Allergy season is fast arriving – the warm weather has been appreciated, but not the itchy pets. Unfortunately there is no magic bullet to thwarting allergies. Well there is a recipe sort of (at least that is my theory), but the recipe is individual for every patient.
Over time, if the gut is subclinically (unnoticed on the outside of your pet) inflamed, then the body becomes depleted of nutrition possibly for two reasons – the gut is unable to absorb nutrients present because of the inflammation or the processed diet (or any unbalanced diet) just doesn't contain the necessary nutrients for the body to maintain healthy systems – as an elk or whole mouse might provide.
The adrenal gland is also partly responsible for the body's response to allergens. When the immune system is constantly at work, the adrenals – also responsible for keeping the body at status quo – may also be overworked and unable to maintain enough cortisol in the body to prevent symptoms. Steroid injections that provide this extra cortisol work great to reduce inflammation quickly and relieve symptoms.
Steroids – prednisone, a depo or vetalog injection – take their toll on the body over time as well. They are considered catabolic steroids that break the body down over time.
Add a few rounds of antibiotics to the equation to manage the skin infection and you can see why, over time, the pet gets worse and worse. Antibiotics destroy the sensitive balance of microbes (billions and billions of bacteria, yeast, viruses, etc that line the intestines to provide optimal cell health that also work to rid the gut of unwanted organisms). Steroids negatively affect this balance as well.
It's no wonder Hippocrates coined the phrase, “All disease begins in the gut.”
What to do?
Remove as many of the allergens as possible – use natural flea solutions and avoid over-vaccinating or monthly topical or internal products unless absolutely needed. Use natural (Baking Soda) detergents instead of harsh chemical detergents on carpets, clothing and bedding. We also recommend Bio-Ox, online.
Feed as anti-inflammatory diet as possible. If you feed kibble, try to add some fresh cooked meat, organ meat and raw bone if your pet is able to digest raw. Raw is always ideal, but not every pet can digest it (letting you know their gut is not well) or wants to eat it – as in cats, who are easily brain-washed to eating addictive kibble diets rather than energetic raw diets.
Supplement your pets diet with minerals and vitamins. We recommend a whole food multivitamin for people because it is bioavailable and inexpensive – Catalyn. If you take a green powder from a reputable company or whole food store, you may add a small amount of that to your pets food daily. We also recommend kelp periodically for trace minerals.
Fatty acids are also especially important. I recommend cod liver oil especially during the winter (fermented from Blue Ice Green Pastures is ideal) and alternating or as adjunct in severe cases of fish oil or flax seed oil. These oils are rich in omega 3's; coconut and olive oils are not.
And lastly, I always recommend probiotics – a fermented, whole food source of a live food. Yogurt is ok but is usually made with pasteurized milk and many contain added sugar. Raw milk yogurt, kefir, clabbored goat milk or yogurt or fermented vegetables such as kimchi or sauerkraut are ideal fermented supplements to add to a meat diet. The commercial raw pet food we carry, Answers, ferments all the diets with kombucha or whey and they also have a clabbored raw goat milk product.
This may all work to a point – and we can assist with formulating nutrient rich supplement protocols that specifically meet the needs of each individual animal to help them reach the next level of wellness. Often, the immune system or adrenals just need a little extra help.
Hope you all can enjoy this spring and summer season with little itching!