Basically, you can just drip the oils up the back and massage in, or you may apply the drops to your hands and then apply them to your dog in a Petting manner. For larger dogs - you can usually apply more drops. For medium dogs between 25-50 pounds applying 5-8 drops is average. And for large dogs over 50 pounds - a range of 6-12 drops can be used. For dogs new to essential oils - starting with even less than the recommended amounts, or with further diluted oils can be a good way to ensure you do not create an oil aversion. You may not see results with lesser amounts, or with further diluted oils sometimes, but since we are also wanting to create a "happy" situation with oil use for your dog, and not overwhelm them - the added time to slowly build up concentrations of essential oil use can be worth it.
For dogs who have been diagnosed with liver disease - it is important that you work with your veterinarian, and monitor your dog closely with their aid. Never neglect the use of veterinary diagnostics and traditional treatments when they are indicated, and make sure to tell your vet that you are using natural substances that help support liver health and function.
For my own dogs - I often rotate through several of the body specific support blends, each time I perform their "routine maintenance". So, if my dogs get a monthly AromaBoost RTU applied - I might insert LiverBoost one month, then CardioBoost another month, and so on. However, for my patients who do have existing liver stress or disease, I will strive to support their liver much more often, and regularly. In some cases, daily applications of LiverBoost can be considered - but I find that every 3-7 days is average for most dogs needing additional liver support.
For Horses, Cows, Goats, and other large animals: LiverBoost can also be used just as it would for dogs. Drops are placed approximately 3 inches apart up the spine, then rubbed in. Most large animals will have between 6-12 drops applied. If you suspect that your animal may be particularly sensitive to oil applications, start out applying only 5-8 drops along their back. You can always apply more later, but you cannot "take it away." That is one of the most important concepts to understand with use of aromatherapy in animals. Start with really light applications, you may just be surprised at how effective they are, and will not need to waste additional oils by applying more than is needed!
Just as for dogs (please do read all animal descriptions - even for birds - they are extremely educational!) - LiverBoost can be used alone, or as an insertion into an AromaBoost RTU application. Routine maintenance and liver support can be provided through weekly to monthly applications - and in more severe cases of need - you may find that applications every 1-7 days may be more beneficial. It is important to monitor your animal, and work with your veterinarian to evaluate symptoms and determine if your support is changing things for the better, or if you may need want to try larger amounts or more frequent applications.
Dogs: Many dogs can benefit from additional liver support - even if they are clinically "normal" - an occasional LiverBoost is a great idea.
For general maintenance, dogs can have an occasional application of LiverBoost for added support of maintaining a healthy and happy liver. This application can be inserted into an AromaBoost application - generally between the #3 and #4 application - although any spot is technically okay. Use whichever schedule you are using for your AromaBoost applications - and apply the same amount of drops as you would with formulas 1-5.
You can also apply LiverBoost as a separate application unto itself - if desired. In general, 3-5 drops are applied to small dogs, around 10 pounds (4.5 kgs) and under. However, for dogs who are new to oils, or may be more sensitive - diluting your first few applications can make applications easier on your dog.
Cats: Cats can use LiverBoost in place of KittyBoost when extra support of their liver is desired. Chronic use of steroids can create great liver stress for cats - however, is still relied upon commonly by most practitioners for frustrating cases such as stomatitis, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, allergies, eosinophilic plaques, rodent ulcers and more. Some cats may already be using our KittyBoost product - and you may want to try the LiverBoost for them. When this is the case, I often recommend just using LiverBoost in the same effective methods, doses, and ways that you have already been using the KittyBoost. LiverBoost is especially indicated when it is desired to provide additional liver support, or for cases that may not be having enough benefits from KittyBoost alone. Cats can usually use the LiverBoost right out of the bottle, in the same methods as described for KittyBoost. However, for those of a more delicate nature - further dilution initially (as described above) is a wise start. If your cat is new to essential oils, follow the instructions on the KittyBoost page regarding application.
