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Showing posts with label DIY for Dogs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label DIY for Dogs. Show all posts

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Food Allergies in Dog, Cats – Causes, Symptoms, Natural Treatments

In this article…
1.0 What Triggers a Food Allergy in Dogs and Cats
2.0 What Happens In the GI Tract When Food Triggers an Allergic Response
3.0 Symptoms of a Food Allergy
4.0 Common Food Allergens
5.0 Dietary Remedies for Food Allergies
6.0 The Post Elimination Diet
7.0 Topical Intervention - To Treat and Sooth Discomfort
       - Diarrhea
       - Ear Infections
       - Paw and Skin

1.0 What Triggers a Food Allergy in Dogs and Cats

Some dogs and cats have a greater tendency – natural predisposition for increased sensitivity to various foods, but…

The number of dogs and cats acquiring food allergies is rapidly increasing. This trend is reflected in the number one non-life threatening reason why people brought their dogs and cats to the veterinarian during 2012 - ear infections.

One of the most common causes of ear infections and paw and skin irritations is an over-growth of bad bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract (GI Tract) which leads to a yeast bloom. The most common cause of yeast overgrowth is a food allergy. When the root cause of the bloom is not treated the condition becomes chronic. When the root cause of the infection is treated incorrectly (i.e. the solution offered by the veterinarian is multiple courses of antibiotics, is a prescription food, is a steroidal drug such as prednisone further health issues can and very often do ensue.

Food allergies occur due to overreaction of the immune system triggered by repeated ingestion of foods and additives that are potential and in many cases known allergens. In addition, once a dog’s or cat’s immune system becomes hyperactive it may also become reactive to food items that would not normally create a problem – for example chicken or beef. And there are additional factors that can exacerbate sensitivity to that chicken or beef...
  • Consider what the chicken or cow was fed during his/her life span…
  • Antibiotics?
  • GMO corn?
  • Growth hormones?
  • Grains high in aflatoxins?
  • All of these substances enter your dog’s and cat’s system when they ingest the meat from the chicken or cow;
Each of these substances are immune system suppressors, some contain known allergens (see further below). If in addition to the contaminated chicken or beef the food product (i.e. dry dog or cat food) also contains GMO corn and grains high in aflatoxins – you have just inadvertently double dosed your dog or cat with toxic allergen laden food.

Now imagine that your dog or cat eats the same food day in and day out – overtime the chance of developing an adverse reaction (to one of these ingredients) increases.

Many unsuspecting loving dog and cat owners are duped into thinking that the pet industry is geared to deliver the best quality nutrition for dogs and cats – unfortunately this is a false notion. The industry is geared to make huge profits.  Many companies seek to profit with great irresponsibility at the expense of your companion animal’s health and longevity.

2.0 What Happens In the GI Tract When Food Triggers an
      Allergic Response

  • A dog’s and cat’s GI tract is a semi permeable barrier – the partial permeability supports the transfer of nutrients into the blood stream for nourishment of the body;
  • The GI tract digests and breaks down food to enable the release of nutrients for absorption into the blood stream;
  • The GI tract keeps partially digested non-nutritive matter (animate and inanimate) and allergenic matter out of the blood stream, and instead passes the material to the eliminatory system;
    • When partially digested matter slips through the semi—permeable wall of the GI tract into the blood stream the immune system reacts (allergic reaction) – the slippage is a leak, the leak is commonly termed ‘leaky gut syndrome’, the medical term is ‘dysbiosis’;
    • This immune system response will occur each and every time the dog or cat consumes the material that caused the reaction;
    • When the substance is consumed on a regular basis or intermittent basis the allergic reaction becomes a chronic event;
  • When ingestion of the substance is halted the allergic reaction is not triggered and the chronic condition should be mitigated.

3.0 Symptoms of a Food Allergy
  • Fur issues;
    • Bald spots;
  • Eliminatory Issues:
    • Diarrhea;
    • Loose stools;
  • Infections:
    • Ear infections;
      • Chronic ear infections;
  • Skin Issues:
    • on paws;
    • on select locations on the body, or;
    • all over the body;
    • In the form of:
      • Acne;
      • Inflamed skin;
      • Irritated skin;
      • Rashes;
  • Vomiting.

