DE or Diatomaceous Earth

DE or Diatomaceous Earth


Ive been asked on a number of occasions about Diatomaceous Earth.  As people get more and more keen to avoid pumping chemicals and drugs into themselves or their dogs, alternatives such as DE are coming more the fore.  DE is suitable not just for dogs but for humans, horses, chicken …. well, you get the drift.

It has lots of uses and applications and can be taken internally or even applied directly to a wound or to prevent ticks and mites taking hold in everything from dogs to chicken coops.

Here’s a list of just SOME of the things DE can be used for:-

  • replenishing cells with depleted silica (essential for bones, tendons, skin, cartilage and blood vessels)
  • regulating bowel movements
  • cleansing the colon
  • improving urinary health (diuretic and cures infections of the urinary tract)
  • improving joint mobility
  • reducing arthritis pain
  • improving the respiratory tract
  • strengthening teeth, gums, hair and nails
  • reducing blood pressure and cholesterol levels
  • increasing energy levels
  • helps keep the immune system stronger and healthier

Sue Craigie of Imbali Rigebacks is to my mind, one of the most well informed people on this subject so rather than me trying to re-invent the wheel, I asked Sue for a little breakdown on what DE is and how it can be used.  Here’s what she had to say:-

“DE is one of nature’s wonders, it is eco-friendly and a naturally organic material comprising of algae-like fossilized water plants called diatoms. These deposits have been around since prehistoric times and are mined and finely ground.

DE has been used for many years as a natural eliminator of internal and external parasites as well as a mineral supplement (besides silica, it also contains approximately 14 trace minerals essential to our well-being).

There are numerous benefits from taking DE on a daily basis and it can be used by humans, dogs, cats, poultry and farm animals. I take it for relief from osteoarthritis in my knee and would not be without my daily dose. I give it to my dogs as a worm control and have recently had two worm counts done on their stools. One was for usual internal parasites and the second was a specific one for lungworm/French heartworm, both counts came back completely clear.

For those people wanting to use DE as a worming regime, it is recommended that DE is given daily for 60 days and for lungworm/French heart worm it should be given daily for 90 days.

The reason it is done this way is that DE is not retained in the gut but by giving it daily it cleanses the gut, clears out worms and then is present when the next batch of eggs and larvae migrate to the stomach and gut. These are then dealt with by the DE and it breaks the life cycle.

I always recommend that people then have a worm count carried out (I use where you can get two tests performed, the first is for the normal range of worms and the second is a specific test for lungworm/French heart worm.  This test takes 3 days to conduct. The current price for both tests I think are around £12-14, so they are very reasonable and I would have these done every 6 months.

Once people know their dogs are worm-free there are two options, the first is that the owners stop giving DE for 3 months then repeat the worming regime again (ie wormed every 6 mths), the second option is one I take and that is to continue giving DE daily but to give a reduced “maintenance” dose.

There are a couple of reasons why I do this, firstly DE contains about 14 trace minerals which are essential to our well-being and secondly, dogs can pick up worms from just about anywhere and an adult roundworm can lay something like 200,000 eggs a DAY!!!! By giving DE daily it is present in the gut should a dog become reinvested and the ova/larvae/worms are dealt with immediately. As it is so cheap to use and has so many benefits I continue to give daily.

The more I read up on DE, the more fascinated I became.  It is a wonderful, natural product with many uses.

There is lots of information available all about DE on my facebook page which is:-

To give you an idea of the benefits of DE in a real life scenario, a lady locally to me has a litter of German Shepherd pups.  It would be usual to use Panacur from day 40 for her bitch but instead, she had her on DE. The puppies are now just 6 weeks of age and have been having DE mixed into their food since she started weaning them (raw fed).

She has had two worm counts carried out on their faeces and both tests have come back showing the puppies are completely clear of worms, she is delighted. The puppies will have another worm count done just before they leave her and each puppy will have a bag of DE as part of their puppy packs. It is great to know that they have not had to be chemically wormed, most pups would have had 4 lots of wormer plus a cocktail of vaccinations by the time they were 12 wks of age, on top of that the Vet would probably have had the owners use Advocate monthly.  No wonder so many dogs have severe reactions to the over-use of these products.”

Thank you very much to Sue for taking the time to pass on so much wonderful information and if this has wet your appetite and you’d like to find out more about Diatomaceous Earth, please visit Sue’s website at:-


Another article on D.E. talks about the different uses and different grades of diatomaceous earth an my be of interest to you for further reading:

Another great article to check out is this one which covers uses for home, pets, health and gardens too: 40+ uses for D.E.