Kaolin is a common mineral used by humans. There are many benefits that that clay can provide. Animals can even gain benefits from the mineral. What are kaolin uses in animals? How to use kaolin properly in animals to maximize benefits and reduce the risks?
How Does Kaolin Help Animals?
The main use of kaolin in animals is to help the digestive system. In humans, digestive problems are rarely fatal. However, for animals, it can actually be dangerous. Digestive issues, such as diarrhea, cause many annual mortality cases among pets. The pets can get severe dehydration that leads to issues in the nervous system.
It helps deal with diarrhea in pets through several means, including:
- It binds toxins in the digestive system so the symptoms can be lessened.
- The mineral binds water, so it does not leave the body quickly, lessening dehydration.
- Because of its binding property, the feces would firm up.
- The body has a better chance to absorb water and nutrients because the digestive system does not run overdrive.
Diarrhea can be caused for many reasons, including allergy and food poisoning. Kaolin uses in animals are not limited to specific diarrhea. It treats the symptoms of diarrhea, which can weaken the pet’s body. While the symptom is treated with kaolin, the real reasons can be examined.
Pet owners can purchase kaolin in the form of powdered clay and oral liquid suspension. It should only be purchased at a reputable store. Sometimes, the vet might even include kaolin in the prescription. Obtaining the product at a reputable store will assure the owner that they get the quality product.
Cautions for Kaolin Uses in Animals
Kaolin should never be used in animals carelessly as it can actually cause severe impacts than the initial condition. Here are some cautions for its use in treating sick animals:
1. Understanding Its Adsorbent Properties
Kaolin is useful to treat diarrhea because of its adsorbent properties. However, this ability can actually interfere with the pet’s recovery from sickness. When being used with certain medications, such as digoxin, it can negate the medicine’s efficacy. The clay might bind the healing properties of that medicine.
2. Giving the Appropriate Dosage
Pet owners must understand that although kaolin is helpful for diarrhea, it can be harmful in an abundant dose. The dose depends on the pet’s weight. It is recommended to give between 0.5 and 1.0 millimeters for each pound. Each dose should be given in 4 to 6 hours intervals to allow it to fully work. Overdoses can lead to constipation.
3. Avoiding Prolonged Use
Kaolin administration in animals should only happen in a short period. Ideally, you only need one or two days to see the reaction. However, if the pet’s condition has not improved after two days, you should immediately take it to see the vet. Few signs in your pet should alert you, such as:
- Diarrhea and vomiting continue
- Lethargic or even fading consciousness
- Looking depressed
- Showing pain, especially in the abdominal area
4. Being Aware of Interaction Effect
There is a condition named interaction effect. It usually happens between medicines. When an interaction effect happens, the medicines might negate each other. The interaction might also cause side effects. To prevent interaction effects, it is suggested to administer kaolin 3 to 4 hours before administering the other medicines.
5. Pet’s Allergy
A pet might be allergic to certain ingredients. Some allergic reactions are mild, while others might be more severe. Medicinal kaolin might contain bismuth subsalicylate that could be dangerous to the animal. It would be best to avoid such ingredients if you can or consult with experts.
6. Only Using Kaolin in Non-severe Diarrhea Case
Although kaolin can be used in non-specific diarrhea, it should only be given in mild to moderate diarrhea. Severe diarrhea needs more specific treatment as it is likely to be caused by infectious diseases. In that case, kaolin might not be able to help the pet. It can even aggravate the condition.
Kaolin is very useful for your pet, particularly in the case of digestive problems. It can help reduce discomfort and can be paired with other medications responsibly. However, it would be best if you heeded the cautions in its administration.
The best way to minimize the risk of kaolin uses in animals is to consult with a veterinarian prior to giving the mineral. A veterinarian would be able to provide guidance so that you can administer kaolin safely to your beloved pet.