4.0 Common Food Allergens

A few examples of species inappropriate, toxic known allergens common in commercial dry and wet dog and cat food…

Protein Sources (mammalian and plant-based);
  • Beef by product (hooves, etc.)
  • Chicken meal by product (beaks, feathers, etc.)
  • Eggs – while eggs in moderation (i.e. weekly intake equivalent to 3 or 4 eggs) can be very healthful, eggs can be an allergy trigger for some dogs and cats;
  • Egg by product;
  • Fish meal that contains ethoxyquin or is contaminated with aflatoxins;
  • Legumes (i.e. lentils, chickpeas) – animal feed grade may be contaminated with aflatoxins;
  • Milk and milk products – while some milk-based products can provide multiple health benefits (i.e. plain, good quality yogurt, kefir and cheese) to dogs and cats, some dogs and cats are lactose intolerant;
  • GMO soy.
Fats – pour source fats
  • Factory farm sourced fish oil;
  • Rendered fat from D4 animals and/or from animals fed GMO, hormones, antibiotics; rancid fat preserved with chemical-based preservatives;
  • GMO vegetable source oils – canola, cottonseed, safflower, soy – high in pesticide residue.
Fillers - Grains
  • GMO corn, corn derivatives;
  • GMO soy, soy derivatives;
  • Other processed cereal grains;
    • Other whole grains (i.e. barley, pearled barley, rice, brown rice, and derivatives, rye, wheat, wheat gluten and derivatives, etc.);
    • In addition to being species inappropriate GMO is high in pesticide residue which in itself an allergen and health threatening in multiple ways (read the link on corn and soy found just above;
    • Grains (unless guaranteed by the pet food manufacturer as human grade grains) used in dog and cat food also have considerably higher amounts of aflatoxins;
    • Aflatoxins can also be found in cotton seed oil, fish meal, legumes (peanuts and other nuts, lentils chickpeas, etc.).
Other Fillers and Fiber
  • Beets, particularly GMO sugar beets;
  • Powdered cellulose – powdered cellulose is wood pulp, not appropriate food stuff and can be contaminated with chemicals – you can read more on this item here.
Carbohydrates
(may be present in high volume to act as a filler)
  • Legumes;
  • Potato;
  • Sweet potato;
  • Tapioca - you can read more on this item here.
Chemical-based preservatives such as
Synthetic additives and supplements, such as
  • Artificial Food colouring;
  • Artificial Food flavouring;
  • Menadione (also listed as: Sodium Bisulfate, Meadione Sodium Bisulfite, or (K3) is a synthetic  vitamin K derivative) - you can read more on this item here.
Other additives
  • Brewer’s yeast, Nutritional Yeast – can be beneficial but some dogs and cats are allergic to Brewer’s and nutritional yeast.
Sweeteners
  • Molasses;
  • Pasteurized honey (this includes pasteurized honey and all honey that is in a processed, baked or otherwise heated product);
  • Syrup;
  • Sugar (derived from sugar cane, sugar beets, coconut, etc)
  • Artificial sweeteners.

5.0 Dietary Remedies for Food Allergies

For detailed information on DIY Diet Remedies, including a Elimination Diet read here.


6.0 The Post Elimination Diet

For detailed information on Post Elimination diet read here.



7.0 Natural, Herbal Topical Interventions - To Treat and
      Sooth Discomfort

Diarrhea

Ear Infections

Paw and Skin
As you can see, there are many natural alternatives that can be used to sooth and treat the outward symptoms of food allergies - i.e. ear and skin infections, irritations. Don't use Prednisone as the dangers far exceed its benefits in the treatment of allergy symptoms, and the many natural safe alternatives are readily available and have few and often no side effects.


