Holistic Treatment for Canine Allergies
Dogs with allergies typically show signs of itchiness. Their skin turns pink from mild inflammation and, if the allergies are untreated, can become hyperpigmented from chronic scratching and trauma.
Canine allergies are often accompanied with chronic bacterial infections, according to Shawn Messonnier, D.V.M., in his book “Natural Health Bible for Dogs and Cats.” Veterinarians often treat canine allergies with corticosteroids or antidepressants. There are holistic treatments for canine allergies; however, it may take some time before progress is seen.
Allergies tax a dog’s health and immune system. Providing a healthy, fresh diet alleviates some of the drain on the dog’s body and offers better absorption of allergy reducing supplements. A natural diet is not a cure for allergies, but some dogs show a marked improvement in their skin condition.
Dogs must get adequate protein from their diet, usually in the form of meat, as well as carbohydrates, vegetables and a source of fat. Supply a vitamin and mineral supplement if you are feeding an all-natural diet to your dog. Discuss specific diet options with your veterinarian.
A variety of homeopathics are effective in treating canine allergies. For example, Apis mellifica, Arsenicum album and Formica rufa all aid in relieving skin redness.
However, matching very specific symptoms to the best homeopathic remedy can be challenging, according to Don Hamilton, D.V.M., author of “Homeopathic Care for Cats and Dogs.” A qualified homeopath is often necessary to choose the best remedy for your dog’s allergies.
Oatmeal baths can be very soothing for dogs with itchy, allergic skin. One cup of oatmeal can be wrapped in cheesecloth and soaked in the dog’s bath water. The herb yellowdock can be applied topically.
One tablespoon of this dry herb can be steeped in one cup of hot water. Once the tea has cooled it can be sprayed on the dog’s itchy skin, according to Hamilton. Aloe vera gel is also soothing when applied topically.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 unsaturated fats contain eicosapentaenoic corrosive (EPA) and docosahexaenoic corrosive (DHA). These components aid in allergy relief by helping to reduce inflammation in the body. EPA and DHA inhibits the production of prostaglandins, which produce inflammation, and reduces leukotriene B4, which is involved in skin inflammation.
Product labels generally recommend a low dosage of omega-3 fatty acids. Effective dosages for allergy treatment should be two to four times the label’s suggested dose, according to Messonier. Check with your veterinarian before administering omega-3 fatty acids, as it may cause a blood-thinning effect.
Orthomolecular therapy increases antioxidant, vitamin and mineral levels in the dog to treat allergies and other health issues. This therapy has yielded promising health improvements, according to Messonier. Before considering this treatment, the veterinarian should check the dog’s blood work to rule out hormonal imbalances.
Orthomolecular therapy uses elevated dosages of vitamins A, C and E, as well as increased amounts of selenium. This treatment should only be done under the supervision of a qualified veterinarian.