Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Alternative To Steroids For Allergies In Dogs

Any dog can develop allergies at some point, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). Some canines are more prone to allergies including terriers, setters, retrievers, and flat-faced breeds. Many allergies are caused by flea dermatitis, atopic dermatitis, food and inhalants. Some pet owners look for alternative treatments to avoid exposing their pets to steroids and injections. Many natural remedies are available, including the dog's diet, herbs, natural supplements and homeopathic treatments.


In the book, Pet Allergies: Remedies for an Epidemic, Dr. Alfred Plechner, D.V.M., says that the most common and visible signs of nutritional deficiencies are allergies. Many people believe that changing the diet can treat this type of allergic reaction. Some pet owners feed their dogs raw food and glandular products. Proponents of raw food believe that it is healthier because it holds all the natural vitamins and nutrients better than cooked or processed food. Glandular therapy is said to aid immunity by boosting levels of dehydroeplandrosterone (DHEA), an adrenal gland hormone.


Herbal treatments can be used externally or internally. Many dog owners use oatmeal in baths. Different types of topical herbal sprays and rinses are available as well. Some owners prefer to feed their dogs herbs like burdock root, dandelion, Echinacea, nettle and licorice root to aid with strengthening the immune system and cleansing the organs.

Natural Supplements

Depending on the type of allergy, some pet owners give their dogs supplements to help with the symptoms. Fatty acids, including flaxseed oil and fish oil, are anti-inflammatory agents. The skin is the dog's largest toxin-removal organ and can be helped with antioxidants like vitamins A, C and E. Other pet owners use kelp, as it assists with amino acids and assists in tissue repair. Many supplements should be discussed with your veterinarian to ensure they are safe for your pet.


Many holistic veterinarians use homeopathic remedies to alleviate itching from dog allergies. Putting heat on the affected area can relieve some dogs' symptoms. Apis mellifica (bee venom) is used for swollen and burning itching accompanied by red sores. Formica rufa (red ant) is typically for red skin, itching and rashes. Some veterinarians incorporate homeopathic treatments with prescribed medicine as well.