heal any condition; maybe we could start a new religion?
In any event, 48 hours of fluids did the trick for Izzie, and home she went. I am pretty sure that her owner will not give her any more Rescue Remedy the next time Izzie gets stressed. I wonder if it would work for me???