Holistic Support

Additional Assistance - Holistic Health and Wellness Service
If you require additional support, and guidance - contact me to discuss your requirements. I will determine the appropriate course of action for your situation and I will let you know the applicable fees. I offer consultative services to clients around the world...
Diet, Nutrition Wellness Services
  • Unbiased Diet, Nutrition, Product Advice - information and payment here >>. 
  • Holistic Diet, Nutrition Wellness Plans - information and payment here >>.
Dog Obedience Training and Behavior Modification Services
  • In-Person sessions - information and payment here >>.
  • On-Line consultation and sessions - information and payment here >>.

Food Allergies in Dogs, Cats – Remedies, Elimination, Diet, Recipe




In this article…
1.0 Dietary Remedies for Food Allergies
1.1 Processed Dry/Wet Prescription Diets – not recommended
2.0 Initial Clean-Up of the Diet

Step #1 – Remove all Grain and Grain Derivatives

Step #2 – Asses Whether You Need to Go to an Elimination Diet

3.0 The Elimination Diet Protocol and Recipe

3.1 Goal

3.2 Duration

3.3 Transition

3.4 The Nutraceutical and Alternative Medicine Element

3.5 The Elimination Diet
3.6 Understanding What Comprises a Novel Food

3.7 Recipe for Elimination Diet

3.8 Supplements for the Elimination Diet

4.0 The Post Elimination Diet

1.0  Dietary Remedies for Food Allergies

Processed Dry/Wet Hypoallergenic Prescription Diets – not recommended...

Don’t use an allopathic veterinarian prescribed processed prescription dry or wet allergenic food unless you have researched that product thoroughly to ensure that the product does not contain ingredients that put your dog’s or cat’s health in further jeopardy.  

 Sounds crazy right? 

Well, many allopathic veterinarian prescribed prescription food products contain substances that trigger allergies and cause further health complications. 

You can find an example of one of the most popular veterinarian prescribed allergenic dry food products here complete with a detailed explanation of why the product is not a healthy option for your dog or cat.

2.0 Initial Clean-Up of the Diet

Step #1 – Remove all Grain and Grain Derivatives from
                the Daily Diet (food and treats)

Grain is the number one trigger for allergies in dogs and cats so the first thing you need to do is eliminate all grain and grain derivatives from the diet (this includes food and treats). If you are not sure what food ingredients are grain derivatives you can read here, here and here.

At this time you can begin supportive supplementation measures provided in 3.4.1, 3.4.2 and 3.4.3 below or you can choose to see if simply removing grain from the diet is sufficient to resolve symptoms.

If after several weeks food allergy symptoms are still present then it is time to go to Step #2.

For those of you that are interested in removing all possible allergens from the diet up front, simply combine Step #1 and Step #2 – don’t wait to do #1 first and then #2 after several weeks time.

If you are already feeding your dog  or cat a diet that is free of grains, grain derivatives and all of the items listed under Step #2 then go directly to Step #3.

Step #2 – Remove These Allergy Triggers from the Daily
                Diet (food and treats)

  • Chemical-based preservatives;
  • Brewer’s and/or nutritional yeast;
  • Egg by products;
  • Meat by products;
  • Poor source fats;
  • Sweeteners;
  • Synthetic additives and supplements;
  • Also…
    • Fruit that is high in sugar content – i.e. banana, pears;
    • Root vegetables that are high in sugar – carrots, sweet potato.
For detailed information on what to look for and avoid see section 4.0 of this article ‘Food Allergies in Dogs and Cats – Causes, Symptoms, Treatments’

At this time you can begin supportive supplementation measures provided in 3.4.1, 3.4.2 and 3.4.3 below (if you did not do so in Step #1) or you can choose to see if simply removing the additional allergy triggers from the diet is sufficient to resolve symptoms.

If after 3 to 4 weeks food allergy symptoms are still present then it is time to go to Step #3, the elimination diet.

