I am sure that everyone has animals on their farm that are more close to their hearts than others. We seem to have a farm full of them, and once again had to say goodbye to one of them. But through her illness and death we have learned a lot about the natural healing powers of readily available ingredients.
The animal that died was our eight-year-old Akbash/Maremmacross guardian dog. Her name was Buffy. My husband named her after Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and, to be honest, she was the only reason we have slept at night the last few years since the wolves moved into our area. She was always on patrol and watching her charges. Learning to trust her and her instincts was hard but in the whole time she was alive and working here we never had a predator loss on our farm. I can honestly say that we are living in dread of what the summer may bring. Just this June there was another wolf shot at our neighbouring Community Pasture, so we know the trapper didn’t kill them all last fall.
Buffy developed a sarcoid carcinoma on her side this spring. Everything we tried on it wasn’t working and the vet suggested she be euthanized. Instead, I decided to try a salve recipe from a friend in New Zealand. My biggest problem was the inability to find all the forbes that are asked for in it. So we had to improvise and to our surprise it greatly helped.
The vet had said the tumour was too big to be successfully operated on so we were hoping that if it shrank enough we would have that option. In a few days the tumour shrunk back enough that Buffy wanted to go and visit her cows and calves on pasture, but still not far enough to enable a successful surgery. She was bright and alert and because all the ingredients are food based it didn’t matter she was licking it off and eating it also. In fact, our local pharmacist said that many of the ingredients, such as charcoal, are used to pull poison out of a patient so it would be good for her. We also found once the original tumour was shrinking that in fact she had a few more hiding under her fur. When we applied the ointment they shrivelled up and died within 24 hours. Since she was in no pain, was showing no signs of emotional or mental anguish and was very happy patrolling our pasture we decided to wait and continue using the salve.
Unfortunately, about three weeks after we started treating her tumour Buffy died suddenly while eating her supper. At that point her tumour was roughly half its original size. We truly believe that had we started treating this tumour with the salve at its beginning she would have gotten better so I want to share the recipe we used. We are also using this ointment on a goat right now that has hoof rot from a stick puncturing it. She is also on antibiotics, but the salve it helping to draw out the pieces of wood and enabling it to heal.
Here’s the Canadian version of the black salve recipe:
One-half cup mutton fat (we rendered this from our own sheep so we knew it was clean of all chemical residue)
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. bentonite clay
2 tbsp. activated charcoal
2 tbsp. raw honey
2 tbsp. fresh raw butter (we make our own)
1 tbsp. vitamin E oil
2 cloves garlic
2 drops peppermint oil
1 cup finely chopped plantain leaves Heat the fat to just melting temperature and add the garlic and chopped plantains. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir together. It is best if the salve is allowed to age for about 24 hours but can be used immediately. It is not recommended to use this on moles.
If you don’t have plantains growing on your farm seeds can be purchased from www.richters.com. Click on seeds, scroll down to Plantain, Greater and click. This will take you directly to the plantain page. (Editor’s note:I have plenty growing in my lawn, as I’m guessing many of you do. It likely doesn’t ship well, but you can come pick it if you live in the area.)
We have now used this salve on shearing cuts and found them to heal much faster than anything else we have ever used. We had been told in the past that plantains were recommended for feeding animals that weren’t feeling well but we had no idea they could be this effective.
Now our family is faced with finding a new guardian dog that will be able to keep our local wolf population at bay. I have been told that we may need more than one. But, for now at least, the wolves don’t know she’s gone.
DebbieChikouskyfarmswithherfamilyat Narcisse,Man.Visitorsarealwayswelcome. ContactDebbieat [email protected]