In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of arnica for dogs and check out how you can make use of this treatment for your own pet.

arnica flowerArnica is actually a sunflower with bright yellow flowers and opposing leaves on the stem. Most arnicas have a satisfying aroma, existing as they do in the mountainous regions of North America.

The plant is a perennial that blooms in the second year of growth and is among the first flowers to bloom in early spring. Arnica is also known as Leopard’s Bane.

Arnica is usually used for dogs with muscle aches, strains and other associated injuries. It has also been used on dogs with emotional stress and can even aid in the rehabilitation process after dogs have experienced brain or spinal cord injuries.

Therapeutic Use

In most applications, the whole flower is used. It comes in the form of a pellet, tablet, gel or cream.  Some things to keep in mind when administering Arnica or any homeopathic medicine; it’s not that same as administering a traditional medicine and it’s important to understand this:

1. MORE IS NOT BETTER and upping the amounts of pellets DOES NOT increase the dosage or do any good.

2. Dosage and dosage frequency is not determined by how much your dog weighs. It is determined by your dog’s symptoms, frequency of the symptoms and the category in which they fall (recent, seasonal, chronic).  Typically 3 pellets are considered a dose, but this really depends on the dog’s condition and what the problem is.  It can be anywhere between 1-3 pellets depending on the severity.

3. Example: Arthritis is known as a chronic condition, meaning it has made a home in your dog’s body.  The typical dosage for chronic conditions is one dose 3 times daily. Remember, one dose is generally considered 3 pellets.  While 6C is considered low potency; 30C is considered in the middle when it comes to potency and seems to work well for arthritis.

4. Another example: If your dog hurts his leg running, etc., this would fall into the the category of “recent” category.  3 doses of 30C every 4 hours for two days would be good in this case.

  • ARNICA DOSAGE: DO NOT GIVE WITH FOOD. FEED ARNICA 15 MINUTES BEFORE OR AFTER FOOD. Dosage: 3 pellets equal one dose (Dr. Elliot recommends giving 2-3 pellets at a time,  which again are considered one dose).
  • ADMINISTERING TO YOUR DOG: The pellets do not have to be swallowed by the dog.  The trick is getting them into your dog’s mouth without touching them. The pellet dispenser lid twists and so that you can get the amount of pellets you need. Using the lid, drop the pellets into the mouth.  If possible, you want to try and get them around the mucous membranes and allow them to dissolve.  So, place below the front teeth on the gum line, or in the jowl pocket of the cheek.  They will dissolve but it takes awhile. Dr. Elliot also shares a great idea of crushing the pellets and placing the powder into your dog’s mouth. If that doesn’t work, try this: once you’ve crushed the pellets, place the crushed arnica pellets into one tablespoon of distilled water and stir. Now place one teaspoon directly into the dog’s mouth.  Save the other two teaspoons for later. Give your dog another teaspoon of the water every four hours until you see improvement.
  • The gel and cream forms are applied topically to any areas of the body where the dog has experienced trauma.  Arnica has been used to treat everything from sore muscles to bruises and sprains. Arthritis symptoms have also been alleviated with topical application of arnica gels and creams.
  • Directions for applying arnica to sore muscles, joints and sprains: It’s important to remember that arnica creams are used for closed-tissue injuries only. The infusion of arnica gel or cream should be applied directly to the skin itself and not the fur of your dog. After moistening the skin with arnica tincture, gel or cream and wrap the area in gauze or cloth. Secure it so that it can’t be taken off. Repeat this up to four times daily. If the condition worsens after 2-3 days, see your dog’s holistic vet.

Dr. Weil recommends mixing one tablespoon of arnica tincture with a pint of spring (or purified) water. Using gauze or a sanitary pad, dip it into the mixture and apply it to the bruised area or sore arthritic joint.

Click Here to Buy Homeopathic Arnica

Preventative Measures

As mentioned, arnica shouldn’t be applied to open wounds. This is because it works quickly to stimulate dilation and circulation of peripheral blood vessels, which can actually increase the blood flow of an open and bleeding wound. Applying arnica gels or creams to open wounds can also slow the natural coagulation process.

If arnica is used too long, redness and irritation can result and dogs may lick or chew where it was applied. Abrasions and lesions have also been reported, so discontinue use if you see any of these signs on your dog’s skin.

Internal applications of arnica can result in stomach irritation and digestive problems if used too long. Throat irritation and mouth ulcers can also result, especially when arnica is used at a higher dosage than recommended. Other possible side effects include vomiting, diarrhea and even organ failure.

NEVER use arnica creams or gels around the eyes or mouth areas.

arnica applications

Reasons to Use

The best use of arnica is in its topical form to help alleviate sore muscles and bruising. It also has dramatic and demonstrable effects in the time period immediately after injury occurs, helping to cut down on symptoms of pain and strain in dogs.

As with all of the herbal treatments we’ve been discussing, you should monitor your dog’s reactions to arnica in any of its forms.  When using arnica for dogs, don’t overuse it and always follow any written instructions to ensure your best friend’s safety and well-being.

