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Posted on 01-19-2015

While the SNOW (you know the white stuff, this Florida vet complains about) is on the ground....this is an AWESOME time for us to discuss FOOD ALLERGIES!!!

Itchy pets are MISERABLE pets and I love to help get to the root cause of allergies and treat them effectively in an integrative way, using both traditional western and holistic eastern medicine techniques. We want to help them feel better!

Food allergies, when most severe, can actually cause vomiting and diarrhea due to the horrendous inflammatory response in the gut. But in a more mild case, the dog or cat may only show ear infections, or licking of the feet.

These allergies, that can show up all over the pet as severe itching can start when they are only a few months old! Then once the immune system goes haywire, secondary bacterial and yeast infections in the skin can start. What you end up with is a miserable, itchy, smelly mess. No WONDER we want to fix our poor fur babies!

Allergies are NOT normal for ANY of us. Our immune system should ONLY be fighting off cancer, bacteria and viruses. If we have allergies, asthma, eczema, or autoimmune disease where we are attacking our own body....that means our immune system is HYPER-VIGILANT and we need to do holistic and traditional therapies to get it to calm down. We also need to learn what we are allergic to, and avoid those things.

If your pet is STILL itching once the snow flies....there is a very REAL possibility that we are dealing with FOOD ALLERGIES.

Allergies themselves in pets can be pretty sneaky...and can make our fur babies MISERABLE.

While we often get itchy eyes and runny noses....animals may get itchy all over, or lick their feet, and have itchy ears prone to infection.

Flea allergies often manifest themselves with a pet chewing near the base of its' tail in a V shape heading up the back. The great news with that, is we have AWESOME options, both traditional and holistic to help prevent the fleas from ever hopping up to take that first bite.

Allergies to pollens, molds, grasses, trees, and house dust mites can make a dog itchy all over, or just the feet and ears. I have a wonderful new screening test for these "atopic" or inhaled allergens. It is affordable and it is a simple blood test that we can draw on your pet in less than five minutes. If the pet tests NEGATIVE for all of these allergens, then we know to focus on FOOD issues.

If the pet screens positive for one or more allergens, the issue may be food related as well, but we also know we may need to place the pet on desensitization drops under the tongue to make them less allergic, or manage the pet with some traditional and holistic means. Local honey helps, as well as using herbs and traditional medications, chiropractic, cold laser and acupuncture to help control the symptoms of allergies.

We now have some far less toxic options than steroids in the traditional medicine department, and many new modalities to try in the holistic medicine department. If we end up using both methods in an integrated approach, it means we use far less of the "toxic" western medications and we end up with a much healthier, but happy dog or cat.

Food trials for at least six weeks might be initiated by me for a patient in which I suspect food allergies. In that initial period I will use a prescription diet to see how the dog or cat does with NOTHING else crossing their lips. Once we determine what they can safely eat, we slowly begin adding to the diet.

Some of the hypoallergenic diets are very processed, making the protein size so tiny in daltons that the allergenic proteins fly "under the radar", as it were so that the body does not react.

The number one allergen in dogs is beef, followed by lamb, chicken, soy, corn and now wheat, thanks to the GMO modifications that have "amped up" everyone's allergic reaction in recognizing wheat and soy and corn as foreign to the body.

The allergens most cats react to are fish, chicken, turkey and beef.

So, in other words, we have to do a little bit of Sherlock Holmes investigation and then figure out what novel protein source and what novel carbohydrate source the pet can safely eat.

Did you know that only one and one half Dorito Corn Chips (one gram of corn) is ALL it takes to set off an ear infection in a dog the size of a Labrador Retriever if they are allergic to corn??? Pretty crazy, huh?

So with careful workup, (which I do slowly and step wise to avoid spending unnecessary money....but at the same time get to the bottom of what is the CAUSE of the skin problem so that we don't end up throwing "good money after bad"), we are able to diagnose and treat the skin problems.

Just as with acne for most people, the hereditary predisposition to have skin trouble doesn't go away. We just have to get it to a manageable place.

Please give us a call and bring your itchy pet in so we can help. This is a passion of mine, because one of my childhood pets truly suffered with skin issues.

Every animal deserves to have healthy skin! Let me help, today!

Have a wonderful, itch free day!

Dr. Diane

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