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Central Nervous System

Central Nervous System

Herbal remedies to relax the Central Nervous System and reduce stress in dogs and cats.

Animals routinely experience irregularities in bodily systems, including the Central and Autonomic Nervous systems, requiring a correction to restore emotional balance, to promote relaxation and reduce nervousness and to balance mood and provide feelings of comfort and security.

Many dogs and cats experience emotional distress for a variety of reasons, including environmental and situational stressors such as traveling, boarding, daycare, vet and grooming visits, introduction into a new home, loss of a family member or family pet, separation from owners, visiting guests, transitional or traumatic events, competitive events, abuse, an inappropriate diet (one which contains processed foods including corn, wheat, soy or other fillers) and general anxiety that is commonly experienced that includes irregular behaviors manifest as urine marking, excessive scratching, panting, trembling or shivering.

The nervous system is an animal's messenger system, allowing communication between the senses. It is also the decision-making center, including the brain, muscles and organs that carry out actions.

The autonomic nervous system controls internal body functions that are not under conscious control. When a dog or cat chases prey, the autonomic nervous system automatically increases the rate of breathing and heartbeat. It dilates the blood vessels that carry blood to the muscles, releases glucose from the liver, and makes other adjustments to provide for the sudden increase in activity.

When the chase has ended, the nervous system automatically slows down all processes and resumes all the normal body activities like the digestion of food.

The nerves of the autonomic nervous system originate in the spinal cord and pass out between the vertebrae to serve the various organs. There are two main parts to the autonomic nervous system, the sympathetic system and the parasympathetic system.

The sympathetic system stimulates the “flight, fright, fight” response that allows an animal to face up to a threat response, such as an attacking animal or to make a rapid departure. The sympathetic system increases the heart and respiratory rates, as well as the amount of blood flowing to the skeletal muscles while reducing blood flow to less critical regions like the gut and skin. It also causes the pupils of the eyes to dilate. The effects of the sympathetic system are similar to the effects of the hormone adrenaline.

The parasympathetic system has the opposite effect on the sympathetic system. It maintains the normal functions of the relaxed body. These are sometimes known as the “housekeeping” functions. It promotes effective digestion, stimulates defecation and urination and maintains a regular heartbeat and rate of breathing.

The sympathetic nervous system (SNS) is part of the autonomic nervous system (ANS), which also includes the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS).

Animals have complex nervous systems that receive and interpret sensory signals from the environment and then send out messages to direct the animal’s response. The complexity of an animal’s nervous system depends on its lifestyle and body plan.

Animals have a two-part nervous system: The central nervous system (CNS) consists of the animal’s brain and central neurons. It’s housed in the head and may continue along the back.

The peripheral nervous system (PNS) consists of all the nerves that travel from the CNS to the rest of the animal’s body.

The nervous system has three basic functions:

  1. Sensory function senses changes both outside and inside the animal body. For example, the eyes sense changes in light and the ear responds to sound waves. Inside the body, stretch receptors in the stomach indicate when it is full and chemical receptors in the blood vessels monitor the acidity of the blood.
  1. Integrative function includes the processing of information received from the sensory organs. The impulses from these organs are analyzed and stored as memory. The many different impulses from different sources are sorted, synchronized, coordinated and the appropriate response initiated. The power to integrate, remember and apply experience gives higher animals much of their superiority.
  1. Motor function is the final response to the stimuli that causes muscles to contract or glands to secrete. All nervous tissue is made up of nerve cells or neurons. These transmit high-speed signals called nerve impulses, which are similar to an electric current.

In all animals with a backbone, the Central Nervous System consists of a brain and a spinal cord. The brain contains centers that process information from the sense organs, centers that control emotions and intelligence, and centers that regulate the physiological balance of the body (homeostasis). The spinal cord controls the flow of information to and from the brain.

Both the brain and the spinal cord are highly protected. They sit within a liquid called cerebrospinal fluid that guards the Central Nervous System against shocks caused by movement and they're protected by the bones of the skull and vertebrae. The Central Nervous System also supports the brain and spinal cord by supplying nutrients and helping to remove wastes.

The blood-brain barrier, which is created by the capillaries surrounding the brain, provides yet another layer of protection because the capillaries are highly selective about what they allow to enter the brain or cerebrospinal fluid. A final layer of protection is the meninges, two layers of connective tissue that surround the brain and spinal cord.

From the Central Nervous System, the nervous system branches off into the PNS, this is divided into two systems:

Somatic nervous system: This part of the Parasympathetic Nervous System carries signals to and from the skeletal muscles. It controls many of an animal’s voluntary responses to signals in its environment.

Autonomic nervous system: This part of the Parasympathetic Nervous System controls the mostly involuntary internal processes in the body, such as heartbeat and digestion. It has two divisions that work opposite each other to maintain homeostasis:

There is much you can do to help your pet cope with stress. You can identify the cause of stress and make changes to avoid the stress response in the future.