Alternating use of KittyBoost, LiverBoost or other body supporting "boosters" can be a great way to provide all over system support on a routine basis. For example, one of my cats gets a "boost" weekly. One week I may use KittyBoost, the following week I use LiverBoost, and then the next week I might select CardioBoost. Each time, I am supporting a body system just a little bit more specifically - good insurance for the future in my eyes. However, for one of my cats who is a breed prone to developing hypertrophic cardiomyopathy - I may select CardioBoost more often or as my main selection. LiverBoost could be used without rotation to other formulas for animals with mainly liver support desired.
Ferrets: For ferrets who are new to oil use, you may also wish to start with a diluted solution (as described above) initially. Then gradually increase the strength over time. In general for most ferrets - dripping 1-5 drops into your hands, rubbing them together, and applying the oils in a Petting manner works great. You can also drip the oils up their back, then massage them in. I will usually apply the LiverBoost once, then wait and see how the ferret does. Sometimes we see no change, and that is okay too. But, occasionally a ferret that feels unwell, will certainly start to show that they are feeling better. When this happens - then I try to time the next application for when the "feeling" wore off. Basically tailoring the frequency that we apply the oils - directly to how long it lasts for the individual ferret. For happy, healthy ferrets just looking for health and potential prevention - I will typically apply every 1-3 weeks. With ferrets who are not feeling well - I may apply every 1-7 days. It really will all depend on the ferret, and how they respond or feel.
LiverBoost IS NOT for diffusion - as it contains Fractionated Coconut Oil!
Almost all animals can use LiverBoost. Although, further dilution may be required for certain species. For animals completely new to essential oil use - please check back for our new educational page soon - for much more in depth descriptions and examples.
Birds & Small Exotics: For these animals, it is wise to start with a more diluted product. I recommend placing 1 part LiverBoost into 10 parts of Fractionated Coconut Oil (FCO) - so for example 10 drops of LiverBoost into 100 drops of FCO. (You can mix these new dilutions in our glass bottles available on our Accessories Page). Ideally, this mixture is rocked several times a day, and allowed to "marry" for 24 hours or more before use. This solution can then be used similarly to our CritterBoost product - and a visit to that educational page may add some additional insight. The information on our Birds or Exotics pages in the top menu - is also helpful in understanding the use of essential oils for these particular animals.
Birds and Chickens can have the diluted LiverBoost rubbed into their feet. Even having it completely absorbed into your hands, then having your parrot perch on your hands, will enable enough essential oil to cross over, and provide a health benefit! For a smaller bird, such as our Lovebird - I will typically put about 2 drops of the diluted LiverBoost on my fingers, and then massage it onto her feet and ankles - avoiding her feathers. For our Chickens, we can do the same, however we can use approximately 3-5 drops massaged into each foot. Chickens are overall very hardy, and can be exposed to essential oils in many ways to maintain health and help prevent illness. Many Chickens can use LiverBoost undiluted, and directly from the bottle. For chickens - also see our information on ChickyWicky.
We often forget just how important our liver is. Every single day, in every single way - your liver is involved in your daily life. When the liver is stressed, all sorts of things can go wrong. The liver is responsible for so many actions - including production of clotting factors, storage of vitamins, detoxification of wastes, metabolism and elimination of drugs, and so much more. For as important as the liver is, there seems to be a huge conflict in diagnosing liver disease versus failure. I often hear of veterinarians and owners alike, describing an animal as having "liver failure." There is a considerable difference between the two - as you can have a stressed liver, that is still quite functional and able to perform all of its tasks. While a liver in failure, is truly failing to operate and severe symptoms are likely with this case. I would say that the majority of animals for which I have reviewed or been involved with their case - would fall more accurately into having liver stress or liver disease, than actual failure. It may be semantics, but I do think it is vital in understanding the resulting symptoms, or ability to heal.
With all of the important functions of the liver, it is a wonderful thing that it is also one of the organs that is most able to repair itself within the body. The liver has an incredible ability to regenerate; a lobe can actually be removed and regrow! With support and time, many liver conditions can repair themselves, as long as the body is equipped with the proper nutrition and tools that it needs to complete the regeneration tasks. That is where our jobs come in. To stop damaging the liver while it tries to repair, and to supplement and provide the tools required. What damages, stresses, or causes the liver to work harder? Well, just about everything. Illness, vaccinations, environmental chemicals (household cleaners, air fresheners, fabric softeners, etc...), pollution, treated water, medications, topical flea and tick chemicals... the list goes on and on.
