Food and Environmental Allergies
By Bekah Kay & Lisa Affi
A food allergy is an immunologically based reaction to food characterized by itchy skin. There is no quick fix; however the most reliable way to diagnose a food allergy is to feed the allergic pet an elimination diet for a trial period. The pet is fed a protein it has never been exposed to before and receives nothing other than this diet and fresh water for up to 8 weeks. For further details about an elimination diet contact your holistic veterinarian.
Typical allergies are physical (itchy skin, scratching, rubbing against things) to digestion issues (diarrhoea, vomiting ect) to immune system problems, chronic ear infections, arthritis and hair loss.
Dogs and cats show improvements depending on the cause of the problem. If your pet has a skin condition due to preservatives or additives, allergens to specific food ingredients or it's immune system needs a healthful boost, then a fresh food diet will be helpful. Your pet may be deficient in certain essential fatty acids.
The aim is to rebalance the immune system by switching off the dog/ cat's tendency to "overreact." They should be able to tolerate pollens, grasses, fleas and dust mites. So why is it that so many of them are diagnosed as being allergic to these common, everyday environmental triggers? A healthy and normal immune system reacts to harmful threats by producing antibodies. These antibodies bind to the threat and are cleared from the body by a specialised system called the reticuloendothelial system. When this system is overloaded, the clearance no longer occurs. The antibodies are bound up with the threatening substance and continue to circulate in the blood stream. These circulating immune complexes start to cause trouble; they are deposited in the skin, the gut, the kidneys and the joints. They then trigger local and generalised inflammation - heat, redness, swelling and itchiness. Rebalancing the immune system by feeding raw, biologically-appropriate food takes a lot of pressure off a very overloaded immune system.
Rebalancing the immune system by providing a raw diet and supporting the immune system in the gut with a probiotic 30-1 hr before meals or 2 hrs after meals, digestive enzymes, bone broth ( away from meals), are simple things that can make an enormous difference to a very frustrating problem. You can even add some immune supporting herbs such as L Glutamine, this particular product is also great for leaky gut.
Guide to rebalancing the immune system:
#1 Change diet to a raw PMR diet (Prey Model Raw)
#2- Take out all veg/fruit/carbs
#3- Add a good quality probiotic 30-1 hr before meals or 2 hrs after meal. This helps restore the good bacteria in the G.I tract (Homemade kefir is an example of a good probiotic)
#4 - Add digestive enzymes (these help the digestive tract to digest all the food properly while healing)
#5 - Include some L- Glutamine ( this helps repair the cellular wall of the G.I tract)
#6 - Include some bone broth (good mineral drink, also helps with leaky gut)
These should be added slowly. Wait a few months (3-6) to see if there is any improvement.
If you are already feeding a fully balanced PMR diet and are having issues than an Elimination Diet may be necessary. An Elimination Diet does take some time but it will help pinpoint what proteins are causing the issues your dog or cat is having. For the first 6-8 weeks start with a novel protein or one they haven't had in at least two months. You will meat, bone, and offal of the same animal. The initial 6-8 weeks of a novel protein is because it takes this length of time for all traces of old proteins to leave the system. The protein should be bland or one that is least likely to cause an issue such as rabbit, duck, turkey, or roo. You will feed ONLY this protein, bones, and organs. (It’s recommended to not feed chicken during this process as it has the most intolerance's.)
*If the selected protein is one they have not had before or they have not had organ from a protein from 2 months ago, begin with just the meat and bone for the first 2 weeks. Then, add the liver slowly in week 3 and the other secreting organ slowly in week 4 to avoid any stomach upset.*
After the first initial 6-8 weeks on a single protein and symptoms have subsided you can start introducing a new protein. Take it slow, it can take minimum of 10 days or up to 3 weeks for an intolerance to show up especially a mild intolerance.
Introduce your next protein as follows:
Week 1 slowly introduce just the meat.
Week 2 slowly introduce bone. (By this point there should be some kind of reaction if it's the protein. If so, move on to another protein in the same manner.)
Week 3: If no reaction now you can start slowly introducing the organ meats one at a time.
Once the new protein has been introduced and has either been pinpointed as an intolerance or there was no reaction you can then move on to other proteins in the same manner eliminating the culprits from the diet.
Remember no dog/cat is the same. If you are still having issues after this please come onto the fb page and ask for further assistance.
To help skin topically: You can try calendula oil or salve and/or you can use coconut oil mixed with lavender, colloidal silver mixed with witch hazel and grapefruit seed extract (This is good for yeast issues as well). Another thing you can try is adding activated charcoal. This will help bring out the toxins from the body. If your pet is suffering from yeast and the above is not helping and you have been on the raw diet for at least 6 months and have added the above supplements to the diet you can try rotating a couple of different anti fungals such as oil of oregano and grapefruit seed extract. You can also add DE into the diet as that will help with the removal of parasites and helps kill off the yeast.
Recommended digestive enzymes: http://www.pethealthandnutritioncenter.com/digestive...
Signs of Allergies:
Watch for paw licking,face rubbing.....inhaland allergy often develops in young adulthood stage
Look out for licking,itchiness underneath the tail and around the anal area plus recurring ear infections
Typically evidenced by itchiness on top of the lower back.(fleas may not actually be visible)
Mange or Scabies
watch for intense itching of all four legs,itchy ears,itchy face
Marked by very sudden onset of the feet chest and abdomen
Anal Gland Irritation
Dragging rear end along grass or carpet,biting or licking at anus area
Look for sores,pinples,scabs or bumps
Sores redness,crusting or oozing,typically in the folds of the skin or moist places (often foul smelling)
Evidenced by scaly dandruff and possibly small scabs,pimples or bumps (fur and skin can be dry or oily)
Look for bumps,pimples,thinning skin,darkenes skin,scaly skin
Immune-Mediated Skin Disease
Scaly skin,toenails that split or break off at the quick,bumps or soreson the ears,face,feet or body
Emotional Issues obsessive licking to the point of causing sores or bleeding.
** Disclaimer- This article is based off personal experience and is for informational purposes only. Please see your vet for any concern.**