Coconut oil is trendy right now. I think Dr. Oz recommended it for something. I don’t know what made it start to trend, as it were, but coconut oil is BIG in terms of sovereign specifics. If you’re itchy — use coconut oil. If you’re constipated — use coconut oil. If you have indigestion — coconut oil. You get my drift.
Of course, since it’s good for people it must be good for pets, no?
And so I had the woman whose cat had fleas and flea allergic dermatitis who was smearing her cat in coconut oil to keep it from licking. Just for the record, if your cat is licking at her skin a lot, smearing her in something gooey isn’t going to make her lick less.
And I had the dog who had a hypersensitivity to malassezia (a common dermal yeast) whose owner was putting *four tablespoons* of coconut oil on his food twice a day. It didn’t help his skin, but it sure made him develop a raging pancreatitis and, because of that, diabetes which eventually killed him.
I have an online veterinary buddy who had a client that was smearing coconut oil on their cockatoo who was feather picking. Much like smearing it on a cat, smearing coconut oil on a parrot who is determined to traumatize his own skin isn’t going to make that stop either. (Although we have another online veterinary buddy who, having heard that story commented “Hm. Coconut oil, a little salt and pepper, a hot skillet….” which, veterinarians in general having a sick sense of humor, broke us all up and made us admit that yes, in that case the coconut oil would probably have stopped the cockatoo from feather picking.)
So you get the idea. Coconut oil is a panacea. It’ll cure everything, improve everything, stop male pattern baldness, improve your sex life, make you lucky at the craps table.
I don’t know why, then, it amazed me when I had the following exchange with a young woman who had brought me her grandmother’s morbidly obese Pekingese. Boo Boo had gained 10 pounds in the last year. The dog went from 15 pounds to 25 on a frame where even 15 pounds was, to put it nicely, generous.
I told the granddaughter and her grandmother that the dog was morbidly obese and that they were feeding it to death. The dog *has* to lose weight or he’ll die, and he is beyond the point where an over the counter “weight control” diet was going to help. I told them that if they wanted the dog to lose weight that he had to start on a prescription weight reduction diet, cut out his table food habit, and start going for several short walks every single day.
The granddaughter, a woman in her early 20s or so, looked at me with a straight face and asked:
“So would adding coconut oil to his food help?”
I am rather proud of myself that I neither broke out laughing or stared at her with my jaw dropped. Nor was I sarcastic when I explained that adding pure fat to food that was designed to make the dog lose weight was probably going to work at cross purposes to our desired goal.
A miracle nut, or a miraculous nut. You decide!