With cats the liver is an even bigger point of contention - however I feel often over-played, especially in the world of essential oils. It is true that cats do "special things" with their liver - being overly prone to Fatty Liver Disease (read a reliable veterinary article HERE) or being less able to metabolize certain medications and chemicals needing the Cytochrome P450 Pathway for example. However, all of this truth of cats - mainly comes from what we know about pharmaceuticals and individual chemical components. We certainly cannot give cats the same NSAID (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory) that we would give to a dog. Not only do they not metabolize it well, but it can be fatal. This we know in the veterinary industry from theory, science, and unfortunately from experience. With essential oils, there is often so much concern about how the liver (cat or otherwise) might not be able to deal with the metabolism of essential oil components - that many people ignore the real life data. True, not many are privy to veterinary blood work and monitoring of cases that have yet to be written up and published as I do...but nor do they have all of the details of "toxicity" to the liver. Reporting that "for sure, cat's can NEVER be exposed to" this essential oil or that, due to their liver...is just inaccurate information most times.
What I find in practice is that whole essential oils seem to be metabolized and handled quite differently than an individual component or chemical of an essential oil. This fact holds true for all animals. It may help to consider the difference between eating a steak, versus taking iron supplements. When eating a natural source of meat with iron in it, you are unlikely to create a toxicity. However, when we create an iron supplement, it is now an artificial and man-made item that the body has less ability to properly handle. So, take too much of it - (like kids eating a ton of chewable vitamins) - and "we have a problem Houston"... You would be hard pressed to consume enough steak to ever create a toxic level of iron - and so is the case with the proper use of essential oils. When the proper essential oil is used, the constituents are present in proper and natural ratios, and the essential oil is used correctly in the proper dilutions - we can see great support and benefits to the body without the concern of the "one evil constituent".
In research there are actually very few constituents or essential oils scientifically reported to have hepatotoxic properties. This information is often based on individual constituent actions - such as Pulegone, Cinnamaldehyde, or Salicyladehyde - and is also based on experimental models demonstrating use of essential oils in insanely abnormal ways. For example - Cinnamaldehyde was injected IP (intraperitoneally - into the abdominal cavity) of rats. (I really hate animal research like this...) And guess what!? Injecting essential oils into the abdomen, at quite a significant dose, WAS A BAD THING! I guess I rack this up to a "duh statement". To me, this sort of data is just not accurate to how essential oils should be used, or as to what the results will be with proper use.
Another popular statement about liver damage with essential oils, or the inability of cats to properly metabolize the essential oil - is that the damage will occur over time, or be additive in nature. Well, I just don't see it this way either. While I will always keep an open mind to this possibility, we have actually followed out many cases of liver disease and especially the blood values of cats exposed to essential oils on a daily basis - and we cannot find any evidence of long term damage occurring WITH THE PROPER USE of the essential oils. This is not to say that a massive over-dose or mis-use of essential oils could not damage an animal - certainly it could. But repeatedly we see improvement in the animal's quality of life, as well as the support of blood enzymes and values returning to normal ranges - when we use essential oils as part of a natural health care regimen. There are many animals we have been following for 4 years or more while they use essential oils in their health care - and I have yet to see even a glimpse of medical concern when compared to what I would see with same chronic use of a traditional medication such as an NSAID or steroid drug. There is good reason why veterinarians recommend checking blood work prior to prescribing your animal a certain prescription drug, and also continue routine monitoring while your animal is taking the medication. We know from experience, that these medications can and do cause problems - even at regularly prescribed doses. It would not be shocking or unbelievable at all, for a vet to hear of a dog dying of liver failure if they ate an entire bottle of these sorts of medications. However, the data that suggests that essential oil use might be hard on a liver, or even damaging - would be akin to that very thing. And, unfortunately, the aromatherapy industry has acquired a strong tendency for over-use and over-recommendations of essential oils with humans and animals.
