by Ajay Pats
Allergy is the body's defense system gone wrong. It happens when the immune system, whose purpose is to defend the body against harmful invaders, releases a response against something that is not necessarily harmful. The symptoms of that allergic response can range from mildly annoying to intensely bothersome, to fatal.
Animals have allergies just like people. Only the animals have trouble telling us they are suffering. An allergic reaction can be triggered by pollen, dust, mold, food, insect venom to name a few. Most animals because of improper diet and exposure to pollution cause their immune systems to be depressed.
That's the bad news. The good news is that today we know more then ever about how to support the immune system.
No one, animals included, would last very long without an immune system. We live in a hostile world, full of viruses, bacteria, and parasites. The animals' immune system has developed over millions of years. The immune system is set up to attack substances call antigens. An antigen is a molecule or compound that signals the presence of an invader in the body. When the animals immune system recognizes an antigen, it tries to repel it. It sets up defense cells to attack directly. These are called antibodies.
The most widely used substances in allergies are antihistamines which are some drugs that relieves allergy systems. This is treating a symptom not the cause. Many pet owners do not recognize their pets allergies especially in the beginning. It is usually when the animal is in distress or has hot spots (oozing sores on his body) that the owner realizes there is a problem. This is why prevention is the best fighter against allergies.
Symptoms of allergies can vary from difficulty in breathing to skin rashes as I just described. It is difficult to diagnose. You can have expensive skin tests or blood tests to determine exactly what the animal is allergic to but by proper diet and a process of elimination of chemicals and additives you can treat the whole animal and they will be on the road to well-ness.
Food allergies are one of the most common sources of trouble to people and animals. Allergies to food additives can cause a number of physical and mental problems. A food allergy can range from a mild to a very severe reaction causing death. We have all heard of the violent reactions of people and animal to MSG (monosodium glutamate). Diagnosis of allergy like symptoms can be a problem so keeping chemicals and additives away from our pets both inside and out is the answer.
Animals also have allergies to insect bites. There can be a mild allergy to fleas or a severe anaphylactic reaction to a bee sting. I have found that one of the most effective emergency treatments for a severe allergy is intravenous vitamin C.
Another common allergy in pets is drugs. Far too many drugs are given by Veterinarians to animals. I use homeopathy in my practice. As medicines have become more numerous and powerful the number of adverse side effects has grown.
The most common allergy to animals are skin allergies. Dermatitis and hot spots are the most common. This usually is caused from improper diet. Sometimes it is a small spot and other times it spreads causing scratching which leads to a bacterial infection.
Because many animals suffer from allergies a lot of research is done by pharmaceutical companies and the federal government and this costs a lot of money so we the consumer pay for this research in expensive medication which treats a symptom and often does more damage to the animals body then the allergy.