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Allergic Reactions in Dogs and Cats

Allergic Reactions in Dogs and Cats
Pet supplements to help address all types of dog and cat allergies.

Herbal nutrition to help reduce allergic reactions in dogs and cats, to help prevent histamine triggers caused by fleas, vaccines, medicine, food, insects and more.

The immune system is a complex army of cells found through out your pet’s body that provides a fortified defense against unwanted invaders. It is an intricate system that keeps your pet healthy and protects them against allergens, viruses, bacteria, microbes, parasites, toxins, foreign fells and cellular mutations (healthy cells which have mutated into irregular cells). The immune system is tasked with protecting EVERY cell in the animal body. With so many pet parents wondering why and how to best support immunity in their dogs and cats, this article will highlight its role and provide practical suggestions. 

A healthy immune system is resilient and powerful and up to the task of supporting normal, balanced function. The immune system is not intended to be suppressed or stimulated.  But even an animal with a highly developed immune system can experience dysfunction or failure. In cases of dysfunction, an animal body requires whole body systemic support. If your pet’s immune system is weakened, every bodily system is at risk for disease. 

When your animal’s immune system is triggered, and if it is not in balance, it sends an alarm throughout the body in instances such as exposure to fleas, pollen, chemicals or other inorganic materials. When immunity is not balanced, it becomes overactive or suppressed and is no longer able to tell the difference between its own body or a foreign invader. As a result, the animal body basically attacks its own immune system, opening the door to inflammation, infection and autoimmune disease. 

An allergic reaction occurs when your pet’s body develops a hypersensitive response to a foreign substance or material. Allergic responses can be generated by anything your animal interacts with so isolating and diagnosing an allergen trigger can be very difficult.

Food is usually one of the dominant reasons an animal will experience allergies. Other foreign substances may include flea saliva (often causing allergic reaction such as flea bite dermatitis), pollen (causing allergies in spring) or other environmental allergens (dryer sheets, carpet freshener, perfume, cigarette smoke), vaccinations (which can cause vaccinosis), insect bites and stings.  

The main culprits of food allergies are dairy (lactose), corn, wheat, soy, sugar and the many colorants and preservatives are commonly found in most foods sold in big box and chain stores. Animals that are fed unhealthy human treats are also likely to develop food allergies. Did you know that animals that are fed the same protein source (chicken, turkey etc.) day after day and year after year can also develop food allergies to that type of protein? Just like us, variety is the spice of life for our beloved pets! 

An animal that is allergic to certain foods may develop symptoms including skin problems, including biting, licking, scratching, and signs of rash, eczema, seborrhea, dandruff, wounds, dull coat and hair loss may be present. An animal with a food allergy will almost certainly be prone to digestive upsets such as bloating, vomiting, diarrhea and constipation.

All of these substances are considered to be allergens or allergic triggers. When you pet’s body senses an allergenic invader, it sounds “distress” alarms, which prompts the immune system to produce antibodies called immunoglobulin E. Next, these antibodies cause mast cells to release chemicals, like histamine, into the animal’s bloodstream against the allergens.

Allergies can also aggravate other existing conditions including asthma, sinusitis, bronchitis, ear infections, seborrhea, eczema, hot spots and other skin conditions. The combination of symptoms makes it difficult to identify the specific allergen trigger. Your pet may also show symptoms of fatigue, lethargy, loss of appetite, itching, scratching, biting and other forms of distress may due to allergies.   

If your pet is presenting allergic symptoms such as biting, itching, scratching, licking skin red or raw, visible redness on the skin, inflammation, skin that is hot to the touch, vomiting, diarrhea or difficulty breathing, visit your vet immediately. 

If superficial skin allergies are related to fleas, ticks or other insect bites, improvement will likely follow treatment.  Be aware that many synthetic medications that are prescribed suppress the immune system, making is possible for more allergies to occur as well as that commonly prescribed antihistamines may be accompanied by side effects.

Herbal Nutrition:

Natural and holistic remedies can help provide symptomatic relief for the multiplicity of symptoms and illnesses that may affect your animal as it ages; may help strengthen the immune system and provide cellular support, may help to disable histamine and mast cell response, the primary allergen triggers, thereby helping to limit allergies from occurring; may help normalize cell function, delivering necessary nutrition; are anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-itch in nature; may help to cleanse the blood and purify the body, helping to remove toxins, a critical action in reducing 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 natural 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 and much more. Recognized as one of the most important medicinal plants of the whole world, particularly related to supporting balanced immunity and limiting inflammation and inflammatory conditions.

I Cell-Ebrate Life (learn more) helps to promote healthy cell and cell membrane support; helps promotes connective tissue, skin and coat support and antioxidant protection against free radicals, which is important in disease prevention; helps standardize normal cell operation; encourages free radical scavenging of cysts, tumors and lipomas; may help address symptoms related to Lyme disease; provides nutritional, biochemical and plant botanical support of healthy immune cells; promotes optimal immune protection and systematic health and strength; supports bone, teeth and muscle health and integrity and for animals that need extra joint, immune, circulatory and vascular support.

I Want Liquid Immunity -  (learn more) contains water-soluble plant bioflavonoids that function as potent antioxidants which are important in disease prevention; used adjunctively for growth abnormalities such as tumors, cysts and lipomas (often related to poor diet, excessive medication, environmental toxicity as well as aberrant cellular mutations); provides antioxidant protection against free radicals; helps promote cellular health and to reduce catabolic waste; may help address symptoms related to Lyme disease; provides nutritional, biochemical and plant botanical support of healthy immune cells; promotes optimal immune protection and systematic health and strength; supports bone, teeth and muscle health and integrity and for animals that need extra joint, immune, circulatory and vascular support.

Other helpful suggestions

Fleas are a common culprit in causing allergies in pets. Use a natural flea repellant recommended by your vet. Flea collars and flea powders are not suitable for cats, as they groom themselves by licking. Flea dips can also be very toxic and are not long lasting for flea control.

Pets can be allergic to pollen, mold, dust mites and mildew. Keep all surfaces clean, vacuum rugs and wash pet linens regularly.

If your pet's allergies seem to be seasonal, spend limited time outdoors during allergy season. After taking your animal outdoors to play, it is important to brush them down (gently, but firmly) to remove pollen particles. Air filters can also be fitted in the home and foot baths can remove allergens from paws.

Your pet may have developed an allergic sensitivity to diet. Consider trying a premium, limited ingredient diet free of corn, wheat, soy, colorants and preservatives.

Pets also experience contact allergies caused by grasses, floor polish, detergents, perfumes and wool rugs. Contact allergies are easily identifiable as they are usually limited to a specific area of an animal's body.

Conventional Remedies:

Often, animals will be prescribed multiple rounds of antibiotics as the allergy symptoms return again and again. Long term steroid treatments address symptoms but do not address the underlying cause for allergic reactions. Repeated use of corticosteroids can suppress an animal’s immune system, making it susceptible to other diseases as well as at risk of developing more allergies.

Steroids are the number one prescribed drug by veterinarians to treat all forms of animal allergies, however, have many associated side effects, including weight gain, increased thirst, increased urination, aggression, compromised immunity and can stress the liver and kidneys.

 



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