When researching actual scientific data instead of industry hearsay, there are far more essential oils which show hepatoprotective properties rather than potential damage. With the huge numbers of animals actually using essential oils, I feel we should be rather impressed at how few reports of problems there actually are.
Our KittyBoost product is the base for LiverBoost. By adding specific essential oils that support liver function and health, the KittyBoost becomes LiverBoost...
Frankincense* is heavily researched for anti-tumor activity. It is helpful to support behavioral conditions, depression, brain disorders, seizures, immune system stimulation and regulation, autoimmune disorders, DNA repair, and more. Frankincense is also considered a "life force" oil and has been used extensively in critical cases in our veterinary hospital. Frankincense also seems to be what we refer to as a "magnifying" oil - which means that is appears to magnify and enhance the effects of other essential oils when they are used concurrently.
Copaiba* supports the body when inflammation is present - and inflammation is present in all situations of illness. Healing of the body can take place with greater ease, when the stress of dealing with inflammation can be removed. Stress depresses the immune system, as well as results in delayed healing - not only from illness, but form surgical procedures and injury. Copaiba also tends to magnify the effects of other oils and natural remedies as a regular course of action.
Helichrysum* is truly a miraculous oil, and is worthy of use with almost every situation. Helichrysum tends to bring the body to a point of homeostasis. Whatever is needed within the body, appears to be honored. Helichrysum is especially indicated to support nerve regeneration and neurologic conditions, hearing impairment, circulatory and blood vessel disorders, heart disease, blood clots, liver disease, hypertension, chelation of chemicals, toxin exposure, poisoning, vaccination detoxification, healing of lacerations and wounds, for control of pain. There is not much that Helichrysum does not contribute to, and it falls into a category of "must have" oils in my opinion.
Oregano* has many reported properties, which even alone, would be amazing. Then, when added with Thyme, the supportive properties increase even further - especially in regards to supporting the immune system. These are "hot oils", high in phenols, and must be used properly in animals, especially cats. Although these oils may carry more concern for some to see in a product for use with cats, rest assured, that I have used these formulas with thousands of cats, and even have documented blood work safety data for over 3 years on a cat who is getting an application of these oils TWICE A DAY! These oils are an amazing part of the KittyBoost when used in proper dilution.
Basil* is widely used to support normal histamine levels in our veterinary practice. Although there have been some cautionary statements in regards to Basil with individuals who seizure or have epilepsy, we have not found this to be an issue when used properly. The KittyBoost has been a hallmark treatment for many of our patients, especially those with seizures, and although we monitor all animals closely for any sort of adverse response to oils (no matter what the oil is) - in practice we have seen many more benefits than reasons to avoid the use of Basil. Basil is helpful with liver and pancreatic concerns, and so much more.
Cypress* is mainly used to increase circulation, and aids in every condition with this quality. After all, almost every function in the body relies on proper circulation to work properly. Resorption of bruises, improvement of circulation, and circulatory disorders are primary attributes of this oil.
Marjoram* is well known as one of the "muscle" essential oils, but it is also indicated for body and joint discomfort, arthritis, respiratory conditions (expectorant and mucolytic), muscle spasms, muscle conditions, increasing healthy motility of the gastrointestinal tract, fluid retention, lowering blood pressure, vasodilation, circulatory disorders, and nerve pain. Marjoram carries effects for menstrual problems and PMS in humans, which appears to carry over into hormonal issues in animals as well. Marjoram is an important part of our Hormone Blend.
Lavender* is also well known for use with muscular issues, however, Lavender is an oil that is a veritable "Jack of all trades." Unfortunately, Lavender is also one of the most adulterated and synthetically altered essential oils on the market today. Very few available Lavender oils are pure enough to be called veterinary grade, or qualify for use in animals. We source our Lavender from a grower/distiller that I personally know, and the wonderful qualities of this particular source of oil, is exceptionally suited for use in animals. We are very fortunate to have continued and excellent access to this limited commodity of high quality oil. Lavender is especially indicated for skin conditions, muscular concerns, for calming effects, for burns and frostbite, high blood pressure, cardiac issues, insomnia, and more.
