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It may not be flea or food allergy - over 86% of allergic reactions and chronic allergies are environmental!  How to diagnose and prevent allergy risks in pets AND children.

 

 

Environmental Allergies

Barbara J. Andrews, Publisher, TheDogPlace.org

 

Common sense and this allergy information will enable you to identify risks and avoid steroids commonly prescribed to relieve breathing problems, itching, scratching, and resulting skin infections.

 

If your dog develops an illness that defies diagnosis and rare diseases such as Lyme and Erlichiosis (both transmitted by ticks) have been ruled out, then you need to become a detective.

 

Identifying The Allergen

You may have to become an detective to figure out what's causing the allergy.!Make an allergy checklist.  You are the only one who really knows what's going on in your environment.  Your vet doesn't live at your house.  Put your thinking cap on and consider everything to which your dog may have been exposed.  Some medications (such as heartworm preventative) bring on "allergy" symptoms, from chronic to severe, particularly when combined with other environmental irritants. Remodeling with fiberboard insulation or particle board (which release formaldehyde), or installing new carpet or buying new furniture (again, both release noxious chemicals into a closed environment) can overwhelm the immune system.

 

If you AND your pets are experiencing allergenic symptoms, you need to quickly re-evaluate your environment. If you are a show-hobby breeder, toxic exposure can explain missed conceptions.

 

Either way, you may need to call an air-quality assessment company.  They have specialized equipment to take air samples which can then be analyzed to identify allergens such as Cladosporium which is one of the most frequent triggers for asthma attacks.  Cladosporium is widespread across the U.S.

 

The more deadly Stachybotrys, commonly called "black mold", causes serious health problems such as mental impairment, organ damage, and most common, breathing problems which are often misdiagnosed as COPD.  You must identify and remove the cause!  Black Mold loves dark damp places like the underside of wet-cleaned carpet, behind the refrigerator (ice-maker leaks) and under the kitchen sink.

 

Chronic allergies are a signal that the body is exposed to an irritant whereas allergic reactions most often occur as a result of medication. {1} 

 

This was first written in 2000 but there are more people and pets on debilitating steroids in 2017 than ever before in the history of veterinary or human medicine.  Don't let your pet or child's immune system be destroyed by immune-suppressing drugs dispensed as a quick-fix for allergy symptoms.

 

As we learn more about the immune system, the effects of life in today's environment become painfully apparent. From contaminated foods to a plethora of prescriptions, vaccines, and mutated bugs, humans and animals are challenged in ways nature never intended!

 

Veterinary Induced Allergies

Newly educated vets unknowingly damage the very animals that inspired them to choose veterinary medicine as a career.  Today, more than ever, veterinarians are educated (read that as indoctrinated) by course materials, grants, and inspired pharmaceutical company propaganda.

 

That said, owner education becomes even more important in protecting your pet's health and understanding environmental issues.  If your veterinarian prescribes systemic (whole-body) treatment for fleas, ticks, and heartworms, ask him if there is an old fashioned remedy for fleas and how heartworm prevention might affect your dog's immune system and overall health.

 

Allergic Inhalant Dermatitis!

Too often, we fail to associate canine allergy symptoms (scratching and itching) with something the dog has been directly exposed to.  Dogs don't sneeze from inhaled irritants as do humans who suffer from hay fever, ragweed allergies, molds, etc.  They may sneeze but more often they itch and scratch.

 

The veterinarian may surmise he's allergic to whatever dog food we are using and sometimes that is true. Healthy dogs rarely suffer a "flea allergy" but dogs can certainly be allergic to flea treatments!  An allergic reaction can be a one-time thing but when it is chronic, it indicates over-exposure to a common irritant or something new which has been added to your dog's environment.

 

It is after prolonged exposure to a toxic substance (think bug spray, yard pesticides, cleaning products, chemically treated carpet or furniture or, as cautioned above, mold spores)  that his immune system becomes overwhelmed and he begins to scratch and chew at himself.

 

In addition to the classic scratching caused by inhaled allergens, canine allergy symptoms commonly present as licking the feet or chewing at his side and flanks.  Chewing the feet or obsessive licking is a fairly common reaction to heartworm prevention medications but it can also occur due to footpad contact with de-icing or other toxic substances.

 

Allergies Are Environmental, Not Inherited

Allergies cause sneezing, runny nose, but in your dogs, itching and scratching are the main symptomsExposure allergies have nothing to do with the dog's genetic makeup. Do not be misled by anyone, including the veterinarian, who says an allergy is inherited.

 

While immune system deficiencies can indeed be inherited, almost all allergies are the result of exposure to something foreign to the body; either ingested, toxic exposure, or prescription medications. 

 

Think how dramatic even a single exposure to something such as bee venom can be.  Many people develop allergies to bee stings but that doesn't mean they inherited an allergy to bees!

 

Now imagine repeated exposure to air fresheners, household cleaning products and the new "automatic" scent devices.  TV commercials convince us to treat our homes for termites, roaches, and other bugs that might "infest" our property.  Go ahead, but when using such products, think about this...

 

Pets (and little children) are much closer to the ground than you and I.  A Dachshund is more susceptible to carpet fumes and anti-stain chemicals than a Great Dane.  Not only that, his belly is longer, more bodily contact, like a crawling baby...  Okay, now you're thinking.

 

But there's more - children and small animals inhale more air per body weight than adults.  And because most pollutants are heavier than air, they are more concentrated at a child or puppy's height. Now you understand why your child or pet is more affected by chemicals in waxes, carpet and upholstery cleaners that emit vapors which you, at five or six feet tall, may not inhale. You also don't fall asleep on the carpet, or on the chemically-treated grass in the front yard, or by the a/c return vent...

 

Ways To Prevent Allergies

Here are a few simple methods to prevent inhalation of and direct contact with known allergens. Ban them from your environment. Never take your puppy for a walk in the park or across the golf course after the grounds have been treated.  Keep your pets and children inside whenever the grass is wet! While a good rain will help to dissolve residue, a heavy dew will make chemicals more absorbable through the foot pads, nose leather, or a child's delicate skin.

 

And lastly, have a  face-to-face chat with your vet about what medication your dog is currently on and ask him/her to go over the "prescription insert" (Client Information Sheet) {2} with you.  And always, before starting your dog on a new prescription, ask your vet about potential side effects.

 

If your dog develops allergy symptoms, ask your veterinarian to help you figure out what could be causing the immune system problem. {3}  You and your veterinarian have to be the "allergy detectives" and solve the mystery, not just treat the symptoms.

 

Referenced Allergy Information:

{1} FDA Approved Drug Deaths; Adverse Medication Reactions

{2} Why Vets Ignore FDA Prescription Inserts

{3} How Vaccines Impact The Immune System by Dr. Patricia Jordan, DVM

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