I work with many customers who, when they come to me, nourish their dogs a litany of exotic protein, many of which are not part of the canine natural diet. They do it, they say because their dog is "intolerant to everything". This scenario made me think. How can we, as a global canine career community, create a scenario in which modern dogs have become intolerant to so many protein sources? And what can we make diminishing and prevention of food sensitivities in dogs?
For answers, I turned to Dr. Jean Dodds. Many of you know Dr. Dodds as Founder of Garden Grove, Blood Blood of a California and Nissan Homelife Laboratory Hemope and Creator Test, the first Food Intolerance Test Based on Dog Saliva, cats, supplement for dogs and horses supplements for dogs. The following questions: Dodds, Dr. Dodds will strengthen the mystery surrounding canine food intolerances and gives advice on the decline and prevention of food sensitivities in dogs.
What are the "food sensitivities" in dogs?
JD: Food sensitivities, also known as food intolerances, are an answer to the immune system with ingredients of the body view as harmful. When a dog ingested a problematic ingredient, called a food antigen, the immune system produces the IgA and IgM antibodies to attack and destroy the invader. Since each dog is an individual, the foods that trigger sensitivities in a dog will not necessarily do it for another. Food sensitivities are chronic reactions that are generally accumulating after repeated exposure to offenders' antigen and generally take months or even years before outgoing signs appear.
What are the most common clinical signs of food sensitivities in dogs?
JD: The brand of food sensitivity is itching or pruritus, in medical terms. Food sensitivities usually occur as gastrointestinal problems and skin. Gastrointestinal panels often mimic irritable intestinal syndromes (IBS), such as chronic diarrhea or soft stool, gas and rumble of the stomach. Skin problems include itchy and unexplained infections, especially ears and feet and are often accompanied by yeast. If the incriminated foods are not eliminated, the chronic inflammation resulting from the sensitivity may result in more serious diseases, such as autoimmune diseases or even cancers.
What is the difference between food sensitivities/intolerances and food allergies?
JD: Food allergies involve a different immunological response type. When the body is exposed to a food allergen, it produces the IGE antibody to attack the incriminated ingredient. Reactions to a real food allergen usually occur immediately or shortly after the ingredient is ingested and symptoms are often serious, such as hives, a swollen face, even anaphylaxis, with a closing of the airways. The allergies of real foods are rare in dogs and most cases of "food allergies" diagnosed are actually sensitivities/food intolerances.
It is not uncommon for a dog to refuse to eat a particular food but to have an appetite if not robust. Could this avoidance indicate a food sensitivity/intolerance to the reprehensible ingredient?
JD: It's certainly possible. Studies between many species of animals, including humans,Dhohoo.com, show that we form an instinctive repulsion to the taste of foods we associate with feelings of disease, such as nausea or vomiting. This is called "ventilation aversion acquired" and comes from a survival mechanism to protect wild animals and primitive human beings of ranched or toxic food consumption. If a wild animal fell ill to ingest a toxic bays, taste impregnated aversion could prevent additional consumption of the same bays, thus avoiding a more serious illness or death. If a dog with an otherwise normal appetite refuses to eat one or two specific foods, it can tell you that food does not agree with that. For this reason, I never recommend forcing a dog to eat food that he resists.
Thank you, Dr. Dodds, for your time to discuss the decline and prevention of eating sensitivities in dogs!