Peppermint* - when used properly, Peppermint is highly beneficial and not overwhelming to animal systems. Peppermint is often used as a "driving oil", which means that it appears to enhance the penetration of other oils. Peppermint's reported properties include supporting the body against inflammation, bacteria, viral, and fungal infections, gall bladder and digestive stimulation, and appetite suppression (although we also find that it's anti-nausea effects can help animals who are also not eating).
Catnip oil* is a relative newcomer to the scene of essential oils for animals. I have been "dabbling" with it for several years, as much of the research associated with it, considers it to be a more effective insect repellent than DEET. And, of course we know that cats and catnip have a long "romance" if you will. Catnip oil as an undiluted or neat oil - is actually quite repulsive. It is intensely strong, and must be diluted for proper use (or if you want other humans to want to be near you!) Since cats need routine help with flea prevention, ear mites, and even repelling of ticks - Catnip oil has become a fun introduction to our veterinary line up. Not only do cats love it for the "happy feelings" that it brings, but the anti-bug properties are showing amazing promise.
Fennel* carries with it benefits and support for blood sugar balancing, blood purification, urinary tract health, support of milk production, and gastrointestinal concerns.
Myrrh* is often referred to as a "Mother Oil" it is that important. Myrrh is also supportive for many endocrine and hormonal conditions including support of the Thyroid, growth hormone production, pituitary gland function, and hypothalamus function. Since many cats are prone to Hyperthyroidism, Myrrh is an important inclusion to KittyBoost.
Citronella* is also included in the KittyBoost for its safe and documented use for insect repellent properties in humans and animals.
And finally, Melissa essential oil* is one of my favorites, and falls into a "must-have" category of oils for me. Although being quite an expensive oil, not many people were able to afford routine access to it, even when it would make critical differences in their animals' health. Melissa is a powerful oil with a very high vibrational energy. Melissa is incredibly supportive to the body in fighting viral conditions and also has very high histamine balancing type actions. Melissa is used to support the body for many conditions including depression, anxiety, pruitis (itching), hives, seizures, anaphylaxis, nausea, indigestion, liver and gall bladder concerns, and even cardiac issues.
Helichrysum: Already within KittyBoost - additional Helichrysum is added to create LiverBoost. One of my most favorite oils, I find it incredibly helpful in detoxification, toxin metabolism, and in support of liver values returning to normal. As a very expensive essential oil, it was often left out of "homemade" recipes - which is something that never has to be with LiverBoost!
Ledum: Often regarded as an oil for liver support and cleansing. It is helpful to support animals with elevated liver enzymes - common with hyper-adrenocorticism (Cushing's) and steroid use.
Grapefruit: Grapefruit oil is widely used in all species, and in many routes. It has a very wide safety margin. Often indicated for support of the gall bladder, Grapefruit has many benefits to the liver. Grapefruit essential oil is photosensitizing, however, the concentration within LiverBoost is generally not at a level of concern. However, avoidance of full sun exposure to skin for 12 hours after application may be advisable, especially in hairless areas.
Coriander Seed: According to research, induces Glutathione S-Transferase, and is likely to be supportive and protective of liver health. Also supports adrenal health.
Fennel: Supports blood sugar balancing, blood purification, urinary tract health, support of milk production, and gastrointestinal concerns.
Juniper: Reported to support the renal (kidney) and pancreatic systems, and is a tonic for the nervous system.
German Chamomile: Wonderful for so many reasons, German Chamomile is likely to be hepatoprotective and shows induction of Glutathione S-transferase.
Nutmeg: There is research that Nutmeg oil may be hepatoprotective and also induce the Cytochrome P450 Liver pathway, making the liver better able to function and clear itself of medications and chemicals. However, if you are relying on certain medications to be in the body at certain levels, then yes - you could find a situation where a body functions more effectively (which to me is a good thing) - and therefore clears out medications from the body at a more efficient rate. Again, you should always work with a veterinarian to determine if your animal is operating at a more productive and healthy level - and may require alterations to their regular treatment regimen.
