Animal Doctor Articles Weekly on March 18, 2013

Question

In the paper a couple of months ago, you answered a letter from someone inquiring about black spots on her dog's skin. You said they were probably warts and to spray the spots with apple cider vinegar.

My cocker spaniel, Max, not only had black spots on his back and neck, but also on his stomach. The spots on his back were large and crusty, and the skin flaked off around them. His groomer thought he had allergies and dry spots and bathed him with oatmeal shampoo.

I thought your idea was worth a try, so I sprayed apple cider vinegar on his back a couple times a day -- when I remembered -- for a week or two. The spots not only reduced in size, but soon they were all gone -- even the spots I didn't put vinegar on disappeared. My vet had never heard of such a thing and was amazed.

L.J., Rogue River, OR Mar 18, 2013

Answer

Yes, we have much to relearn from tried-and-true folk remedies for a variety of health problems. So many of the medications on the market today can have harmful side effects and are far more expensive than folk remedies. Remedies like apple cider vinegar and baking soda paste for skin conditions; peppermint or spearmint and ginger for nausea and an upset stomach; cramp bark or licorice for gut-ache; and valerian or catnip for anxiety are all great alternatives to expensive prescription medication.

While I do not advocate people making their own diagnoses, I urge more human and animal doctors to adopt a more integrative approach in their treatments. As an added bonus, unlike many prescribed drugs, these products are not an environmental health hazard when excreted.

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