Your Dog's Itchy Skin
by Dr Jeannie Thomason
Is your dog scratching, itching and chewing on themselves?
Are you ready to have your dog be truly healthy?
From my experience and research,I have found that in almost 98% of the serious skin conditions that an animal can suffer, the root cause is an enormous amount of accumulated toxicity in the pet's system. The cleansing and filtering organs or systems of the body (liver, kidneys,lungs and skin) are saturated and even clogged with our chemical/toxic environment so they are unable to do their designed function--clean the blood and eliminate the toxins.
Unclean, contaminated blood is now circulating throughout
your dog's body, feeding every cell in the body - "toxins".
The skin is the largest organ in the body. It is an eliminative organ where the body can rid its self of toxins. It is quite logical then that the skin will acquire more than its share of these toxins/contaminants trying to be eliminated and various reactions will naturally occur--itching, scratching,chewing, clawing, digging, bleeding, hot spots, bald patches, open wounds, sores, loss of hair, biting.
Unclean, contaminated blood cannot do the job that it has been designed to do--that is--to provide nutrition to
the entire body's cells which of course includes the skin.
Un-nourished cells begin to die. Now, all sorts of chronic diseases such as - diabetes, allergies, Cushings disease,
Addison's disease, kidney failure, liver failure, eye problems, loss of hair, hot spots, yeast infections, bald spots and even cancer, will be the result of unclean, contaminated blood.
The blood can only contain so much. It either contains nutrition or it contains toxic contaminants.
The body also produces toxins of its own in the form of byproducts of digestion and normal metabolism. If the animal's system is overloaded or malfunctioning, these toxins are incompletely eliminated. Major organs that are required to detoxify the body, such as the liver, kidney and digestive tract become overworked and overwhelmed, and, affected by toxins themselves, can no longer fully accomplish their tasks. Toxins accumulate in the inter cellular space (the space between the cells) and metabolic processes are impeded. All of these toxins can lead to blocked enzyme systems and free radical damage, which can result in immune impairment and inflammation. Any system or organ can be affected primarily or secondarily. Since the skin is an eliminative organ, it does its best to take over when the bowel, liver and kidneys are not performing their roles.
Itchy skin is just the beginning and is normally triggered by the toxins "blowing out through the skin."
As always, I can't stress enough that the basis of all health is excellent, (raw) wholesome nutrition. If you are providing that nutrition, but your pet's cells cannot receive it due to its contaminated blood, then your well spent money and effort is really pretty much for naught.
It is crucial to have clean blood circulating within the body.
There is only one way to stop your dog's misery and that is to get to the root cause of the problem--TOXINS. Remove the toxicity in your pet's body. Remove the chemicals and remove the heavy metals that are in every vaccination, remove the preservatives found in the foods and treats fed. Remove the cleaning chemicals we use in our houses, the toxic chemical pesticides we use to kill fleas and ticks on our dogs. At the same time, support your dog's immune system and nutritional uptake.
Start with proper nutrition in the form of a species appropriate diet. This one action will do more for your dog's over-health and well being than anything else. The proper nutrition now being available, will aid the dog's body to detoxify.
Dogs, being carnivores, are not designed or equipped to eat cooked foods, let alone processed foods, grains and vegetables. Cooking destroys the nutrients and enzymes so by feeding kibble or canned foods to our dogs they are not getting true nutrition. Pet food manufactures tell you that the food is complete and balanced nutrition for your pet and even lists the nutrients on the label. However, these nutrients listed are either what was available BEFORE the processing of the ingredients or is a list of the synthetic vitamins and minerals they sprayed onto the end product before sealing the bag. So, if there is any nutrition at all in the processed food, please know that it is not coming from the ingredients of meat, grains and vegetables they started out with but instead, it is synthetic vitamins. Kibble and canned fed animals are pretty much starving and always begging for more food. They become obese - not from over-feeding as much as from Mal-nutrition.
For more on Canine Nutrition, please see the articles HERE
Remove the toxicity in your dog's body
--the chemicals, heavy metals, synthetic vitamins, food coloring, etc.
De-toxing (cleaning your dog's internal body) is actually best done with a raw species appropriate diet however, You can also use herbal and/or homeopathic remedies such as Pets Alive Detox Plus or and/or others such as listed HERE
Strengthen the immune system.
The key to self-healing is a strong defense (immune system) system, which protects from everything from germs to cancer cells. More than their mainstream counterparts, veterinary naturopaths and most holistic veterinarians believe that a weak immune system plays a key role in causing disease. For instance, antibiotics will kill bacteria however, they do not discriminate - they kill the "good or friendly" bacteria that make up a large part of the immune system in the process and they do NOT affect whatever it is that has weakened the immune system in the first place. This is why veterinary naturopaths such as myself, focus less on things that cause diseases and more on those that affect the body's defenses or the immune system.
The chronic diseases we commonly see in animals (and humans) have an immune imbalance basis, e.g. diabetes, allergies, asthma, thyroid disease, inflammatory bowel diseases, repeated ear infections, cancer, etc. While the body can cure its self when the immune system is strong and supported through the careful use of quality, raw nutrition, natures herbs or even homeopathic remedies, the road to cure can often be a long one -- often years if the animal has had years of disease. Often, an immune booster is helpful; such as Colostrum or Beta glucan can significantly shorten the time of detoxing and healing, by giving a much needed balancing effect to the immune system. If the immune system is overactive as in allergies, ear infections, asthma, diabetes, or hypothyroidism, the transfer factors and Purine pyrimidine complexes found in Colostrum can balance this over-activity so the system is not attacking its own organs, overreacting to things that shouldn't be perceived as a threat. If, conversely, the immune system is under-active as in mange, parasites, viral infections, or cancer, Colostrum also can clearly stimulate it to better meet the challenges it needs to be alert to."
