Menu Menu

Allergies in Dogs and Cats / Dog Allergies / Cat Allergies

Allergies / Dog Allergies / Cat Allergies

Herbal nutrition to help address symptoms related to food, skin, inhalant, contact, parasite and insect allergies in dogs and cats.

Pet supplements to help treat all types of allergies, including food, skin, contact, atopic and parasite allergies in dogs and cats.

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. 

Allergies are an example of an autoimmune disease. Many animals suffer from allergies that are caused by a hypersensitive reaction of the immune system to environmental allergens. When these antigens enter the animal’s body, the immune system tends to over-react, triggering antibodies which create a histamine response, resulting in an allergic reaction. 

Histamine is a critical component in the animal body for fighting infection. When an invader is identified, the animal body triggers inflammation and produces antibodies against the allergen, priming the body for defense. The next time exposure to the allergen occurs, a cascade of antibodies is released.  

The immune system is a complex army of cells that are found throughout your pet’s body that align to form 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 and toxins.

The immune system is also directed at facilitating normal function and is not intended to be suppressed or stimulated. In cases of dysfunction, an animal’s body requires whole body systemic support. If your pet’s immune system is weakened, every body system is at risk for disease.

Dogs and cats develop allergies for the same reasons as their pet parents do in that they develop a hypersensitive response to a foreign substance or irritant that, in turn, createa a histamine attack (an internal battle cry) to ward off the invaders.

Histamine is a critical component in the animal body for fighting infection. When an "invader" is identified, the animal body triggers inflammation and produces antibodies against the allergen, priming the body for defense. The next time exposure to the allergen occurs, a cascade of antibodies is released.

Unfortunately, when histamine is released into the body in too high a quantity or incorrectly, it can have a profoundly negative health impact on your dog or cat, and can create a cycle called the “allergic cascade.”

Once an allergen sensitivity is activated, it can also create an allergic hypersensitivity to related substances, known as allergic cross reaction. And just when you thought it was as complicated as it could get, once histamine and mass cell responses have attached to an allergen, systemic allergic reactions can occur; a type of reaction that involves the entire animal body.

Allergic responses can be generated by anything your animal interacts with and these types of allergic reactions make it maddeningly difficult to identify and diagnose the actual trigger.

As pet parents of itchy, scratchy, uncomfortable dogs and cats, you probably recognize this allergic progression in your pet. So what’s next? It’s fairly simple. You need to cool down your pet’s histamine and mast cell response in the body by disabling the trigger that allows allergies to present in the first place.

Common allergies include:

Food allergies: Dogs and cats can develop food allergies to certain ingredients often contained in commercial pet foods, commonly related to corn, wheat, soy, meat-by-products, preservatives, colorants, additives and questionable protein sources and other ingredients. If your pet’s food lists any of these ingredients, the best step you can take is to stop feeding big box or grocery chain food and upgrade the food.

Also, did you know that if dogs and cats are fed the same food for months or years on end, and especially the same protein source repeatedly, they are at risk of developing an allergy to that protein source. Chicken and turkey are commonly identified as protein allergens overwhelmingly due to their persistent use in dog and cat foods.

Food is usually one of the dominant reasons an animal will experience allergies. Common symptoms of a food allergy include vomiting, diarrhea, frequent bowel movements, mucous in the stools, ear infections, skin is hot to the touch, inflammation and dehydration.

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 symptom 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).

Contact allergies: Dogs and cats can develop contact allergies when exposed to substances such as pollen, flea and tick collars, vaccines, fabric, plastic, insecticide, pesticide, rubber, household cleaners, room deodorizers and more.

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).

Parasite allergies are caused by fleas, heart worm, insect bites and bee stings.  

Common symptoms may include an allergic reaction to flea saliva that causes flea bite dermatitis, scratching, itching, licking, biting, wounds, redness, swelling, rashes, hair loss (alopecia) which may appear in single or multiple areas of the body.

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 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.

Once you introduce a limited ingredient diet or choose to cook for your pet, do not feed treats, table scraps, rawhide toys or medications that may reduce your ability to gauge an allergic reaction.

Diet and natural supplements are the most important places to start, because they can directly limit or control the histamine (allergen) attack.

Organic Nutrition - (listed in order of relevance and recommendation by holistic vets-human grade meets highest safety criteria for pets)

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. Plant based therapeutics work to limit inflammation and auto immune failures that ultimately cause histamine response as well as cool down the animal body. Herbs work to boost immunity which is a critical component in warding off allergies; helps to cleanse the blood and purify the body. Finally, plants act as adaptogens and reparative agents to help reduce stress and to balance the animal body; working at cellular level to identify the area of failure; working to help correct and balance proper cellular response and then working to reverse allergies by disengaging histamine and mast cell response.  

 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 responsepromotes 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.

Conventional Remedies

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. Please keep in mind that it is very difficult to isolate allergens. 

In addition to changing your pet’s food to a limited ingredient diet, it may be helpful to add an all-natural multi-vitamin and mineral supplement (such as The Daily Paws – (click for more information)) to balance your pet’s diet that includes omega fatty acid, a natural antihistamine and a natural corticosteroid.

Veterinarians prescribe a variety of topical solutions such as a hypoallergenic or hydrocortisone cream, oatmeal shampoo, anti-itch cream, lotion and cooling salves. A conventional vet may recommend an immunotherapy program that consists of a series of shots in cases where allergies are severe.

Synthetic steroids are the most commonly prescribed synthetic medication by vets, however, they are typically associated with a wide range of side effects, including increased thirst, increased urination and panting. Long term steroid use can lead to secondary diabetes or Cushing’s disease.

 

 

 

Comments

Leave Your Comments







How much is:
Answer:*