Did y’all know that dog allergies can be an immune deficiency in dogs? I told you the other day my Lady was real serious about findin’ somethin’ to help my sister Sallie with them dog allergies. Well, she went a huntin’ and found an animal nutritionist to come and do some postin’s about nutriton, diet and possible causes.
He s’plains what dog allergies are, their symptoms, and how diet can come into play. Here’s what he says about em:
Allergies are an Immune Deficiency in dogs:
Allergies should not be just treated as a problem. They are a symptom. They are a symptom of a low immune system. Probably 80% of my patients today come to me suffering of allergies, and most of those have already tried multiple traditional remedies, with only temporary success. The reason for that is simple: allopathic medications only treat the symptoms, not the cause.
What are allergies:
They immune system feels threatened by a protein and reacts to it. The lower the immune system, the more active (and over reactive) it becomes! Hence allergy tests on a highly symptomatic dog may come back with many false positives.
Symptoms of allergies in dogs:
Incessant paw licking, scratching (beyond the regular dog itches), excessive shedding, even bad odors can be related to allergies. Keep an eye out for the first signs of immune disorders! Eating grass and even eating poop can be linked to a probiotic deficiency, which leads to a low immune system and can consequently become allergies. Welts and shortness of breath could be signs of a severe allergic reaction (anaphylactic shock) which can lead to death, so if you see those signs, take your dog to the E.R. immediately. Having an epipen handy is always a good idea.
Usual treatments for allergies:
Usually, synthetic corticosteroids, such as prednisone (most common steroid given to dogs with allergies) are given and act as immunosuppressants. Although they may reduce the itching and paw licking for a little while, the side effects should be weighed carefully. As with any glucocorticoids, prednisone causes high blood glucose levels, leading to even greater problems.
Prescription diets are a common goto for traditional vets, which is understandable since their brainwashing marketing is only second to the pharmaceutical industry. For starters, let’s analyze the first five ingredients in Z/D, Hill’s best selling food for allergic dogs (ringing in at $90 per 25lbs bag): “Starch, Hydrolyzed Chicken Liver, Soybean Oil (preserved with BHA, propyl gallate and citric acid), Hydrolyzed Chicken, Powdered Cellulose”. WOW! Sounds like a recipe for chicken flavoured cardboard! I will talk more about BHA in a future article here at Miss Molly Says, but just know it’s a dangerous carcinogen banned throughout the globe, specially in Europe. Starch has no nutritional value for dogs, it just serves as a cheap filler. You may as well just feed your dog paper. Oops, you are: that’s what POWDERED CELLULOSE is! It is true that these are hypoallergenic, but so are cyanide and aluminum, and we don’t feed those! Dropping the facetiousness and just analyzing prescription foods for what they are, I must attest to the fact that they carry no prescription medications in their composition. The necessity for the “prescription” is merely a tool to market to the veterinary industry.
The most common (and least expensive) route is to find WHAT your dog is allergic to. In the elimination diet you will feed kibble (that is, if you don’t or won’t feed raw) that is made with a single source of protein and starch. Many dog foods have chicken and salmon, or multiple starches, such as potato and peas and rice. Ideally, try to find a grain free food WITHOUT potato (many allergies have been linked to it). Sweet potatoes are fine. Red lentils, peas and garbanzo beans are great binders as well. If your dog is still symptomatic with regular proteins such as chicken, beef, turkey salmon or lamb, you may have to go to an alternative protein. Venison, buffalo, rabbit and pork are good “exotic” proteins.
One of the most important elements in a dog’s diet (and one that lacks terribly in kibble) are probiotics. Not just any probiotics will do! I usually prescribe a high CFU count (10 billion or greater), with at least six strains. There are many immune boosting supplements available (check ThePawDepot.com in the allergy symptom section for some
Rashes caused by allergies can be treated topically with products such as VetAid and Dr. Roses Remedies (both can be found at ThePawDepot.com), and the pet parent should add a fishfree, vegan Omega 3 Oil to help with skin dryness typical to symptomatic dogs.
Severe allergies may lead to yeast infections. Come back to Miss Molly Says to read about yeast infections and more allergy and immunity treatments.
Giulio Ferrari at 23 became the youngest Marketing Director for a multinational franchise company, and later the Chief Marketing Officer of a national pet franchise. He majored from two universities in his native Brazil and has since been devoted to Animal Wellness since 2000. Giulio is a Certified Animal Nutritionist and Behaviorist, as well as a Master of Marketing. He is a published author, with literally hundreds of small animal nutrition courses under his belt, including a Certification in Raw Diets from New Zealand. He recently became a member of the National Coalition for Food and Agricultural Research and is an avid proponent of organic feeding. Mr. Ferrari is part of a raw feeding research group that has as it’s goal to prove the benefits of the “ancestral alfa diet”. He is also the International Director of Veterinary Product Development for PawMedX, the veterinary branch of a human pharmaceutical company that is now relying on his experience to develop a whole new line of veterinary supplements. Giulio also dedicates a lot of his time to worthy causes, he is the chairman of the board of the Pet Therapy and Cancer Institute and sits on the board of many 501(c)3’s such as Shop Local Help Local. He’s been the lucky husband of Carol for the past 10 years, and proud father to Enzo , Matteo and Giulia.
Now, I need that in plain English please 🙂 I’m just a redneck pup, but maybe my Lady understood it all. She’s the one in charge of the feedin’ round here anyways. I just eat what she puts in the bowls and thankful to have it Woof! Woof! We are also real thankful for all the help in understandin’ what’s happenin’, and how to fix it, for our Sallie!