Geranium: Used for many purposes in the animal kingdom, Geranium can be useful for liver and pancreas support, skin conditions, hormone balancing, and to stimulate the healthy output of the adrenocortical glands.
Rosemary Verbenone Chemotype: Milder than other chemotypes, Rosemary-V aids in the support of many vital body systems; cardiovascular, hepatic/gallbladder, and urologic. Rosemary has been referred to as an "endocrine equilibriant" - helping to support and allow the body to regulate the hypothalamus, pituitary, and sex glands - and is very helpful with general fatigue, glandular disorders, and general debility. According to the Tisserand book noted above, there is no evidence of Rosemary having hypertensive properties - and so many reports of it being contraindicated for use when high blood pressure is present - is unfounded.
Rosemary Cineole Chemotype: The Cineole Chemotype of Rosemary still carries with it the benefits listed above, and used in lesser amounts is very supportive to liver health and induces Cytochrome P450.
Lemongrass: Likely to be hepatoprotective, and induces Glutathione S-transferase.
Dill Weed: Supportive of normal blood sugar levels and liver function, it is considered a very safe oil. Also reported to induce Glutathione S-transferase.
Clove: One of the most anti-oxidant essential oils - it can help to reduce damage of every day life in the body. Although controversial due to high Eugenol content - Clove oil used in proper amounts is highly beneficial in supporting the body. Included in small amounts within this blend, Clove adds its benefits, without undue worry. However, care should be taken with animals who are bleeding, have a tendency to bleed, or are on any sort of anti-coagulant therapy when Clove oil is used. The over-use of essential oil(s) that have anti-coagulant actions (such as Clove), especially in oral administration, can produce a temporary and dose dependent increase in bleeding and reduction of clotting. With proper dosing and usage, as described for LiverBoost, we have not experienced concern clinically.
Basil, Linalool Chemotype: Likely to be hepatoprotective as it induces Glutathione S-transferase. Also reported to support recovery from fatigue and insufficiency and weakness of the adrenal cortex.
LiverBoost was created specifically for animals needing additional liver support. Who might be in need of additional liver support? To me, just about anyone. A liver works hard everyday, and could use a little tender loving care on occasion (think of getting a nice massage!). But, there are animals who definitely "stick out" as being in need of a bit of a LiverBoost. Holistically, liver stress is recognized as a contributing factor to chronic skin issues, especially that are not resolving. Any animal with chronic skin issues of any sort, can use additional liver support in my opinion. Puppies who have gone through their vaccination series (or insult) - will also be experiencing additional liver stress, as is an adult dog getting booster vaccinations. An animal on medications, will also be utilizing their liver system a bit more - and if the administration is chronic, there is daily added stress. Chronic exposure to steroids - whether in pill, injection, or bodily form (as with Cushing's Disease and the body producing high levels of steroids) - is very stressful to the liver and we often see liver enzymes become elevated in response. There is also a myriad of primary liver diseases.
Of course, you should always be working with your veterinarian to monitor any animal who is diagnosed with or suspected to have liver compromise. In our veterinary clinic, I would obtain a starting "minimum data base" often including a blood chemistry panel, CBC, and urinalysis - prior to starting the use of essential oils. This would give me a baseline indication of health, BEFORE introducing essential oils or natural care. Then, based on veterinary evaluation, I would recheck blood values every 2-4 weeks or as indicated for the individual case. I was often pleased to hear reports that the animal appeared happier and more comfortable, while the following blood test results backed up our evidence that we were supporting liver health and healing.
The LiverBoost formulation has been used clinically with all sorts of patients, with varying levels of liver compromise. We also used essential oils alongside many prescription medications and over-the-counter natural remedies - with no apparent ill effects. These animals certainly benefited from essential oils that are traditionally known for support of the liver - and in many occasions we would see liver enzymes values returning to more normal ranges.
LiverBoost is a Ready To Use (RTU) product - which is already diluted to a rate that most animals can tolerate easily. LiverBoost builds upon our KittyBoost formula - adding liver supporting essential oils to the already amazing and supportive blend. KittyBoost (as well as LiverBoost) is not "just for cats" - and we'll list the oil additions below the Instructions for Use: