Let your animal lead

I was lucky enough to be introduced to Karen through a friend and asked her if she could help Charlie my gorgeous 7 year old Staffie with her extreme fear of fireworks.

To put things into perspective this is an extreme fear which has resulted is us rushing her to the emergency vets with fears for her health.  The vet described her condition as the equivalent of a human panic attack.  

Karen held 2 sessions with Charlie.  During the first session she offered Charlie a number of oils associated with calm and fear.  She also showed my husband and me how to offer Charlie the oils.  

Throughout the next two weeks we worked with Charlie and her chosen oils at least once a day, turning to Karen for advice when we were unsure of Charlie’s responses.  Karen was always there with a prompt response.  We also followed Karen’s advice based on her behaviourist skills to help keep Charlie calm.

Karen then returned for a 2nd session with Charlie which was perfect timing as that was the night the fireworks started.  Both my husband and I were shocked by the little re action.

Throughout the lead up to Bonfire Night and the following week we continued to offer Charlie her oils daily as per Karen’s advice.

To our sheer amazement we managed to get through the whole period without any fears for Charlie’s health.  When the fireworks were really bad she did show signs of distress, but with the support of her oils she soon returned to a relaxed state.

The biggest difference we have noticed is prior to Karen’s help we were unable to offer Charlie any comfort.  Even if we cuddled her she wanted to be away standing alone and shaking.  Now when fireworks go off it’s like she comes to find us and looks up at us as much to say “Go and get my oils”.  She also happily stays having a cuddle with her chosen oils close by.

We continue to offer Charlie her oils at least twice a week, it’s up to her if she wants them on not and Charlie soon lets you know either way.

I can’t thank Karen enough for helping Charlie, but also for helping us to help Charlie.  Poor little girl was petrified and my husband and I were unable to help her, now Charlie can cope with her fear and we can help her.

High winds this week which is another fear she has.  I was in the kitchen and heard Charlie’s little paws tap tapping up to me and there she was with that look on her face that says “Go and get my oils mam”.  Ten minutes later she was happily asleep in her bed.    

Thanks Karen for everything.  I only hope that other dog owners read this and see it’s not necessary to medicate their pets to help them through firework season.

Judith & Ian Merriman  Dec 2014

Last year one of my 3 dogs was given a fatal diagnosis. Until then Cassie (10yr old Rottweiler X had been a very happy healthy dog giving much pleasure to everyone she knew.
A hemangiosarcoma was found lodged onto the right atrium of her heart. Along with the bad news, my vet informed me that no symptom control was appropriate, withdrew all medication and advised a very short prognosis. I left the surgery with Cassie in the mindset that after a weekend of quality time, I would be returning Cassie for euthanasia. In 
addition to a bloated abdomen, she had noisy breathing and a rasping cough. 
Within hours of informing my close friends, Karen Webb telephoned me and offered to introduce me to zoopharmacognosy. I was aware of Karen’s interest and involvement and had brief conversations about the concept of animals self medicating. I was not anticipating a magical cure but thought if this was a way of managing symptoms, I was prepared to accept Karen’s offer. The outcome was indeed magical in terms of the quality of life that ensued.
The concept of selecting and rejecting oils was not only clear to see, it was mind blowing. During a 3 hour session  I saw the sparkle return in Cassie’s eyes, her breathing quieten and by the end of the session she was wagging her tail. Within days I realised that I hadn’t heard her cough. 
Karen left me with the selection of oils that Cassie had chosen . These were impregnated on cloths and stored in polythene pouches. I continued to use them and integrated new ones that Cassie chose during 2 subsequent sessions.

Cassie  enjoyed almost a month with a quality of life that I could otherwise not have imagined.  
We had several visits to our favourite beach. The first time I did not want to risk her on the steps down to the beach so we sat on a seat overlooking the sea. Cassie was interested and playfully approached one or two dogs returning from the beach. Because she was so alert and playful on our next visit with Ben her companion of 8 years, we went onto the beach. I let go her lead and  she wandered quite a distance paying attention to Ben and clearly enjoying herself. She did however struggle up the steps and her cough was present on the return trip. Once home I had the confidence to allow her to select oils, knowing that she would soon settle and she did! On subsequent outings, I reduced the distances she walked and enjoyed rest times with her and on return home her oils were made available to her.
The most frequent comment from visitors was that only her bloated body gave the clue of how unwell she was. Eventually about  a month after diagnosis, Cassie spent a disturbed night clearly disorientated. She readily accepted oils that produced calming and sedative effects, and was beautifully peaceful when the vet arrived in the morning to help her on the final phase of her journey. I could not have wished for a more peaceful end for my lovely dog.

