Does your Dog or Cat have an Allergy? (Part II)
By Stacey J Nelson Ph.D.aka “Tweedlesmom”
More and more dogs, cats, and exotic birds are developing allergies these days. Could the environment, food, or vaccines, be the cause? Additionally, toxic fumes and chemicals appear to be permeating our environment, and just like humans, your “furkids” immune system and skin can be just as sensitive. Many dogs, cats, and exotic birds can have an adverse reaction to pollen, grass, trees, fertilizers, insecticide, new medications, vaccines, and can become anxious, pull out pieces of fur and feathers, develop skin, ear and eye infections, skin rashes, and or hives as a result.
If your dog starts biting their paws or other parts of their body, is itching their skin, scratching their stomach and their legs, has teary eyes or rubs their eyes, sneezes a lot, has labored breathing, has a strong odor of gas after their mealtime, has chronic ear infections and develops a dark dirtlike substance I call “shmutz” in their ears, they might be affected by Candida or yeast, or a condition called Malassezia pachdermatis, otitis externa, food allergy dermatitis, or atopic dermatitis, (inhalant allergies).
When you see these symptoms, or smell an unusual odor in your furbaby’s ears, you might want to consult with a Veterinary Dermatologist. There is also a condition called “Eye Tear Stains”, and this condition could be caused by a few things; a blocked “tear duct”, or a “food allergy”, or a condition known as “Candida i.e. Yeast” or a “Fungus”, I encourage you to not ignore the above symptoms, and I suggest you consult with a Veterinary Opthamologists to be sure of what’s causing the “tear stains”. If your pet has a severe enough allergic reaction to something, your pet could possibly experience anaphylactic shock, which can potentially lead to cardiac arrest and death, if not treated in time by your veterinarian or veterinary emergency hospital. My motto is always be safe than sorry. If you are not sure of the cause of a situation with your pet, always consult with a Veterinary professional.
Please do not ignore or deny the symptoms your “furkid” is displaying. Also, don’t forget, when walking your dog, notice the area where you walk them, they could develop a reaction to some substance or plant in that area, if your furkid starts displaying the symptoms described. Some furkids have extreme allergic reactions and are a candidate for allergy injections, cortisone, or other anti-histamine medication, just like humans. A good practice to follow is cleaning your dog’s ears with a quality ear cleanser and cotton squares, every few days so that there is less buildup of debris.
Some dogs and cats are gluten intolerant just like humans, and intolerant to specific proteins, like beef, chicken, lamb, pork, seafood, wheat, soy, corn, various starches and grains like barley, brewers yeast, preservatives and additives like glycerine, and have difficulty digesting certain protein. Artificial dyes and colors, can also cause an allergic reaction in your pets. Six years ago I was unaware that changing my dog’s food would resolve her chronic ear infections, well low and behold, after many office visits to our regular vet, trying numerous medications, and several expensive office visits to a veterinary dermatologist, we changed her food and her chronic ear infections stopped.
We discovered my yellow Labrador Retriever Miss Tweedle – “Surry’s Talk of the Town is Tweedle” had food allergies, and changing her kibble to grain free salmon, containing no salt, helped cure her ear infections and skin problems. I was so inspired I started researching the formulas of various foods and pet treats on the market and after the Toxic Pet Food Recalls, I developed www.tweedlepetproducts.com – a gourmet natural and organic gluten-free , raw, dehydrated, and freshly baked pet treat company for pets sensitive to common food allergies, and their pet parents. We use ingredients produced and grown only
in the USA.
A switch in your “furkids” food might resolve the problem of allergies. Before you spend oodles of money on allergy testing, do a process of elimination of specific foods, and brand-names, and see what happens. Remember always read labels of whatever you purchase for your “furkid”. What you spend in high quality pet food and treats, eliminating the ingredients your pet may be allergic to, will save you more money in the end from paying for expensive office visits with your veterinarian and specialists.Due to all of the above Tweedle Pet Products was formulated to serve the needs of dogs and cats sensitive to common food allergies.
I would be interested in hearing your story, and are invited to make comments, at the end of this column. Who knows, we might be able to develop a support group for pet parents to discuss health and other issues about their pets, if there is enough interest.
Best wishes as always,
Stacey J Nelson Ph.D.
Stacey J Nelson Ph.D. – is a licensed Psychotherapist, Communications Consultant/ Voice Therapist and Motivational Trainer, who also offers Pet Loss, Grief, and Bereavement, in Boca Raton, FL. Dr Nelson is the owner/creator of Tweedle Pet Products Natural and Organic Gourmet Artisan gluten and grain free treats for Pets and Pet Parents- and a new line of Organic Bug Repellents formulated from certified Organic Essential Oils www.tweedlepetproducts.com. Dr Nelson and her yellow lab Miss Tweedle are a Registered Therapy Team with The Alliance of Therapy Dogs Inc. Visit Tweedle Pet Products at #Delray Beach Green Market October 28th 9 – 2pm at Old School Square Park, downtown Delray Beach FL
Does your dog or cat have an allergy?
By Stacey J Nelson Ph.D.
BEWARE OF UNHEALTHY ADDITIVES AND PRESERVATIVES IN FOOD FOR PETS AND PEOPLE
Stacey J Nelson Ph.D. AKA Tweedlesmom
The Importance of Reading Labels
One may think it’s not important, but I can honestly say it is very
important. Some companies have discovered the “buzz words”
and capitalize on using them on the packaging of food products for
humans, and for pets. These “so called “buzzwords” such as natural,
organic, gluten-free, grain free, all meat, don’t often define what the
manufacturer or distributor is saying about the ingredients in a product.
A manufacturers description does not necessarily say what type
of meat they are using, therefore they could be using animal by-
products, etc. Animal by-products can mean various parts of an
animal, and not necessarily the best part or healthiest part of the
When you are buying pet products or human products, look
carefully at the first five ingredients. Notice especially in the first
five ingredients, the amount of grains, or absence of, what type of
protein, salt, sugar, artificial preservatives, artificial dyes, colors,
additives like glycerine, fillers, bulking agents, etc.
Notice if there are a variety of additives, proteins, starches, vegetables,
fillers, bulking agents, gluten, wheat, soy, corn, artificial preservatives,
artificial dyes or colors, plant source, other grains, etc.
The companies who list the ingredients, and the guaranteed analysis
of protein, fat, moisture, ash, salt, sugars, calories, etc. on a package,
are the products I recommend you purchase. You will then know exactly
what you are buying and using.
Reading labels on our packages of food, can sometimes be confusing,
so it’s up to you and I to explore our knowledge about what we
believe is the right choice to purchase for our dogs, cats, exotic birds,
etc and for ourselves.
(To be continued)