PREPARING YOUR PET’S IMMUNE SYSTEM
FOR THE ONSET OF ENVIRONMENTAL ALLERGIES
Remove – Rebalance + Replenish – RESTORE
This is the final article of this series. We are looking at a step-by-step process you might want to consider so you can help get your pet’s immune system in a good place and ready to deal with his/her environmental issues.
LET’S RECAP THE FIRST TWO STEPS
We are trying to take a proactive approach to helping our pets that suffer from environmental allergies. If we can get ahead of the game and prepare the immune system for the onslaught of environmental triggers, maybe our pets can enjoy a spring, summer, and fall without all the itching, scratching and paw licking/biting that they have experienced in the past.
Step 1, REMOVE. We talked about strengthening the liver. Removing all the toxins and impurities will give the liver the best chance of operating at 100% efficiency. A healthy and clean liver creates an optimal foundation of building and maintaining a strong and healthy immune system. Cleanse the liver! For full blog on step 1 click here.
Step 2, REBALANCE + REPLENISH. Here we focused on the gut biome and how it is linked to the immune system. Many of our pets do need to replenish and rebalance the gut biome. The prevalence of antibiotics, a poor diet, pesticides from tick and heartworm medications are a few of the reasons why. Probiotics encourage those helpful bacteria to flourish in the gut, working to crowd out the harmful bacteria and keep the system in homeostasis. For full blog on step 2 click here.
Now it is time to RESTORE!
We are all familiar with the word histamine, or at least we should be. The release of histamines is part of what causes the reactive/allergic/trauma response to something like a bee sting, hives, etc. It’s the body’s defence against foreign proteins in the blood. The body sees an “attack”, releases mast cells that then release histamine, and this causes the body to react. Initially, this histamine reaction is a good thing, targeting only true invaders. However, the problem starts when a protein that should be non-reactive becomes either a TRUE allergy or leaks into the bloodstream and an “allergy” is created.
So now we are at a point where histamines are now a bad thing. Your pet’s immune system is starting to create havoc instead of protecting. Some pets have been treated with antibiotics, or even worse, steroids in an attempt to treat symptomatically. These treatments might help in the short term but have adverse effects on the gut/gut health and the immune system over the long term.
Why not look at how to treat the underlying issue rather that treating the symptoms? Why not introduce something that can battle the abundance of histamines? Some use over the counter antihistamines like Benadryl or steroids like Venactl P. They can work but certainly not created for dogs and cats. Let’s consider some other, more natural approaches that are safer and can be just as effective.
Quercetin, which is a bioflavonoid with anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antihistamine properties. It is often referred to as "nature's Benadryl," because it is highly effective at suppressing histamine release.
Local Honey/Bee Pollen – Can help desensitize the body to local allergens over time.
Plant sterols and sterolins – These are anti-inflammatory agents and have been used successfully to modulate the immune system toward a more balanced response in allergies. They are found in the highest amounts in vegetable oils, nuts, and seeds.
Herbs & Plants - such as stinging nettle, butterbur, sorrel, verbena, elderflower, galangal root, ginger root and cat's claw have a documented history of helping animals combat seasonal allergic responses.
Bovine Colostrum - Colostrum contains over 90 immune factors, including the naturally occurring Immunoglobulins IgG, and IgA. Supplementation with Freeze Dried Bovine Colostrum may be beneficial for dogs with food or seasonal allergies, as it contains an ingredient called proline-rich polypeptide (PRP). Research studies on Bovine Colostrum report that PRP may stimulate an under-active immune system into dealing with disease. Most importantly it can suppress an over-active system that results from autoimmune disorders and allergic reactions.
Restore your pets’ immune response by supplementing with a natural and healthy mix that will help in controlling a “histamine intolerance” and create order in your pets’ immune system. Here are a few supplements that you can have a look at as part of your proactive approach in helping your pet deal with environmental sensitivities.
Earth MD Environmental Aid – A powder supplement that contains natural plant ingredients known to act as antihistamines.
Raw Performance Itch & Allergy – A powder supplement that contains Quercetin, Nettle Leaf Powder and Perilla Leaf extract.
Thrive Bovine Colostrum – A powder supplement that is laboratory tested to be antibiotic and rBST- free.
North Hound Life Bee Pollen Granules – A product of Canada and comes direct from Ontario Apiaries. Bee pollen contains Quercetin.
Some Final Thoughts & Reminders
Dealing with sensitivities and allergies can be tricky and takes time. The information and suggestions we have provided are not intended to be a quick fix to a complex and difficult health issue. Sometimes it can take many weeks and even months to see improvement. Introducing new supplements should be done gradually and introduced individually i.e., don’t create a multiple supplement cocktail, and throw everything in at once. Do your homework, do your research, and put a plan in place.
Remember, strengthening your pets’ immune system needs a solid foundation.
Pets with allergies should be fed a species appropriate diet of fresh real food. This diet should be low in grain content and contain no soy, corn, rice, wheat, organic whole wheat, tapioca, peas, lentils, chickpeas, or potatoes.
By eliminating extra sugar and carbohydrates in the diet, you'll also limit the food supply for yeast, which can be very beneficial for allergic pets.
2. Consider eliminating/deferring antibiotics, steroids, and pest preventatives.
Because allergies are an exaggerated immune system response, it's important to avoid unnecessary vaccines and veterinary drugs, including chemical pest preventives, all of which interfere with the performance of the immune system.
If your pet is taking medication regularly or has taken a long-term course of medication in the past, talk to your veterinarian about instituting an intermittent detoxification program to help the body eliminate harmful by-products and drug residues.
If you would like to learn more about how to naturally deal with Ticks, Fleas and Mosquitos, CLICK HERE.
3. Boost your pet’s diet with essential fatty acids.
We have always recommended to include a good quality fish oil, that is supplemented with Vitamin E, into your pet’s food. It does increase the level of Omega 3’s in the diet and helps to modulate and even suppress inflammation in allergic pets.
Establish a good foundation of health, remove the toxins to create a healthy liver, rebalance and replenish the healthy bacteria in the gut and finally restore the immune system.
This information is intended to provide information only. Each animal health situation is unique. This information is not intended for use in diagnosis or treatment of specific health problems or diseases and should never be considered as a substitute for veterinary advice.