Author: Jennifer / Mustelidmusk at Holistic Ferret Forum
Slippery Elm Bark Syrup for Ferrets:
- Put 1/2 cup of cool purified water into a glass or stainless steel saucepan.
- Add one slightly rounded teaspoon of slippery elm powder (or you can open and empty the contents of 5 capsules into the pan).
- Whisk with a fork until the powder blends with the water.
- Note: Always blend it in the cold water first. If you add the powder to warm or hot water it will be lumpy.
- Bring the ingredients to a simmer over a low flame, stir constantly. Simmer about two minutes or until it slightly thickens to a syrupy consistency.
- Cool the mixture then refrigerate in a glass jar with a tight fitting lid. With proper storage the syrup will remain fresh for 7 or 8 days.
- Even if you just add the dry powder mixed to an animals soft food it can help soothe the digestive system.
Dose: 1 teaspoon slippery elm syrup given before each meal.
Using Slippery Elm Bark Syrup
Author: Heather Downie
For diarrhea: slowly pour 12 oz. hot or boiling water over 1 T. of powdered bark, stirring constantly until mixture is smooth.
For constipation: use only 1 tsp. powder and proceed as above.
To make Slippery Elm Gruel: mix 1 tsp. of the powder with 1 cup water or broth in a pan. Heat slowly to a boil, stirring often (a wire whisk works best for this). Reduce heat and let simmer 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly. Take off heat. Add honey and/or other supplements if desired. Let cool and add to food, or feed separately as a porridge, or by syringe if necessary.
How to administer Slippery Elm preparations:
Note that the following dosages refer to the liquid preparations described above, not to the powder alone. Slippery Elm should always be taken with water, and since you can’t entice your companion to drink a glass of water on command, always prepare it according to the recipes provided. Having said that, here are some general dosing guidelines for companion animals.
Cats: 1/2 tsp. (or 2ccs by syringe) 3-4 times daily until improvement is noted.
Dogs: 1 tsp. for small dogs, 1 T. for medium sized dogs, and 2-4 T. for large dogs.
Repeat dose 3-4 times daily until symptoms subside. Unused portions of these preparations can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.
Externally: Slippery Elm makes an excellent poultice for boils, abscesses, ulcers or burns. Simply moisten the powder with enough water to make a paste and apply to the area. Mixed with honey and a little goldenseal you have a wonderful antibacterial, soothing dressing for any wound, sore, or burn (add bandage if necessary).
Because it is so good at what it does, excessive or prolonged use of Slippery Elm can overcoat the digestive tract and interfere with assimilation of some nutrients. This effect is easily prevented by taking 2-3 days off per week during extended internal therapy, and always mixing the powder with water before administering it to your pet.
Please note that while we fully support a natural lifestyle, “NATURAL” does NOT mean “SAFE!” There are many things in nature that are quite toxic (arsenic and cyanide are both natural substances for example), and in turn many medications are derived from natural sources (i.e. penicillin is originally derived from mold, and digoxin, a heart medication, is derived from the Foxglove flower).
Supplements should be treated the same as medications, and in the medical world medications and supplements are grouped together as “medications.” Supplements should only be used if there is a specific need for them, and when used should be done so at the lowest effective “dose,” and only as long as is truly necessary.
Supplements DO NOT replace appropriate veterinary care and veterinary prescribed medications. Please consult your veterinarian if you are having ANY health/medical concerns regarding your ferret. Please also consult with your vet regarding the safety of any supplements with other medications that your ferret may be taking.