3.0 The Elimination Diet - Protocol and
       Recipe

3.1 Goal

3.2 Duration

3.2 Transition

3.4 The Nutraceutical and Alternative Medicine Element

3.5 The Elimination Diet
3.6 Novel Foods

3.7 Recipe

3.8 The Post Elimination Diet

3.1 Goal

The Elimination Diet is a very limited ingredient diet that is meant to be used on a temporary basis to:
  • Give the dog’s, cat’s system an opportunity to:
    • Detox and calm the body/immune system by providing an opportunity to:
      • Stop the build-up of toxins caused by the food allergy;
  • Support the Kidney and liver to eliminate the toxins;
    • Thereby helping to provide relief from the symptoms of the chronic allergic reaction.
  • Begin the process of discovery that will pinpoint the food stuff(s), ingredient(s) that your dog or cat is allergic to.

3.2 Duration

The Elimination Diet should be strictly maintained for 12 weeks (3 months) – no variations allowed and no treats. This should provide ample time for your dog’s or cat’s system to completely detox. To aid in the detoxing process a nutraceutical should be added to the diet – see further below.  

3.3 Transition to the Elimination Diet

Don’t make the switch without doing a methodical transition, unless you are 100% certain that your dog or cat has a constitution that accepts change without adverse reaction (i.e. diarrhea).
Transition slowly by:
  • Substituting a small portion of the meal once a day with some of the Elimination Diet;
  • Over the period of a week to two weeks gradually substitute more of the existing food with the new Elimination diet food until the existing food is completely replaced by the Elimination Diet.
The 12 week countdown starts when the full switch to the Elimination Diet is completed.

3.4 The Nutraceutical and Alternative Medicine Element

3.4.1 Detox with a Nutraceutical
Detox supplementation is required. You can choose one of the following options to help cleanse your dog’s or cat’s system – read the articles to make sure which is suitable for your individual dog or cat, or choose another safe detox agent;

3.4.2 Speed Resolution of Overall Symptoms of Food
         Allergy
  • You can do a course of ingested treatment using Quercetin,
  • Read the article for dosage, cautions and interactions.

3.4.3 Speed Resolution of Yeast Infection and Related
        Symptoms
  • You can do a course of ingested treatment using one of the following:
  • Follow the treatment/dosage instructions provided in the articles;
  • Cautions and interactions are also noted.

3.5 The Elimination Diet

The elimination diet consists primarily of two ingredients:
  • A single source, novel protein, and;
  • A single source novel carbohydrate.

3.6 Understanding What Comprises a Novel Food

The term ‘novel’ means a food that you have not fed to your dog or cat before.
For example:

3.6.1 Protein:
If you have had your dog or cat on a chicken-based diet:
  • You should switch to a mammalian based protein i.e. lamb, if you dog or cat has never had lamb, or to a novel mammalian protein – see the list below.
  • Dogs and cats that are allergic to chicken may also be allergic to other fowl, such as turkey, duck, etc.
  • If you have had your dog or cat on a beef-based diet:
    • You can try switching to a novel fowl or a novel mammalian protein;
  • Novel Fowl examples:
    • Duck;
    • Fish (if your dog/cat has never eaten fish before);
    • Emu;
    • Quail;
    • Ostrich;
    • Pheasant
  • Novel mammalian examples:
    • Alligator;
    • Beaver;
    • Bison;
    • Caribou;
    • Elk;
    • Goat;
    • Kangaroo;
    • Moose;
    • Rabbit;
    • Venison (deer).

3.6.2 Carbohydrate:
  • If your dog has always eaten a diet that included grains – novel carbohydrates would be:
    • Potato;
    • Pumpkin;
    • Rutabaga;
    • Turnip;
    • Squash.
  • If your dog or cat has eaten potato before then novel would be;
    • Pumpkin;
    • Rutabaga;
    • Turnip;
    • Squash.
  • If your dog has eaten Pumpkin or squash before then novel would be:
    • Potato;
    • Rutabaga;
    • Turnip.

