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Atopic Allergies in Dogs and Cats

Atopic Allergies in Dogs and Cats

Pet supplements to help treat and manage atopic allergies in dogs and cats.


The immune system is a complex array of cells that are found throughout the body and are designed to function in conjunction with one another to provide a fortified defense against unwanted invaders, such as allergens and pathogens. Supplements provide a multidimensional approach of nutritional factors and are directed at facilitating normal, balanced immune function and is not intended to be suppressed or stimulated. In cases of dysfunction such as atopic allergies, your pet requires whole body systemic support.

When your animal’s immune system reacts to an irritating substance by creating antibodies and histamines are released, it is considered to be an allergic response.

Dogs and cats develop allergies just as humans do, and for the same reasons. Atopic or environmental allergies are among the most difficult to diagnose because an atopic allergy can be generated by anything your animal interacts with, including inhalant contact, such as dander, pollen and smoke, fleas, food, mites, airborne particles, liver disease, fungus, mange and anxiety.

If you have ever watched your pet itch, scratch, bite or claw an area of their body, sometimes to the point of removing coat and skin, you are likely witnessing a skin allergy response. Symptomatically, your pet may lick, bite, chew or scratch excessively in one or more areas, even to the point of opening sores and causing wounds. Your animal may rub its face with its paws or rub against furniture to “scratch an itch” and you may notice hair loss on the legs, around the ears, eyes and mouth.

There are various types of allergies that include:

Atopic allergies: Dogs and cats experience atopic allergies by inhaling particles from grass, weed, pollen, mold, mildew, smoke, dust, dander, flowers or trees. Animals can also commonly react to detergents, carpet and rug fresheners, and household chemical cleaners to name a few. Where possible, use unscented, all-natural, organic products.

Common symptoms of an atopic allergy include sneezing, coughing, wheezing, runny eyes and nose, lung inflammation and swelling.

Other common symptoms include biting, scratching, itching, licking, redness, swelling, rashes, hair loss (alopecia) which may appear in single or multiple areas of the body, pollen (causing allergies in spring), vaccinations (which can cause vaccinosis), or other environmental allergens (dryer sheets, carpet freshener).

Supplements work to reduce and rid the animal body of histamine response, the trigger of all allergens. Supplements also help to limit inflammation and auto immune failures that ultimately cause histamine response. The following supplements are reparative agents; that is, they work to help correct and reverse allergies by preventing histamine response, and overwhelmingly, hinder allergies from continuing to present.

Herbal Remedies: (listed in order of relevance as recommended by holistic vets)

Herbal remedies can be used to address short term and long term allergies, are gentle but effective and typically can be used without side effects. Some herbs function as adaptogens or “body readers” that identify the cause of dysfunction and work to correct it. Herbs also function as anti-inflammatory, immune booster, blood cleanser and body purifier to identify and limit histamine triggers that are associated with all types of allergies. 

Life’s An Itch - (learn more) is used to promote optimal immune response, reduces all types of allergic (acute and chronic) reactions by stopping histamine response, reduces respiratory disorders, relieves wheezing, chest discomfort and sinus inflammation, soothes smooth muscles and tissues and alleviates respiratory congestion, including asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, laryngitis, esophaghitis (GERD, reflux), rhinitis, sinusitis, bronchitis, COPD; relieves viral and bacterial infections, hot spots, remedies skin allergies and irritations, soothes itchy skin and coat in dogs and cats, and works to cut recovery time and prevent recurring infection. 

I Feel Good –  (learn more) promotes healthy immune response, reduces all types of inflammation, provides dermal support and growth of healthy cells and tissues in the body’s defense mechanism, reduces the histamine trigger for contact allergies, seasonal and chronic allergens, pathogens, skin rashes, infections, hot spots, inflammation, swelling, hair loss, itching and geriatria (dull coat, lethargy), for all types of arthritis, including Degenerative Joint Disease, Osteoarthritis, Osteoporosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and symptoms associated with rheumatism, including pain, strains, injuries, muscle pain, swelling and lack of mobility; plus contains prebiotics and probiotics useful in balancing digestive health and function plus much more. 

All Shins & Grins – (learn more) supports the skin’s ability to withstand environmental toxin, antigen and microorganism exposure due to its Vitamin C and antioxidant content, promotes optimal immune response,promotes strong teeth, bone, skin and coat,reduces allergic (acute and chronic) skin reactions and irritations, hot spots and soothes itchy skin and coat in dogs and cats, works to cut recovery time and prevent recurring infections and provides general mood support.

I Want Liquid Immunity -  (learn more) contains water-soluble plant bioflavonoids that function as potent antioxidants which help to normalize the release of histamine from mast cells, reducing the adverse effects of allergies, used for growth abnormalities such as tumors, cysts (often related to poor diet and excessive medication), promotes cellular health and reduces catabolic waste, and maintains health in organs, connective tissue and cells.

Diagnosing Allergies

Whatever the allergen trigger, it is important to understand that your dog or cat will try to reduce the pain and distress by biting, licking, scratching and chewing the affected area. If left untreated, inflammation, sores, wounds and infection can follow. 

Since food (diet) continues to be the primary allergen trigger, you can do a lot as a pet owner to slowly introduce a limited ingredient diet, which is typically limited to 2 primary ingredients. Feeding your animal a limited ingredient diet can help you to eliminate potential allergen triggers.

Suggested limited ingredient brands include California Natural and Natural Balance. Once you introduce a limited diet, do not feed treats, table scraps, rawhide toys or medications that may reduce your ability to gauge an allergic reaction.

Other suggested grain-free (but not limited ingredient) brands include Blue Buffalo, Evo, Solid Gold and Wellness varieties.

The diagnosis of an allergy is based on the symptoms presented. A holistic veterinarian will perform a thorough, physical examination, review your animal’s medical history, may perform a skin reaction test, an intradermal allergy tests and/or a blood test.

If fleas are eliminated as an allergen source, it will likely be recommended that your pet begin an elimination diet for 10 weeks which translates into a limited diet, and likely a protein source your animal has probably not eaten before, such as duck, venison, boar and potatoes. Once you introduce a limited diet, do not feed treats, table scraps, rawhide or medications that may reduce your ability to gauge an allergic skin reaction.

Keep in mind that it is very difficult to isolate skin allergens. Diet and natural supplements are the most important places to start, because they can directly limit or control the histamine (allergen) attack.

Conventional Remedies:

Avoiding the allergens, treating the symptoms or desensitizing your pet can control skin allergies. Drugs such as steroids and antihistamines may be prescribed to relieve the symptoms of itchiness and inflammation in pets, however, like any synthetic drug, are usually accompanied with side effects, whose long-term effects are unknown.

The drugs that are usually prescribed for animals have been developed for human use. The problem is that animals metabolize medications at approximately a 50% faster rate than humans, and the drugs can be damaging to the liver, kidneys and gall bladder. Use caution when administering synthetic medications for your pet.

Long-term steroid use is discouraged because these drugs work by suppressing the immune system. This means that over time your pet may be left vulnerable to infection, diabetes, and other conditions. 


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