Whilst Cassie was ill, Tess my second dog collapsed and died suddenly 10 days before Cassie. Life for me and Ben, my remaining dog changed radically over a short time.  Having witnessed such fascinating outcomes with Cassie and knowing that Ben was completely berefet, I engaged Karen to help him work through his grief.
Ben a 10 year old Staffordshire Terrier X had been a steady companion for Cassie.   Both Rescue dogs, I had little choice in Ben coming to live with me.  They bonded almost immediately when they first met, and were a team throughout their life together.  In public Ben had a history of guarding me and Cassie.  In the car he was restless and constantly whined.  Earlier in his life he had had a very traumatic confrontation with another dog leaving him with nasty scars on his legs and from time to time he has a noticeable limp.  Following Cassie's death he was listless and uninterested on walks.
After two sessions during which he was very focussed on oils that produce calming effects, help release past traumatic emotions, and relieve pain and inflammatory effects, I have a very happy, confident dog, who when out on a walk is socialising with other dogs and has given up his guarding response.  Before car journeys I offer him his chosen remedies which has helped stop the restlessness and he is amazingly quiet.  We continue to use his chosen oils on a regular basis.


Into my life on foster agreement has come Ria an 8 yr old x breed.
In a kennel environment she was extremely stressed - the pads on her paws were raw from jumping at her kennel door. 
She had no concentration or recall and was constantly barking whenever humans were near.
Having previously lived with another dog she had become snappy with dogs in the kennel environment.

Ria has been introduced to Applied Zoopharmacognosy. Ria's choice of oils focused on those that release emotions associated with past trauma and separation anxiety.  During her first session she slept deeply for 50 mins in response to her oils and during her sleep her emotional release was characterised by changing facial expressions, whimpering sounds and body shaking, then deep snoring resolved into a very calm peaceful sleep.

Within weeks Ria has grown into a very happy people friendly and playful dog.  She is remembering much of her basic training: has almost perfect recall and anxiety at being left alone is resolving.  On walks she is approaching and playing with other dogs.  She seldom barks and only when a situation needs attention.

Throughout the time between following sessions, Karen is a tower of strength  helping and gently reminding me to allow the dogs to self medicate.  Handing over control to the animal is perhaps the hardest bit about the process. However the rewards, and the bonus effect of the wonderful aromas that permeate the house during and after sessions with the dogs cannot fail to bring associate benefits to the owner.

Margaret Kindlen


Ria has since been successfully rehomed. She is now settled into her new home and enjoying life.

From Ria's Mum Bekki...... "She's settling lovely, and still loves to sit with her oils and relax in bed.  She is an amazing, lovely little dog and seems to be getting calmer and calmer by the day!  We're working on her behaviour with other dogs on walks".


was looking for help with equine pain management when I came across Zoopharmacognosy and got in touch with their office who didn't have a practitioner in my area but helpfully suggested I could speak to one of their students, Karen Webb......here is what transpired!
Karen and I discussed my reasons for seeking alternative pain management for my horse, Chesney a 20yr old Arabian PB, who became a Cushings Disease/Laminitis victim 2 years ago, and had most recently been diagnosed with Hock Spavins. My vet advised to feed bute before riding my mare to keep her comfortable, but as I ride 3 or 4 times a week I felt this to be an unacceptably high amount of bute to be using, especially given the presence of Cushings and the challenges this presents Chesney.
Karen's first session with Chesney was arranged and to say I was amazed at how this went is an understatement. The process of self selection was very interesting and Chesney selected mostly those herbs which provided support for the Immune system, Inflammatory conditions, Cushings/Metabolic disorders, Laminitis as well as those providing nutrients, e.g. Seaweed (Bladderwrack) and Nettle. Her biggest interest was Arnica which was ideal for her Spavin pain and its general anti-inflammatory properties. Following this first session when I rode Chesney she went like the wind!  I had not used Bute for several weeks, during which time Chesney had less enthusiasm for our rides and that day she was every bit as enthusiastic as when I had given her bute!!!  Chesney went from strength to strength and over a 6 week period, including a second session with Karen, she regained every bit of her previous va va boom!

