Dog Allergies a Conundrum Indeed!

Dog allergies, dog rashes, dog itchy skin, dog hot spots, dog hair loss, chronic dermatitis...need I go on? Our dogs are having more and more allergic reactions than ever before. Canine allergies are getting worse, not better. Why is it so hard to solve the dog allergy problem? Where does it all start ?

Let's look at the definition of Conundrum:

  • A riddle whose answer has an unexpected twist
  • A truth that evades resolution, an intricate and difficult problem

A dog allergy reaction is NOT a stand alone health problem. Allergies do not appear out of the blue. They are a symptom of a bigger problem

dog allergiesPager, our English Springer Spaniel had one of the worst cases of allergies I have ever seen.

What is an allergy?

According to Webster's New Universal Unabridged Dictionary:

... an allergy is a condition of unusual sensitivity to a substance or substances which, in like amounts, do not affect others.

In other words...your dog is reacting to substances which really shouldn't, under normal circumstances, bother him.

Remember those words..." normal circumstances ".

Dog Allergy Symptoms

Dog allergies may be characterized by...

  • itching, scratching
  • sneezing and nasal discharge
  • red eyes
  • swollen itchy paws
  • bad body odor
  • wheals ( raised bumps on the skin that usually itch or burn )
  • oozing skin
  • digestive system disorders - vomiting, diarrhea, gas, anal gland problems

What Is An Allergen and Why Does It Matter?

dogAllergens are usually protein substances but, can be non organic things too, such as... light, cold and heat. An allergen therefore, is ANY substance which causes an allergic reaction.

These allergens can be the underlying cause of other dog health problems too, such as...

Allergens almost always, are the hidden cause of respiratory system problems such as... sneezing, coughing, asthma, bronchitis and other breathing problems

So, What Happens?

Dog allergy reactions are the same as human allergy reactions. They are the result of an over active Immune System. Your dog's immune system is reacting incorrectly, to what should be a harmless substance. Not so incidentally, 70% of your dog's Immune System resides in his gut...hhmmmm...are we on to something here?

Therefore, the allergy is the symptom. The symptom will show up as inflammation in one form or another. Inflammation can happen externally ( on the outside of his body such as a dog rash or an itching dog ) and internally ( on the inside of his body such as an inflamed irritable bowel ).

The allergy symptom (inflammation) is not the root cause though. It is the resulting build up of toxicity in your dog's body, which takes place over time. You only start to notice it when your dog is exhibiting symptoms, but it started long before that.

Three Main Causes of Dog Allergies

1 - Food Allergens

Food allergies commonly occur in dogs that are fed the same food for a long time. Your dog's immune system is having to cope with the same allergens for so long, that finally it just gives up and starts to have a bad reaction to the protein source. It is common that dogs become allergic to chicken for example, because they have been fed chicken dog food every day of their lives, for years.

Guess what? The foods that most often cause allergies in people, cause the same reactions in dogs. Here's a list of some common food allergens.

  •  Meat ( beef and chicken) or meat by-products
  • Dairy products
  • Wheat ( very commonly found in pet food )
  • Corn
  • Soy
  • Gluten ( the protein in some grains )
  • Yeast (brewer's yeast)

2 - Environmental Allergens

Dogs like people, can react to anything in their environment. Here's a list of some common environmental allergens.

  • Tap water
  • Dog bed ( flame retardent chemicals )
  • Dust mites
  • Fleas
  • Long term exposure to chemicals 
  • Pharmaceutical drugs
  • dog vaccinations
  • Chemicals in food ( colors, dyes, preservatives )
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Household chemicals 
  • Grooming products
  • Pesticides ( flea/tick control )
  • Second hand smoke
  • Car fumes

3 - Seasonal Allergens

Some dogs ( and people ) have food allergies AND environmental allergies.

Is your dog scratching in the spring, summer and fall? Likely this is a reaction to something in the environment at that time. If your dog continues to have this reactions during the cold winter months, that could indicate a non-seasonal, or year-round allergy, such as a food allergen source or household allergen source.

If you live in a warmer climate all year, environmental allergens can really build up and cause year-round allergy issues for your dog.

Some dogs ( and people ) have all three allergen problems.

  1. food allergies
  2. environmental allergies
  3. seasonal allergies

Example of the Dog Allergy Cycle of Treatment

Abnormal Immune Response leads to - -> inflammation which leads to - -> a trip to the vet which leads to - -> drugs to treat the allergy inflammation which leads to - -> candida/yeast overgrowth which leads to - -> intensified inflammation which leads to - -> a trip to the vet which leads to - -> more drugs to treat inflammation which leads to - -> more candida overgrowth which leads to --  > and so on, and so on...

Well, I hope you can see the big picture here ? In short, here's a recap.

allergy inflammation  =  drugs  =  candida/yeast overgrowth.

Repeat, repeat, repeat. Stop the madness!

Here's How to Solve the Mystery of Canine Allergies

So if you have an itching dog or any of the other dog allergy symptoms listed above, let's get back to more " normal circumstances ". How do we do that? Let's go back to your dog's Immune System. Where does 70% of that reside? Heal the gut, so your dog's Immune System won't react to allergens. Get back to ' normal '. This is how you get rid of dog allergies for good.

The Digestive System Gut Biome

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