Sunday, January 9, 2011

Alternatives For Electrolytes

The Ruminators!
Now back to the reason for the title.. You all know me if you have read this blog for any length of time.. I like to Do Things Myself!! Like buying packaged foods when I can make it myself even though I occasionally do cut corners for things like Mash potatoes.. Anyway I will try not to get sidetracked here.. One thing I got to looking at was when I bought Electrolytes for animals.. When an animal or person gets sick they can get dehydrated and lose certain things that their body needs. Don't ask me what all because I cant give you the scientific names of most anything..
 However I got to looking at the ingredients on the electrolyte package. (I am also a compulsive package reader!) I looked up the ingredients to see what exactly they are.. Some I knew already..
 Here are the ingredients to a common and basic electrolyte mix..

Manna Pro Bounce Back

Dextrose, sodium chloride, sodium bicarbonate, potassium chloride.

So what are these main ingredients... Well If you don't know I will tell you if you do know then you are on your way to making your own electrolytes!
 First is Dextrose plain and simple its a sugar that a body makes for energy. It makes up about 70% of the electrolyte.
 Next is Sodium Chloride which is common table salt.
 Sodium Bicarbonate is Baking Soda.
Then there is Potassium Chloride.. It is sometimes mixed with table  salt, it is also used as a fertilizer(potash) and it can be toxic in high doses. They use it for Lethal injection.... Hmm makes me want to use it..
 So at one time I looked up recipes for Homemade Electrolytes... Found lots of variations but the simple one that is easy to mix up in a hurry..
So My Electrolyte Mix
A half gallon of hot water(because it will cool some by the time you get it out to the barn)...
2-6 Tablespoons of Unsulphured Blackstrap Molasses- Best Choice because of the vitamins and minerals in it naturally.
 If you don't have Molasses then Karo Syrup will work..
Second Ingredient
1-2 Tablespoons of Either Sea Salt, Epsom Salt, Baking Soda or Table Salt.
 Listed in the order of what I prefer to use... 
Third Ingredient 1 cup of Apple Cider Vinegar
Mix well and then Drench...
 Now how much depends on how bad sick they are.. I always offer it to them to see if they will drink it With OUT being drenched. Ethel got to the point she would just suck it out of the syringe along with her herbal tea..But she wouldnt drink it out of the bucket. Stinker!
 If they have Diarrhea then they are losing a lot of fluid fast and it needs to be replaced fast.. So I give 30-60cc every hour along with 1 tablespoon of  Slippery Elm Powder mixed in enough water to be able to pull it up in the drench Syringe. I give up on Pepto or Kaopectate to stop diarrhea.
 When they start doing better I ease  back to 30-60 cc every 2 hours then a couple times a day.. If they are drinking on their own I don't drench them with it. I just monitor their fluid intake.
 Because with everything from Fevers to Pneumonia to fighting parasites or infections If they are dehydrated it only weakens the body and the immune system. They have to have the energy to fight it..
 Now some Electrolytes mixes have more Vitamins. If you feel they need that then add a dose of Nutridrench to the mix. Some other add Probiotics. If you dont have Probiotics at home then you can use a Yogurt that has at least 3 active cultures. I like to use the Greek yogurt that has 5 active cultures.. Hey more is better right?? Okay Only in some things!! What I usually use is Probios from the feed store.
 If you want to add something herbal to it Then Comfrey Leaf, Dandelion and Blackberry leaf tea are good. Make a cup up and add it to bring the water up to a half gallon. You can mix it all up store it in the fridge and warm it as needed.

 There is my 2 cents worth tonight.. Its starting to snow. They are calling for 4-5 inches between now and Tuesday morning. The high is 16* Wednesday.. All the animals are bedded down and warm. So I think I will be doing the same here in a little bit..


Feral Female said...

Very cool! Thanks for passing that homemade recipe along.

Nancy said...

I don't have any goats (at the moment) but I imagine this will be very useful information for those that do. :)

Brenda said...

Great post! I'm going to have to write this down so I don't lose the ingredients and portions.

I'm going to mix up some of your electrolyte recipe for my does in the kidding pens. I've been bringing them warm water, but I don't think they're drinking enough.

I completely agree with you about the slippery elm solving diarrhea problems. I'm so glad you brought some to me when I had that little buck last year. I couldn't get the diarrhea stopped with anything else. The slippery elm worked perfectly.

Kritter Keeper said...

tonia that is amazing information! thank you so much for sharing that. i always new molasses was superb...never heard of ingesting epson salts for the animals. stay warm this week!!

Anonymous said...

I'm the same way, for the most part, I won't buy something that I can do (or learn to do) for myself. My hubby laughs and says that I have a little kid mindset - No I wanna do it!!!
I used to not care about what was in my food/ my animal's food, but lately I do find myself looking into it and making other buying decisions if I don't like what I find. We're in the middle of the information revolution, haha.

the Goodwife said...

We are expecting 3-6 inches by Tuesday morning. Glad to hear you and the critters are all snugged in!

Kelle said...

We do the same for our cows and even our poultry. Sometimes herbal treatments take a bit longer, but you also can take comfort in knowing you are NOT causing any further harm to your animal.

Our Aussie was not feeling well, not entirely sure what was wrong, but he did have a runny nose, so began herbals,( garlic, molasses, honey, kelp, echinachia and whole wheat flour with enough water to make dough balls) we'r also treating him with some homeopoathics for cold and flu type symptoms and with in a days time he was already feeling better, now we'll continue this course, gradually decreasing the doses for another week or so.

Thanks for sharing this. :o)

Anonymous said...

We're expecting more snow tomorrow and Wednesday too but our high will be 25 tomorrow and Wednesday though. Good stuff to know about the electrolytes.

Amy Westbeld

Verde Farm said...

I would think these would be great tips for sheep and donkeys too and in a small scale some of my birds too. I so appreciate you sharing this with us. So glad she is doing better too!