Treating Pet Allergies Naturally
on March 4, 2016
Posted in Cats
Just like us, our pets have many different kinds of allergies—seasonal allergies, food allergies and contact allergies. These different types of allergies have different clinical signs and different treatments. With warmer weather approaching, veterinarians expect the arrival of pet seasonal allergies. At this time of year, everything is flowering filling the air with pollen. We often end up treating pet allergies the way we treat ourselves. 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.
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. If you cannot make a diet, select a grain free single protein diet to help with your pet’s allergies. 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. When treating allergies that cause upper respiratory symptoms such as sneezing and runny eyes, herbal remedies such as Nettles Eyebright can be invaluable for both dogs and cats.
Pets that have itchy skin absorb pollens through their feet and skin making them extremely itchy. Washing your pet with Pure Natural shampoo will help to reduce the amount of pollen on the skin and feet. You can also wash your pet’s feet with cooled black tea when he or she comes in from walks to remove the pollen. This is particularly helpful last thing at night. Itch Support Gold is a drug-free alternative that relieves itchy skin and is safe for long-term use.
Many allergies also affect the gastrointestinal system and can cause symptoms like vomiting and loose stool. Allergens can leak into your pet’s bloodstream through “leaky gut syndrome”.
Dysbiosis, or “leaky gut,” is a bacterial imbalance that leads to inflammation of the intestinal mucosa. Once inflamed, the intestinal lining is compromised and allows undigested food particles and other potential toxins to enter the bloodstream. These toxins trigger an allergic response in the gut and this can cause GI symptoms or itchy skin. A better diet and probiotics such as the Ultimate Probiotic can usually resolve the problem or make it significantly better.
One other natural product that works well for pets with allergies is natural honey. Natural honey contains bee pollen that can serve to “immunize” your pet against local allergens. The key is this honey must be from a local producer so it contains the pollens in your area.
Your pet does not need to suffer from allergies this spring. There are many natural ways to treat this common problem.
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Janice Huntingford, DVM, has been in veterinary practice for over 30 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