Saturday, June 14, 2008

The Cause?

When your pet develops an itch, the first thought on everyone's mind is "fleas". In fact, my personal observation is that pet owners really prefer this to be the issue as there are much quicker resolutions to this with pesticides than the exercise that must be gone through to resolve other causes such as food allergy or intolerance with the elimination diet.

An alternate scenario is that your pet is developing congestion that affects breathing, and this may automatically be labelled in some minds as "asthma". In this second case it may also be seasonal allergies and intolerances, and/or polyps, neither of which will be located in the lungs, which is where usual asthma medication takes effect. Runny eyes and staining around tear ducts is another indication of irritation that is not disease based. I mention this alternate here, as one wants to go through a checklist while starting on the elimination diet, as any other cause is quicker to resolve than a food reaction.

Up to this point in time in our own household, we have encountered food intolerances toward protein and other ingredients on pet food labels, and have also battled seasonal breathing issues and polyps.When it comes to dermatological symptoms, there are a number of very good online sites demonstrating different types of eruptions so that one can identify what is likely to be an allergic reaction to fleas, food, or environment, in order to approach the problem by looking at the most likely sources of irritation to resolve the discomfort for your pet as quickly as possible.

A good review of possible allergy/intolerance causes is found at "Clinical Aspects of Gastrointestinal Food Allergy in Childhood".  A small child has a digestive tract that has similar sensitivities to animals, so the same principles apply as we are not dealing with strict dietary choices here.  Mammals are mammals, and in this article stool samples are the main method of analysis.

The IVIS web site has a plethora of information on toxicology issues that will cause a variety of reactions in your pet.  This could be anything from IBS type, (the food allergies we discuss here), to toxicity from the environment, medications, supplements or lack of a nutrient, and more.  Your veterinarian has access to this information and should be working in partnership with you to find the cause of distress, whether it be itching, paralysis, neuropathy, or any other clinical sign.

3 comments:

karnani solvex said...

Guar gum and xanthan gum are also useful in bacterial fermentation. Guar gum comes from natural guar gum plant. Both products are reducing the body weight and lower blood glucose.

Pat said...

No! Definitely not guar gum. It is the worst fermentable fibre for both cats and dogs according to a fair amount of research that came out in early 1990's published mostly by Sunvold. Also Reinhart, Willard and Fahey did some excellent research back then. Cats and dogs need low solubility and moderate fermentation, guar gum is high solubility and high fermentability. http://jn.nutrition.org/content/128/12/2717S.full.pdf+html

Perhaps your information comes from human diabetes sources?

Pat said...

While I can't locate the information immediately there is also more recent research showing that the fermentable fibres offered in dry food diets are the ones that provide the most digestibility of the food accompanying the fibre. If I have time to locate it later, or don't forget, I will post the scientific data sources here.