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September 28, 2011 at 10:39 AMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Dog and Cat Allergies

By Dr. Char Wilson, DVM More Blogs by This Author

Dr. Char Wilson talks about what to look for and how to treat dog and cat allergies.

Host, Gerry Barnaby- Barnaby here. Don’t you hate it when you suffer from allergies, because it just makes you drag? But, as we’re going to find out from Dr. Char, animals are so much different, because they don’t necessarily drag when they have allergies—they get kind of hyper-excited?

Health Coach, Dr. Char Wilson, DVM- Yes, there can be behavioral issues, even that they’re just not quite relaxed and in sync—they’re excitable—and it can make life more difficult having to train and work with your animal when they feel like they’re on the edge.

Barnaby- Yeah, so, I mean, what sort of things might they do? I mean, just a cat wouldn’t be just placid as usual, but rather, just hopping around at things that don’t exist and dogs would be barking at things that aren’t even near?

Dr.Char- Well, usually what people notice with cats is that they will groom excessively. And, you know, dogs, they’re the ones who are a little bit more bouncing off the walls and being a little bit more of a behavioral challenge. The thing that people will often comment on is that they’re just scratching and scratching, and it drives the owners crazy, because they can’t even sleep at night because that dog is scratching. Or they’re dragging their butt, or licking, sometimes licking their rear-end all the time you know, because their anal glands are bothering them.

Barnaby- Wow. So necessarily, we spring into action and go to our usual veterinarian and say, “Got to give the dog something! What can you give him?” And the answer would be, Benadryl or steroids. Is that necessarily the best way to go, right off the bat?

Dr. Char- Well, you know, I wouldn’t choose to go that way. You know, I think steroids are appropriate if you have a real assault to the body and that you need to suppress that reaction. You know, if airways are closing up, let’s say that you were stung by a hive of bees or something like that, that’s the appropriate treatment. But, if it is still kind of controllable, it’s a much safer way to, let’s say, use homeopathy to try to get the body to rebalance itself. And then look for the causes of the allergens and see if you can sort of maybe heal the gut, heal the immune system, into rebalance that way. Because otherwise, the whole allergic process just keeps feeding on itself, and it gets worse and worse, and pretty soon the conventional treatment of steroids and Benadryl isn’t going to be sufficient to keep that animal, you know, comfortable.

Barnaby- And there’s a downside to using Benadryl and/or steroids. I mean, there are side effects?

Dr. Char- Very grave side effects! Because if you keep on giving steroids, you can cause the adrenal glands to shut down, and that’s a very bad thing. The adrenal glands are important for, you know, one’s survival and for balance in the body. Having excess steroid will also put stress on the liver and the kidneys, and you don’t want to damage those organs either. So, you know, you can use them, but very judiciously. And to get to the bottom of the problem is really the answer.

Barnaby- Right. And so the holistic way to go would be, probably, the preferred way to go because you’re not addressing the symptoms, you’re looking for the cause.

Dr. Char-  Right.

Barnaby- Hmmm, that’s good information. And you know what? That’s what it’s all about here on, is asking Dr. Char, who is a holistic veterinarian. And, we both share in the same philosophy: We feel like your pet is our pet and we hope that’s why you come back often to for all the good information about how to have the best pet possible.

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