3.7 Recipe for Elimination Diet

  • If your dog or cat is accustomed to a high protein raw food diet use the same protein v.s. carbohydrate) ratio in the elimination diet;
  • If your dog is on a homemade cooked food or commercial processed dry food diet consisting of high protein content and moderate to low carbohydrate content (for example one of Orijen’s grain-free dry dog food products or a homemade food diet like this one) then use the percentage of protein to carbohydrates as noted below in the recipe;
  • If your dog is currently on a commercial processed dog food that primarily consists of fillers then you have to give your dog or cat more time to adjust to the percentage breakdown of protein v.s carbohydrate provided below. To do this make the recipe with a lower percentage of protein (say 35 to 40%, and a higher percentage of carbs, say 65 to 60% and slowly reverse the percentages to reflect those provided in the recipe below.

3.7.1 Elimination Food Recipe

Daily meals consist of…
  • 50% to 60% novel protein;
  • 40% to 50% novel carbohydrate;
  • If your dog is accustomed to eating raw use:
    • Raw novel protein, and:
    • Steamed, frozen mashed or finely chopped/diced novel carbohydrate;
  • If your dog is accustomed to processed food or homemade cooked food then use:
    • Cooked novel protein (cook using a low heat – not high heat to avoid the formation of carcinogens) and; 
    • Use steamed, mashed novel carbohydrate.
3.7.2 Cautions:
  • If your dog or cat is suffering from other medical conditions you may have to make further adjustments /considerations – for example:
    • For kidney or bladder stones you may have to adjust the type of protein or carbohydrate to suit the treatment required for the type of crystal or stone being dealt with – for more on bladder and kidney stone dietary requirements you can read here.
    • For pancreatitis make sure you go with a low fat meat.
  • Make sure that you check the dietary requirements/constraints for the condition being dealt with.

3.7.3 Supplements for the Elimination Diet

Probiotic Supplement:
  • Should have at least 12 strains of bacteria and 20 to 50 billion microbes per serving;
  • If the supplement does not require refrigeration don’t buy it as the microbes that give the supplement its probiotic properties are dead and therefore non-viable;
  • You can use a human grade probiotic supplement or one sold for dog and cats;
  • Read this article to understand why a probiotic is required;
  • Read this article for additional information on how to choose a good probiotic. 

Digestive Enzyme:
  • Such as bromelain;
  • Ensure that the product contains NO fillers, sweeteners or other unnecessary additives;
  • You can use a human grade or one sold for dog and cats;
  • Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for dosage.

3.8 The Post Elimination Diet

At the end of the 12 week period if your dog’s, cat’s symptoms have receded or even better are completely gone then you can start slowly adding other food stuffs back into his/her diet one at a time leaving days in between adding another item so that you can pinpoint the exact item that is causing the reaction if symptoms start to reoccur.

If you want to continue to feed a processed food diet select it with care – most contain undesirable, health compromising ingredients of one kind or other.  Make sure you know how to select a better product - don't assume you know - must people, even those that think they know - do not! Go to my index page, scroll down the page until you reach 
PART 3 – DIET & NUTRITION for DOGS and CATS
3.1 – Dog and Cat Food
3.1.1 Dry and Wet Dog and Cat Food (processed commercial food)
- read the articles in that section.

If you want to switch to a nutritious homemade cooked and fresh food diet you can start be using this grain-free homemade food recipe and make sure you follow substitutions to suit your dogs, cat’s allergy triggers.

Supplementation with omega-3 Fatty acids is very important for maintenance of good health.

Turmeric and organic coconut oil have many health benefits including anti-allergenic properties – both are safe for most dogs and cats – read the articles for detail on benefits, dosage, selecting a good product, cautions and interactions.

For additional information on causes and symptoms of food allergies you can read here.




Holistic Support

Additional Assistance - Holistic Health and Wellness Service
If you require additional support, and guidance - contact me to discuss your requirements. I will determine the appropriate course of action for your situation and I will let you know the applicable fees. I offer consultative services to clients around the world...
Diet, Nutrition Wellness Services
  • Unbiased Diet, Nutrition, Product Advice - information and payment here >>. 
  • Holistic Diet, Nutrition Wellness Plans - information and payment here >>.
Dog Obedience Training and Behavior Modification Services
  • In-Person sessions - information and payment here >>.
  • On-Line consultation and sessions - information and payment here >>.