Allergies in Pets
Veterinarian Reviewed on March 3, 2012 by Dr. Janice Huntingford
Spring is full of warmer weather, beautiful flowers and more time outdoors. Many of us enjoy these signs of spring, but some find them intolerable due to seasonal allergies. The same thing applies to our pets. We often treat our pets the way we treat ourselves when it comes to allergies. Prescription and over-the-counter medications are widely available, but they do nothing to help overall health and come with a host of side effects. Natural remedies such as acupuncture and herbal medicine can clear symptoms of allergies and bring the body to balance thus allowing for a higher state of health and well-being.
Dogs and cats with seasonal allergies react to the pollen of flowers in trees, grasses and weeds with symptoms such as itchy eyes and ears, itchy feet, excessive licking and chewing at arm and leg pits and overall scratching.
Allergies are a sign of an imbalance in the immune system. Balancing and strengthening the body can decrease or even rid your pet of seasonal allergies altogether. Traditional Chinese Medicine, including acupuncture, food therapy and herbal remedies, does just this. The first thing to do is look at diet– a basic homemade single protein diet is key to eliminating allergies. It also strengthens the immune system. Once the diet is well balanced, the body is better able to heal itself.
Acupuncture and herbal therapies are excellent in treating the symptoms of allergies. When the body is in balance, symptoms disappear and health is restored. A holistic veterinarian can help you with these problems with your pet. When treating allergies, herbal therapies that can be used can include specific Chinese herbal formulae or western herbal formulae such as Nettle-Eyebright Gold by Pet Wellbeing.
One food therapy that is very easy to do with your pet or yourself if you have allergies is to add natural local honey to your diet. Natural honey contains bee pollen that can serve to “immunize” your dog against local allergens. The key is this honey must be from a local producer so it contains the pollens in your area. Your dog does not need to suffer from allergies this spring. Get some help from your holistic veterinarian.
Janice Huntingford, DVM, has been in veterinary practice for 28 years and has founded two veterinary clinics since receiving her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph. She has studied extensively in both conventional and holistic modalities. Ask Dr. Jan