While I was home, I had an appointment for my to-be adoptive home to come pick up Aubrey and her baby. So, she came and did so. The feisty ferret cage fit fully assembled in the back of her suv (jealous!!), and we got everything else around it with room to spare. Very nice adoptive home. Last time she brought her kids (teenagers+), this time they were in school. The kids knew the chins were coming home, but she said she didn't tell them she was picking them up today, so it'd be a surprise for them. Normally, you know my views on animal surprises, but since the whole family was here the first time, and everyone was on board, this was a tad bit different.
So then, I had someone call about my crittertrail cages. Well, someone called yesterday, I called them back, and I never heard back. Then, someone else was texting me about it later last night. And I was like, well.... that other person never got back. So then the second person just said "maybe Friday" and I never heard back. Ok, so then this morning, person 1 calls again and said they work the night shift, hence why they hadn't called back. Ahhhhh. So, they were from Kouts, and they wanted to know how far that was from here, and I said maybe 30-40 minutes? I don't know. It probably depends what route you take, and more importantly, how fast you drive. Anyway, I guess it couldn't have been too bad a drive, cause they did show up and purchase the lot of the two crittertrail cages and accessories. Yay. Those were originally supposed to go to someone else, but then that didn't work out, and of course, the two cages wouldn't fit inside any sort of box or anything I had, so they were sitting out, collecting dust. And now they're gone. Happy happy.
Moving along, I want to note that I pretty much despise the 15 minute breaks that our class has. 5-10 minutes, sure. But 15 always seems to edge to 20, and all I really want to do on the breaks is go to the bathroom. Maybe get a pop. That's it. And both are within seeing distance of the hallway where the classroom is. So why do we need 15-20 minutes? For social hour I guess?
Anyway, point being, I took that time to write down the ingredients that I noticed were common in a variety of supplements for chins. Then took the time to find prices for the ingredients on both companies (I almost typed what they were! lol sorry, my secret) where I get my herbs. The amusing thing is that for some of the items, the prices vary wildly, like $10 at one, $19 at the other, but if I was REALLY going to include every single herb I listed, the price for the total ingredients worked out to be the same. Interesting.
Anyway, so as I'm not some huge herbologist, I want this to be a beginner's supplement, nothing that's going to cure any health problems, but at the same time, I want it to be safe, so there's no "oh, don't give it while the chin is pregnant" or so on. But, something that can be given daily (in a small amount) to keep the critters healthy. So, I had my list of about a zillion herbs, many of which I was familiar with, some of which I already sell, and others which I had a general idea what they do, but... not super familiar with. So, I started looking up the herbs I was not familiar with to see what they do. Come to find that several are diuretics, and while I was aware of other properties of these herbs, I did not know that part. So, some were decidedly crossed off, as I didn't feel the positives outweighed the diuretic part, and there are other herbs that have similar effects without being diuretics. Turned out another was a mild laxative. Which would actually be ok, if I was more familiar with the herb itself. Cause see, rosehips can be a mild laxative. But, I feel like I'm knowledgeable enough about those, and they're "safe enough" as everyone uses them (though I can't say everyone knows about the laxative part), but for other herbs I'm not familiar with except having read it here and there on various other supplements... they can stay off my list.
I suppose to explain, I'm all for the positive effects of the supplements, and I am staying well within the bounds of not-going-to-hurt-the-animal herbs, but the ones that have side effects like diuretics or laxatives, I could see a problem if it was given too often. And while I know that I would not give it too often, I can't say the same of my customers. So I want to leave in the herbs that are safe and, for lack of another word, dumbass-proof, and take out the ones that could be a problem if given in too high doses. I wouldn't be comfortable enough to say that a pinch would be fine but two pinches = loose poos. No thank you. Moving along, a few I found conflicting information on how certain ones should be given (i.e. crushed vs. whole), as many places only sell whole, but then I read, you need crushed because whole doesn't digest. On the chance that that might be true, and there might be no benefits whatsoever, if the herb is not digested, that gets nixed off the list. And the point is to narrow the list. I don't want a 40 ingredient supplement, I want something that has decent benefits but won't be harmful if given daily, or at least, several times a week, depending on what all I put in this thing.
So, here's what I've come down to, after pouring over this for quite some time. I'll give it a few days to actually consider if I want to mess with this at all, but here's what the NWI Chinchilla Supplement would contain:
- Calendula (marigold) Petals -- antiseptic, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties; increases blood flow; speeds healing; specifically, good at healing stomach, digestive, and skin problems*
- Oat Straw -- strengthens the nervous system; nourishes the liver; improves digestion; improves tissue health**
- Hawthorn berries -- antioxidant properties; stimulates appetite; aids in digestion; contains vitamins, minerals, and bioflavonoids; enhances absorption of vitamin C; helps maintain heart health; lowers high blood pressure; boosts immune system
- Hawthorn leaves and flowers -- maintains heart health; improves "side effects" associated with heart problems such as shortness of breath and fatigue; lowers high blood pressure; helps with anxiety; improves digestion***
- Red raspberry leaves -- naturally high in magnesium, b-vitamins, vitamin C, and iron; improves sleep; maintains healthy reproductive system; soothes intestinal distress/irritation; helps with diarrhea/intestinal upset
- Hibiscus -- improves appetite; soothes stomach irritation; helps with anxiety; good source of vitamin C; treats hypertension; helps sooth respiratory and sinus infections; protects liver; shows potential in helping prevent cancer; prevents constipation
- Chamomile Flowers -- treats insomnia; stimulates appetite; improves digestion; soothes minor stomach problems; mild diuretic; treats pain; used to treat stress/anxiety; enhances the effects of anti-seizure medications
* Just learned this today -- if you are allergic to ragweed, calendula may not be an herb to bring in the house, as it is in the same family and can have the same effect.
** If allergic to anything "oat" -- you may be allergic to oat straw.
*** Can interfere with heart medications your pet may already be taking.
So, I'm gonna sit on that for a few days and then go from there.