Written by Marilyn Neville
Last week we learned that food can cause arthritic conditions. Hormones and other factors can also trigger arthritic conditions.
One in five adult dogs have a form of arthritis. Treatment is similar to that given to humans with Osteoarthritis. In my search for dog arthritis, the only type the Arthritis Foundation discussed in dogs was Osteoarthritis.
After I discovered that foods were the worst culprits triggering my arthritic pain, I do as much of a holistic course as possible with my dogs to see if an environmental or food factor could be causing the symptoms of their pain.
Remember Kallie, the little Jack Russell mix female dog we are trying to give away? When the feeble 7-year-old came to our home she was wobbly, in a great deal of pain, and did not move much. After I changed her food to a low allergen type, she came to life, a little each day and by the end of a week was actually running up the steps when called to come in the house.
Last week I had a thyroid test done on Kallie and she was low, needing a thyroid pill twice daily for the rest of her life. Even though she felt so much better with a food change, her coat did not fill in like it should, a sign of thyroid disease. Allergies, diabetes and thyroid disease are all closely related. I am also a diabetic since 1980.
We had chicken strip treats which had Soy as the main starch ingredient. Barron, our 10-year old Lab, became very arthritic in his hips. When I took him off of the soy based chicken strips his lameness greatly improved: a clue to a possible soy allergy. Last week I changed his food to a Lamb and Rice low ingredient brand, and his movement is improving every day. In another week I will know for sure if the food change is really making “the” difference.
Food allergies are labeled in two main categories: fixed (also called “hard wired” or Type 1) and cyclic (also called cyclical). There are other categories as well that you may read about at http://illuminatedhealth.com and search for “types of allergies cyclic”.
Fixed allergies can be dangerous, causing you to have a quick reaction to the food. Symptoms can include swelling, throat itching, fainting and other serious symptoms including death.
Blood testing is typically used to verify fixed food allergies in humans and dogs.
New thinking in the allergy community is helping to find cyclic allergies too. A food elimination diet is extremely important to determining a cyclic sensitivity to what you eat. Such a diet is how I learned of my allergies. A blood test proved how widespread my allergies were. I am actually sensitive to all foods but some, such as soy, coffee, and wheat are off limits. Dairy does a number on me too and I should eliminate it. I don’t eat the same food for four days.
You can also use a food elimination diet with your pet to discover sensitivities that cause other secondary complications such as irregular schedule and texture of bowels.
About 85% of human allergies are cyclic. Cyclic food allergy symptoms are highly variable and can include the following: skin eruptions like my acne as a teenager, psoriasis, skin rashes, as well as various other skin concerns, sinus pressure, and rhinitis. Needle-like- feeling to the muscle, phantom broken bone pain, severe muscle cramps, and according to some doctors, any one of over 100 types of arthritis. You can also suffer from depression, an inability to concentrate, memory problems including confusion, headaches, and or fatigue. Digestive problems like reflux, heartburn, and ulcers are common. Irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, diarrhea, abdominal pain, gas, and irregularity can all be tied to allergies from what you eat.
Why wouldn’t I think that my pet may be suffering from similar symptoms as I from foods I eat?
My symptoms are cyclic. I will suggest that the three years of antibiotics I took to control my serious acne during my teen years made my health worse. Antibiotics kill the healthy bacteria in your or your pet’s intestine. If they are necessary, use them, but replenish the gut after treatment. Understand that replenishing while on antibiotics is important; however you or your pet need to continue taking supplements or Yogurt after the antibiotics too. If the antibiotics kill the good flora, it makes sense that they also destroy the good ones you eat while taking the antibiotic.
In humans, cyclic reactions may occur in a delayed fashion, up to 24 hours after a food is eaten. Mine generally occur within 30 minutes to an hour after eating. My lymphoids are generally swollen as a result of my body fighting all the allergy enemies. My body thinks the food I eat is an enemy. So I try very hard not to eat the same food for four or more days in a row.