Other herbs and products that help balance or strengthen the immune system can be found Here
Balance the flora (friendly bacteria)throughout your dog's body
The role of the intestinal tract in nutrient absorption is well recognized. However, the microflora that naturally inhabit the intestinal tract and their vital role in maintaining normal functioning of the gut and immune system are often overlooked. The intestinal tract is often the "first line of defense" for the body and must be in good order for the animal to maintain a healthy immune response.
microflora produce short chain fatty acids that modulate the gut pH and provide a source of fuel for the cells lining the gut. This, in turn, strengthens the intestinal cells and helps enhance nutrient absorption. Microflora also produce digestive enzymes and synthesize vitamins. One of the most important roles of lactic acid bacteria is to stimulate the immune response in the gut. These microflora can directly block attachment of potential pathogens to the intestinal wall. They are also known to modulate the intestinal environment to inhibit the growth of potential pathogens and produce immune stimulating factors.
To determine the effect of probiotic supplementation on immune function in healthy dogs, Beagle, Labrador Retriever, Fox Terrier and Manchester Terrier puppies were fed either a control diet or the same diet supplemented with the probiotic - Enterococcus faeceum (SF68). Diets were fed from weaning to one year of age. Specific canine distemper virus antibodies were measured before and at timed intervals after vaccination. While antibody titers started to decrease in puppies fed the control diet, they remained at post-vaccination levels through one year of age in puppies fed the probiotic-supplemented diet. In addition, secretory IgA levels were significantly higher in puppies fed SF68. This prolonged vaccination response and increase in secretory IgA indicates that ingestion of the probiotic SF68 primes the puppy's immune system to better handle external challenges.
Click Here For our list of recommended Probiotics.
Avoid Drugs and vaccinations as much as possible.
These have a long term detrimental affect to your dog's health and longevity by lodging in the liver and kidneys and shortening a dog's lifespan. Drugs are merely a band aid while the patient is bleeding to death. They just don't work because they don't get to the actual source of the problem, they only work to suppress the symptoms. You may have witnessed this first hand with your own dog's continual suffering.
Did you know that steroids such as prednisone have a long lasting harmful effect to your dog's liver? Did you know that continual use of antibiotics will cause your dog's immune system to be severely suppressed?
The bad ramifications of using toxic steroids and drugs on your dog's health just goes on and on. Is it any wonder your dog is scratching itself to death!!! Is it any wonder he/she looks at you with those sorrowful eyes as though it is asking you why you aren't helping him/her to get better! Why is this happening to me? Can't you possibly help me?
"Routine" Vaccinations do have adverse side-effects, either short or long term
"With vaccines that are repeated year after year, the frequency and severity of these side-effects in our pets has increased dramatically. Most of the problems involve the immune system. After all, the immune system is what vaccines are designed to stimulate. But they do so in a very unnatural way that can overwhelm and confuse the immune system." Donna Starita Mehan DVM
"Annual revaccination provides no benefit and may increase the risk for adverse reactions. The percentage of vaccinated animals (those vaccinated only as puppies) protected from clinical disease after challenge with canine distemper virus, canine parvovirus and canine adenovirus in the study was greater than 95%." Current and Future Canine and Feline Vaccination Programs".
Dr. Ronald D. Schultz, PhD
Dr. Ronald Schultz is a Professor and Chair of the Department of Pathobiological Sciences at the School of Veterinary Medicine, UW-Madison. Schultz, R.D. - Current & Future Canine & Feline Vaccination Programs. Vet Med 3: No. 3, 233-254, 1998. A chart provided in the report shows immunity levels for all vaccines currently given to dogs lasting a minimum of 5 years with most lasting 7-15 years!
Hear Dr Stephen Blake's three part series on vaccinations as well as several audios by Dr Patricia Jordan on the dangers of vaccines HERE
If you are still fearful of not vaccinating, Titers taken to see if you beloved dog (or other pets) NEED to be vaccinated.
It is important to note that no matter what program you use to detox your dog, this is a slow cleansing process which often takes 3-7 months before you see the major changes with your pet. The symptoms, including, itchiness and inflammation often appear to worsen during the initial two months of the program, usually beginning at about 3-4 weeks. This Herxheimer effect of the body detoxifying can last for quite some period. If your dog has a yeast infection or problem on top of it, the process of cleansing Candida often produces flu-like symptoms like nausea, loose stools and diarrhea and the pet may appear lethargic.
The time needed here averages out to be 1 month for every year of life! Slightly longer for those with a history of medication usage like antibiotics, steroids and antihistamines so please, be patient and don't give up.
Make sure to keep an eye on your dog's general health and temperature and if at all possible detox your dog with the support and supervision of an animal naturopath.
A consultation with a veterinary naturopath or a true holistic veterinarian is highly recommended if you have never transitioned a pet to a raw diet or been through a healing crisis with a pet previously.
Copyright 2003 -2011 This article is the sole property of Dr Jeanette (Jeannie) Thomason and The Whole Dog. It cannot be reproduced in any form whatsoever without the expressed written consent of the author.
This article is intended to be educational. However, it is not intended to be a substitute for diagnosis or treatment from a qualified canine health professional. Dr Jeanette (Jeannie) Thomason, The Whole Dog, does not assume any legal responsibility.
The purpose and general goal of the veterinary naturopathic consultation offered by Jeannie Thomason, VND is to educate the client about their animals body systems in relation to function and ability pertaining to maintenance of overall homeostasis (balance) through the removal of various, and typically specific, obstacles to their health, this thereby encouraging their body's own natural healing processes. Jeannie Thomason, VND does not function as a traditional allopathic veterinarian by diagnosing disease, treating disease, or performing invasive procedures, nor do her services replace that of a traditional licensed veterinarian.