The solution may be as simple as providing an herbal supplement prior to a storm, when visiting your veterinarian, when guests visit or when you travel.  In other cases, it may be more serious and require treatment or advice from a veterinarian.

Herbal Remedies:

Herbal remedies promote a calm and relaxed state, to soothe stress, fear and nervous anxiety during stressful situations & everyday disturbances, to address the sudden and immediate symptoms of stress, such as quivering and panting, to relieve the anxiety and tension related to stress, to help cope with anxiety and nervousness by working on a variety of bodily systems to provide whole systemic support, relaxing the Central and Autonomic Nervous Systems, allowing your animal to distinguish between a safe vs. fearful situation.

Soothed & Serene – (learn more) is used to relax and calm all bodily systems, to soothe animals exhibiting all types of  destructive behavior due toanxiety, fear, grief, separation, pain, illness, allergies, aggression, socialization issues, electrical and thunder storms due to its calming, mildly sedative and nervine effects that can bridge nutritional deficiencies and relieve irregularity in bodily systems, restore emotional balance, promote comfort, relaxation, balanced mood and feelings of security.

Serenity Zen Dog & Cat - (learn more) is used for its multi-level support to soothe, relax, calm and provide pain relief to nerves, muscles and all bodily systems (Adrenal, Cardiovascular, Digestive, Excretory, Respiratory, Autonomic and Central Nervous Systems), for anxiety disorders, allergies, digestive colic, storms, travel, boarding, vet visits, separation, restlessness, irritability, depression, ADHD and ADD, to maintain normal electrical balance in the brain, reduce neuro inflammation and modulate inflammatory response.

Yelp for Kelp - (learn more) provides critical trace nutrient support for the endocrine system, to energize the body, for building and toning enzymes, tissues, hormones and bones, for enhancing natural cleansing and detoxification, for anemia, as an osteoporosis preventative, to promote immunity and for metabolic disorders, including the thyroid gland and other glands and tissues that affect the thyroid, for thyroid disorders, to cleanse the lymphatic system, to maintain healthy levels of TSH, T3 and T4, and for metabolic disorders.

Help! Dogs in particular can become very anxious and distressed during a lightning storm or when fireworks are let off nearby. If your pet becomes distressed, try not to fuss too much, as this may be interpreted as attention – perhaps triggering further anxiety in the future. Rather stay calm and provide your pet with the necessary tools to cope. This may include a ‘den’ for them (empty cupboard with a blanket and favorite toys) as dogs will try to find a place where there is one opening – where the perceived ‘danger’ can be watched. Cats will usually seek out shelter under a bed or behind a cupboard. Best to leave them be, and not bother them.

Exercise! Keep your animal physically active - this is a great technique for stress relief. Regular exercise helps burn up stress-related hormones such as adrenaline while releasing happiness-inducing endorphins! For your animal, sniffing the ground while outdoors is like reading a magazine – a great way to relax!

Eat healthily. It seems too simple, but a balanced diet will energize your pet’s body and help him or her to cope better with stressful situations. Important nutrients for stress relief include Vitamin B, calcium and magnesium – all of which are available in vegetables. Your pet should be fed on a diet of 20% protein, with the rest made up of healthy carbohydrates (like rice) and vegetables.

Related Products:

Gland Candy - (learn more) contains healthy fatty Omega 3 acids used to support healthy body weight, used in the treatment of skin conditions and to promote healthy skin and coat, to support and tone the lymphatic system, to balance glandular activities including the thyroid, adrenal and pituitary glands, to support and maintain healthy thyroid function and to soothe the thyroid and endocrine system, for allergies, alopecia, allergic dermatitis, moist dermatitis (hot spots), to stimulate tissue repair and for all types of arthritis

I Feel Good –  (learn more) promotes healthy immune response, reduces inflammation, provides dermal support and growth of healthy cells and tissues in the body’s defense mechanism, reduces the histamine trigger for contact allergies, seasonal and chronic allergens, pathogens, skin rashes, infections, hot spots, inflammation, swelling, hair loss, itching and geriatria (dull coat, lethargy), for all types of arthritis, including Degenerative Joint Disease, Osteoarthritis, Osteoporosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and symptoms associated with rheumatism, including pain, strains, injuries, muscle pain, swelling and lack of mobility.

Conventional Remedies:

The common conventional treatments for stressed animals include tranquilizer-like medications, such as Fluoxetine (Prozac, Reconcile). Please consider that these drugs may be unsuitable for pets with weakened hearts or other health conditions and may be accompanied by side effects.

Natural supplements can assist your pet to relax the Autonomic Nervous System, without the side effects of synthetic drugs.





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