Inhalant allergies in the
canine can be from the same causes as humans, but often present
differently. This can include various degrees of itching, licking,
hair loss, and redness of the feet, ears, skin, eyes or a combination of
these, depending where the histamines are released. This can be
seasonal or continue all year long. Allergies often show up in
mid-aged to older dogs as the body is finally overwhelmed by allergens
triggering a response. This is similar to a bee sting in a human
where the first one isn't bad, but by the third one some people wind up in
the emergency room.
Although the flea is often
incriminated, over 50% of the itching dogs are due to inhalant allergies
alone. There are additional therapies helpful for more long term
control of allergies, often without the side effects of traditional
Grape Seed Extract - this
has a moderate antihistamine effect and works well on small canines.
It can also be added to other therapies to have more success.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids - these
are mild anti-itch, anti-inflamatories that dampen inflammatory mediators
causing reactions. These are often used with traditional therapies
Raw Honey - this works on a
large number of canines, (approximately 40%) but it must be unprocessed
and locally produced, carrying "local allergens" similar to
hyposensitization therapy. You can not get this product in the
Antihistamines - Benadryl,
Atarax, Chlorpheniramine, Zyrtec, Claritin, etc. These have success
rates from 25% to 60%, but dosages are all different depending on products
and are nothing like human dosages. Consult your Veterinarian, as
some have potential side effects on the liver.
Immunostimulants - there is
some evidence that boosting the immune system may keep the body from
reacting to allergens. Only a couple of products have displayed
this, but it may be promising.
It would be wise to seek
professional advice as this is a very complicated subject. For
instance, many canines may be itching due to bacterial or fungal
infections on the skin that may not be visible or "contact
allergies" from grass, dirt, laundry detergent or chemicals.
Also, many herbs are not harmless; valerian, skull cap, ephidra products,
and blue green algae, for instance, have caused liver disease in humans.
Note on Neutraceuticals -
many herbal products have been tested and found to have little to none of
the ingredients you're looking for, leading you to assume it didn't
work. Get pharmaceutical grade products from your Veterinarian or a
high-grade health food store.
Remember, your goal is your
pet's long term comfort and health, but there may be trial and error
involved. If you want to know exactly what is the cause of the
inhalant allergies, get a referral to a Board Certified Veterinarian
The above is a reprint of an article
written by Jack Landess, D.V.M., as a public service. Reprint
permission was obtained from the Florida