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Showing 136 comments
  • Debbie
    Reply

    I own a Rottweiler who is 13 years old. Recently she has been shaking her head and developed a hematoma in her right ear. I had her to the vet and said she had an ear infection which he cleaned and she is now wearing an e collar so she won’t hit her head against a hard substance even though she is still shaking her head but less frequently. I came across your website and see that Arnica may be recommended to use. I found it in a health store in a cream, gel and I believe in a tablet but not in pellet form. Would it be okay to use both the gel and pills at the same time or one or the other would be best to start with? If I were to use the pills would it be okay to put it in her food whole or mashed? Thanks

    • yourolddog
      Reply

      Hi Debbie:

      The product I always recommend to my readers with regards to an ear infection is to use Zymox. A hematoma will heal naturally if you stop the dog from shaking the head. The hematoma will wrinkle up and the ear will look a little deformed, but it will heal. However, you have to heal the ear infection in order to heal the hematoma and Zymox can help with that.

      Arnica is more for pain. You can certainly use Arnica to help her with pain. I would use the pellets and the Zymox. Arnica and all homeopathic pellets are very, very tiny Debbie and you’re supposed to use the lid of the container to place the amount you need inside the lid (turn the container upside down and rotate the lid so that the pellets empty into the lid) and then place them in your dog’s mouth without touching them.

      It’s easiest to empty the lid into your dog’s jowl where it’s deep. The jowl is on either side of your dog’s lips. Just take your index finger and place it at the far end of either side of your dog’s lip and open.

      I hope this makes sense.

      Janie

  • Debbie
    Reply

    Thanks so much Janie for your advice. I just want her to stop shaking her head so the hematoma and infection can heal. I will certainly consider using Zymox instead of Arnica since she doesn’t seem to be in any pain. Appreciate your help.

    • yourolddog
      Reply

      Sure Debbie; my pleasure. Hope your girl heals well.

      Please let us know how it goes, so that others can benefit from your situation. 🙂

      Janie

  • Katie
    Reply

    Hi! My dog has horrible yeast issues and yesterday I came home to a swollen ear. When I searched hematoma, his looked much different. almost as if the ear was just enlarged, not as swollen as some of the images. It also wasn’t very red. We have been battling with constant yeast infections in his ear, on his paws, and all over his belly and hind legs; changing his diet, frequent anti-fungal shampoo with a vinegar rise, and daily coconut oil. Nothing seems to be working. I am looking to try the Arnica for his possible hematoma, since his ear seems to really be bothering him, as well as an e-collar to stop the constant scratching. Would this be beneficial?

    Thanks!

    • janie
      Reply

      Hi Katie:

      I’m sorry to hear about your dog. Actually the hematoma is probably the least of your problems.

      I have to ask. You said you changed his diet. What did you change it to and are you including any supplements?

      You can use the Arnica for pain and some sort of comfortable e-collar to stop him from scratching at the ear.

      Have you recently vaccinated him or used chemical flea and tick products on him? Let me know about the food, supplements and vaccinations and I’ll get back to you.

      Janie

      • Katie
        Reply

        Janie,

        I recently switched him to zingnatures and within the last month the rash on his belly is clearing a little more each day. He also receives a flora supplement along with a probiotic. We supplement with raw when we can but he is 75 lbs so that would break the bank for a full diet. He has not had any shots recently or chemical flea or tick treatments. We try and do everything all natural. We have been very lucky with fleas and have been flea free for over a year (he is just over a year old).

        The arnica, along with the comfy e-collar kept him from scratching his ear all day. The redness and swelling has actually decrease slightly. Hopefully more soon.

        • janie
          Reply

          Hi Katie:

          I’m glad to hear that the rash is clearing each day. I’m also glad to hear that you’re supplementing with flora and probiotics. Finally, I’m very glad you’re including raw. Rotate the raw meat every couple of days.

          If he is only a year old, I’m assuming he had a whole host of vaccinations most likely as an early pup in and around 3-6 month period, which wouldn’t have been that long ago Katie. This very likely could have been what caused the problem. Vaccinations wreak havoc on the dog’s immune system.

          The problem with yeast is becoming a larger and larger problem in dogs. Like many, I believe that vaccinations are just one of many things that are breaking down a dog’s natural defense. More and more dogs are fighting skin and yeast issues, just to name a few. Cancer in dogs is at alarming rates. The skin is the largest organ in the body, and for dogs, health problems tend to show themselves thru the skin first.

          I highly recommend that you build up his immune system with both a good multivitamin and Colostrum. Colostrum is one of the best things you can feed a dog with yeast or allergy issues. This is in addition to a good diet of course. Keep on including coconut oil in his food as well Katie.

          The hematoma will heal itself as I mentioned before. Your goal should of course be to eliminate the skin and yeast problems. Skin problems often include ear problems as well.

          If interested, you can purchase Nuvet multivitamin here on my site. It can only be purchased thru distributors and is one of the best vitamins you can buy. It’s also economical and you only need one a day. You can purchase Colostrum here on my site. It can also be purchased on Amazon, but it’s more expensive.

          I hope this helps. I would love an update on your boy down the road Katie.

          Janie

          In order for him to fight off the yeast and

  • Katie
    Reply

    Janie,

    Thank you so much for the advice! I will gI’ve him some time with the vitamins and colostrum you suggested and let you know!

    • janie
      Reply

      My pleasure Katie. I forgot to mention I think that if he gets chronic ear issues, I would keep Zymox on hand. It works very, very well for ear infections.

      Janie

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