Last week Chesney suffered a tragic accident resulting in a fractured pelvis and I was absolutely distraught following the vet's diagnosis so I rang Karen to seek her support to help provide trauma, pain and anxiety management for my little mare. Without hesitation Karen visited us the next day and worked with Chesney during which time she selected and consumed copious quantities of pain relief/calming remedies. During the 24hrs post accident Chesney had eaten very little and I was constantly with her to reduce her anxiety, however following Karen's visit she was much less anxious and immediately after the session started to eat again and thankfully has continued to do so. Karen brought with her various pain/anxiety oils for Chesney to use on a daily basis as well as suggesting Comfrey (leaf and oil) which is the traditional "bone knit" remedy. Chesney is consuming this at some rate!  As all horse owners know, having a relaxed horse during periods of ill health and trauma is vital for their ability to repair themselves and cope with the aftermath......Karen's work has helped to enable that for Chesney and I am so, so grateful. It is still early days but I feel Zoophamacognosy is playing a fundamental part in Chesney's recovery - we are facing a very challenging 3-4months ahead of us, but I will take up Karen's offer of on-going support for her.
I am very glad that I have found the way to let my mare self medicate......it makes such good sense as sometimes vets and drugs alone are not the only answer. My thanks to you Karen.


31st July 2015     I have just received this lovely update from Susan Chesney's owner….

It proved a long hard summer nursing Chesney through her fracture during which she consumed so much Arnica and Comfrey as well as continuing with her chosen Hemp/Hops/Peppermint/Vetiver/Valerian etc. 

Keeping a very sensitive and sometimes anxious mare in a calm mental state, whilst managing her pain and confinement, is not easy and I know that this would not have been possible without Karen's help and Zoopharmie! 

But thankfully after 2mths we were able to begin physio and started hand walking for 2mins twice daily, gradually building up to 20mins twice a day so that by September (4mths) my vet gave me the go ahead to get back in the saddle. 

We then had to work through the same routine as the groundwork, gradually building up from 10mins to an hour over 3mths. It was very hard but after a final review on 1 December my vet hugged me and congratulated me as she signed Chesney off and confirmed she was good to go! 

Of course Chesney had already told me this by sneaking in a little canter the week before!! 

Watching her live through her nightmare and knowing her so well I had already realised she was coming out of the woods and we were well on our way to the last hurdle, going back to full work and keeping her sound! 

My vet was quite interested when I updated her at each visit about how Chesney was responding to the Zoopharmie remedies and agreed that there was no way she would have performed as she was without pain management and the right mental state. 

So my gratitude to Karen and Zoopharmie is endless.....if anyone had told me I would be nursing my mare through the pain of hock spavins and a fractured pelvis at the same time, without using Bute, I would have seriously doubted it was possible, but we did it! 

Chesney kept her head through it all and I know that we have found a permanent solution to keeping her safe and well, so thank you so much Karen.

This update is a little late but we're now 8 moths down the line and Chesney is ridden 3 times a week and has the same zest for life that she had before her terrible accident when we had such a poor prognosis....so put your trust into letting your animal lead, it works!

Susan & Chesney 


Rosie is about 2 years old & came to live with me Jan 2013. Her family rejected her for being pregnant! She was found with her one remaining kitten that she had placed in a plant pot for safety. Her saviour made her an outdoor pen & kennel & looked after her until her kitten weaned. The kitten got a lovely home but Rosie needed one of her own. So on news years day she came to my home to share with willow(my 5 yr old cat). Rosie spent her 1st 3 Months in my airing cupboard buried in a duvet. She only came out to litter & eat when no one was around. Progress was slow & it was like living on eggshells! 

Every sudden sound & movement sent her back to sanctuary of the cupboard. As with everything time  was needed & she made enough progress to sit beside me & eat with people around. I heard of zoopharmcognasy through a friend & decided Rosie could benefit from getting rid of her demons.eg rejection,loss of kittens & general fear of everything. She had two very intense sessions with Karen, selecting to inhale oils that reflected her traumas. She was a sleepy puss at the end  of it! I frequently offer oils on cotton cloths & her herb garden mat! 

Now Rosie is much more confident,very much less jumpy, lots more playful & best of all much more affectionate. She sits on my lap!  Thank you Karen!

Rosie enjoying her herb garden