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Food Allergy and Gut Health

Allergies are one of the most common reasons dog owners seek out the assistance of their vet and they appear to becoming more and more prevalent in our pets. Food allergies in particular can be a challenging issue to deal with in any dog and can leave many dog owners feeling frustrated and hopeless. And while statistics show that currently around only .2% of dogs suffer from a food allergy which may not seem like a lot, for those dogs who do have food allergy problems, the road ahead can often seem a long one. Traditional veterinary treatments are focused on allergy testing, medications such as antihistamines and immunosuppressive drugs along with prescription hypoallergenic diets. And while all of these may helpful and in some cases, essential at least in the short term, seeking out the underlying causes are key in managing any allergy state. To best be able to treat or manage a food allergy, let us firstly define what food allergy is and why this occurs in your dog’s body. Food allergy is one of the most common allergies or hypersensitivities known to affect dogs. In a dog that has a true food allergy, their immune system overreacts and produces antibodies to substances that it would normally tolerate. In an allergic reaction to a food, antibodies are produced against some part of the food, which is most often a protein or complex carbohydrate. For an allergy to develop, antibodies are required to be produced so food allergies tend to show after the body has been exposed long term to one particular brand, type or form of food. Typical signs and symptoms of food allergy include itchy skin or digestive disturbances such as vomiting or diarrhea. Other more subtle changes including hyperactivity, weight loss, lack of energy and even aggression can occur. Common food allergens tend to be foods such as proteins, especially those from dairy products, beef, lamb, chicken, eggs, soy or gluten (from wheat). Each time a pet eats food containing these substances, the antibodies react with the antigens and symptoms such as those mentioned occur. Watch the video to learn more......

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