Does this sound like any of your pets?
- Licks their paws excessively (all or part of the year)
- Chronic ear infections (or discharge in the ears)
- Excessive shedding
- Hives or skin rashes
- Excessive itching
- Chewing/Licking their anus excessively
Dogs, cats and even horses can suffer from seasonal or food allergies.
Elimination diets can help with finding the culprit when your pet suffers from food allergies. Start with these questions; what are you feeding your pet? Is the food source natural, organic and/or holistic? What are the protein sources? Is there more than one protein in the food? Are there grains in the food? If so, what are they? I constantly try to educate pet owners on label reading pet food and treats. Believe it or not, you could feed your pet the best food for their individual needs, and then give them a treat daily that is loaded with ingredients that can cause unfavorable reactions.
The second type of allergy is seasonal allergies. We usually see these occur during Spring and Fall seasons. Similar to food allergies, your pet can start licking their paws, develop yeasty ears, rub their face a lot, erupt with hot spots – which are an infection on your pets skin, which starts off by your pet chewing, there will be hair loss and eventually an angry red spot will be produced – as well as get little irritating red bumps on their stomach and genital region. Although food and seasonal allergies sound similar, you can recognize it as a seasonal allergy if these symptoms do not occur year round.
WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP MY PET WHO IS SUFFERING FROM SEASONAL ALLERGIES?
As with a food allergy, seasonal allergies can become inflamed when feeding your pet a food high in carbohydrates. Chose a grain-free food, or a raw diet, which will help with inflammation.
Homeopathic Remedies- There are lots of homeopathic remedies that can be used, depending upon the individuals symptoms. I am a classically trained homeopath, but there are lots of combined homeopathic remedies that work well too, such as AllerChord- A. Homeopathic remedies not only eliminate the symptoms of allergies, but help build up the immune system.
Quecertin– which is a bioflavonoid found in the rinds of green citrus fruit, rose hips and black currants – is an excellent histamine suppressant. Histamines are what cause redness, puffiness and irritations as the result of an allergic reaction. Think of it as natures answer to Benadryl. We always keep Quercetin on hand in our house. You can find Quercetin in any health food store. I would suggest purchasing the capsule form which can be taken apart and sprinkle it on food.
Bromelain and Papain – These enzymes increase the absorption of Quercetin which helps it work more effectively. They are also histamine blockers. You can find these enzymes in the supplement I recommend, NuVet Plus. These supplements contain the exact combination of human grade, natural antioxidants, amino acids, bioflavonoids, fatty acids, minerals, herbs and vitamins. You can purchase these online at www.nuvet.com/16275 . I’ve seen countless pets recover from seasonal allergies while taking this supplement.
Coconut Oil – Contains medium chain fatty acids, also known as medium chain triglycerides or MCT’s. MCT’s increase metabolism and fight viruses and bacteria. The most prominent MCT is Lauric acid, which has been shown to destroy several types of bacteria, viruses and even yeast. Consider giving your pet a heaping teaspoon of coconut oil daily, for a medium sized dog, to help combat the yeast your pet may have due to seasonal allergies. Coconut oil is easy to find now in any grocery store, health food store or online. I prefer to use organic or virgin coconut oil.
Bathing your pet frequently with an all natural shampoo is helpful. It relieves the redness an inflammation on your pet’s skin, as well as help reduce allergen build up. Choose a shampoo that has limited ingredients in it as well as a grain free product. Some pet shampoos contain corn starch, which could make your pet itch. There are some really nice coconut shampoos on the market.
Allergies can be healed effectively by natural healing approaches. A useful approach is to build up the immune system so that it can help the body heal quicker if allergies become a problem.
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-Written by: Brenda M. Tobin-Flood, D.Vet.Hom, Cert.C.N.