Dusty, a mastiff whose mother and father were our dogs, almost died at 35 days of age when put in a kennel with wheat straw. She had symptoms of Parvo: vomiting, diarrhea, lethargic, loss of appetite. We rid the kennel of the wheat and kept it as dust free as possible. She immediately rebounded. She was fed a Salmon and Sweet potato food the bulk of her life still suffering however, from environmental allergens as well, causing eye mucus, skin eruptions, and irregular bowl symptoms at times too. The dried mucus in her eyes helped to cause her blindness at the end of her life by the scratching her eye ball.
Her lymph nodes were swollen most of her life. She passed at age 12, an age healthy mastiffs seldom reach, from lymphoma.
If your pet has constant health issues food could be the culprit. Your vet, pet stores, even farm stores in the Cape area are carrying foods developed for allergy sufferers. A simple change in a diet can change a life of pet or owner.
Accepted strays and relinquished dogs:
… Wappapello area stray, 11 pound female Beagle and small breed terrier mix, age 10 mo, red and white, very sweet.
… Two large breed male dogs, abandoned for three years, three miles north of Marble Hill. One is a mostly white Australian Shepherd, age 8-10 who we will call Eugene, after the man who fed them 2-3 times a week for three years. His yellow buddy looks to be an Anatolian Shepherd mix, is large but was only 82 pounds, very wormy.
… Two Catahoula mix 5-week old female pups not claimed: treating for Ringworm.
… Two Border Collie mix females, age 5-6 mo, fostered by former owner.
Adoptions, return to owner or placed in other rescues:
… Three of the Scott Beagle pups were adopted this week at age 9 weeks. One went south of Sikeston, another to a Paducah family, and one to a family west of Kansas City.
Calls to help cats:
… FREE, eight kittens: long and short coated, most are blue or tabby, Zalma area. Well cared for, 573-722-5106.
… FREE, ten cats: age 1 year, all spayed or neutered house cats, litter trained. Well cared for, call 573-495-2033
… FREE, Baker’s Store in Glenn Allen, black momma cat and her young kittens.
… Two tiny kittens, about 7 weeks old, dumped at a home close to UU.
… Six colorful kittens in Greenbriar
Dogs with Heartworm, Erlichia, special needs, or that were euthanized:
… Eugene and JR, the two dogs abandoned for three years, both have heartworm. Eugene is stage two. JR is stage 1 (a miracle indeed). Both have Erlichia too.
Calls requesting assistance for dogs we did not admit:
… 6.5 year old Bassett mix male, neutered house dog, house trained, free to a good home, does need his teeth cleaned, great with kids, dogs, strangers. Owner crippled up and may need a wheelchair, has to move to an apartment with no pets. Call Marilyn
… FOUND Patton Co Rd 376, 8/18/13: starved hound female, tri-color.
… FOUND 8/10/13, Scopus: severely starved female walker type hound, tri-color, had 5-pups, all died since mom was so starved. Pups looked pure.
Miscellaneous and contact info:
We had 49 dogs on our property 8/25/13.
If you suspect an animal is being neglected or abused, call the Humane Society of Missouri Animal Cruelty Hotline, 314-647-4400 or 800-383-9835 or you can make a confidential report on line at Humane Society of Missouri.
To understand when an animal is being abused or neglected in the state of Missouri read the following link:http://asci.uvm.edu/equine/law/cruelty/mo_cruel.htm
Please report animal abuse and discourage anyone from dumping dogs or puppies.
Offer any pregnant dog small-breed-puppy-food the final 1-2 weeks before delivery and while the pups are nursing. Cats need kitten food. Free feed the higher calorie food during the nursing stage to help mom make milk and maintain her own body mass. Babies need to be dewormed as young as 1-2 weeks, then every 7-10 days until age 10-weeks or older if in a confined environment with re-infestation concerns.
Offer strays water on day one, food day two or three. Call if missing a dog or have a stray.
We LOVE Buchheits! Donate a buck or more at the Jackson store for dog food and supplies when you shop. Also, Second Time Around in Marble Hill is taking donations for the Stray Project. Monetary donations are accepted at the Bollinger County Veterinary Service, Marble Hill Coop, Buchheits, and the MH Town and Country.
Thank you to the County Residents who have continued to support the Bollinger County Stray Project.
Check out our available pets at Petfinder. Call 573-722-3035 about our adoptable pets.