Pet Allergies: A Vicious Cycle

by Deserving Pets on June 1, 2010

A dog afflicted with skin allergies may develop itching anywhere from his head to his tail. That’s because he has more mast cells than a human. These mast cells release compounds, which cause itching, and are distributed over a dog’s entire body. Mast cells release histamines in response to certain triggers, and this starts the actual irritation and itching. Just as your mother told you in the case of mosquito bites, ‘The more you scratch, the more you itch.’ I’ve tried telling this to my allergic patients, but they just don’t seem to get the message, preferring to literally chew holes in themselves!

Pet Allergies - A Vicious Cycle

When the immune system begins acting like a fire department responding to a bunch of false alarms, it is diverted from its intended task, which is to fight bacterial infections, viruses, cancers and other alien invaders. What allergies do is to exhaust the body’s inherent defenses, cause imbalance and disharmony, and lead to the production and retention of toxins.

To make matters worse, the drugs routinely used to treat allergic reactions act to suppress the overburdened immune system. The use of corticosteroids, for instance, can send that devoted but confused immune system sprawling. In addition to being toxic to your dog’s liver, these drugs throw the pH balance out of kilter, with all the resulting problems. Steroids, while relieving the symptoms, only entrench the problem more deeply in your dog’s body, making it more toxic. Typically, if the allergens are still present, after a few days to weeks off of the steroids, your dog will need to go on them again. Steroids do not cure the problem, rather, they simply suppress the immune system’s ability to function. Antihistamines are the least toxic among the drug options, but also the least effective when it comes to reducing itching and may not help severely allergic dogs at all.

If your dog has been on steroids for a period of time, you will need to wean him off slowly, because the adrenal glands, which produce the body’s own natural corticosteroids, tend to atrophy with long-term use of such drugs and need time to learn to become fully active again.

No related posts.

Related posts brought to you by Yet Another Related Posts Plugin.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: