It starts out with a slight scratch here and there. Maybe you catch them sitting on their bed and instead of chewing their favourite bone, they’re chewing their paws. A couple weeks pass and what you thought was an odd isolated incident has turned into inflamed patches of skin, a yeast-like smell coming from their ears, and an obsessive licking at the inside of their legs.
What’s the diagnoses? Allergies.
It’s the time of year when that second round of nasty pollen and irritants are heavily floating around, and we want you to feel armed with the knowledge and tools to combat it. We’re going to chat about how to spot the symptoms, what causes allergies, how to know if it’s just a sensitivity, and above else – what you can do to help your furry family member.
Long before you’re able to see the effects of allergies, there’s already a whole system override taking place in your pet’s body. Allergies stem from a lowered immune system - typically linked to weak kidneys, which are part of the natural filtering system your pets body (and ours!) is provided with. When they have an weak immune system, they become more reactive to toxins, including what’s found in the environment, diet, vaccinations, and medications, etc.
The best way to prevent their bodies getting to this weakened state is through giving them a healthy diet and supplements, which help encourage their organs to remain strong and fight off inflammation on their own. However, if they join the 10% of pets that have allergy issues, according to a Virginia-Maryland Regional College study, know what to look for to spot it early and begin a treatment plan.
Symptoms of allergies:
- Gnawing or licking excessively at paws,
- Skin issues such as rashes or breakouts,
- Licking obsessively,
- Scratching around neck & ears,
- Nipping and licking at their privates or groin areas,
- Ear infections or foul ear odour,
- Excessive eye discharge
- Pawing of face and eyes,
- Rubbing of face and eyes into carpets or other surfaces.
There’s a difference between an allergy and a sensitivity.
When pets have a sensitivity, if they encounter what their body doesn’t like – they’ll be okay but generally have more internal issues with digestive and bowel movement irregularities. Sensitivities can be slowly re-introduced over time and have the body rebuild its defense against it to be reversed. Allergies can’t be reversed as it’s through genetic makeup that it’s being repelled. Neither are breed specific – any dog or cat can be affected, and at any point in time in their life if something new in their lifestyle has been introduced.
The best way to find out if your pet has any allergies is by doing a blood test with your veterinarian. However, you can do an at-home sensitivity test by doing a non-invasive DNA biofeedback test to determine which food and/or environmental triggers are causing issues for your pet’s health. It works great for cats and dogs, and tests for everything from proteins, poultries, and vegetables, to chemicals, mold, and pollens (just to name a few). Woofur offers this test kit in-house to be purchased for testing in the comfort of your own home. It’s easy to understand, very affordable, and with reasonably fast results. To get more information about this test, please speak to one of our customer service representatives.
We recommend seeing a holistic vet for advice and diagnosis if you decide against doing the DNA test. However, if either come up with a positive result, Woofur has you covered when it comes to finding the right remedy.
Take their treatment plan into your own hands, and act to fight their allergies by doing the following things:
- Take the alternative sensitivity test to determine possible allergies and sensitivities,
- Add probiotics and enzymes to boost your pets' gut health,
- Administer appropriate herbs to help to nourish, detoxify and boost organ health,
- Change to a fresh and healthy diet that can be easily absorbed by your pets' bodies,
Why go natural? It’s simple. Alternative supplements and homeopathic remedies are not suppressants - they correct root of the issue instead of focusing on suppressing symptoms and inflammations. Your pets' bodies are meant to heal themselves and can do so with these healing agents that work to target their organs and immune system to get them back to a healthy place.
According to Dr. Karen Becker, a proactive and integrative wellness veterinarian:
We hope that you’ve found this information helpful, and that going forward your pet can have a healthier, happier life through the knowledge you’ve gained in treating their allergy ailments. Please contact us through our website at www.woofur.ca if you have any questions about the information here, or call us to book a wellness consultation.
Thanks for reading. See you soon!
Holistic information on fall allergies: http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/pmahanay/2013/oct/10-holistic-tips-for-managing-pets-fall-allergies-30961
Natural remedies for dogs with allergies : http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2017/07/08/pet-emergencies-home-remedies.aspx
Allergen numbers on the rise (10% reference): http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/03/26/pet.allergies/