Category Archives: Allergy Immunology

The immune system in dogs and cats can make them itch, and also give them protection from viruses. Everything immune is here.

Atopy – The Leading Cause of “Itching” in Marietta, Georgia

Atopy is a condition in which multiple ‘systems’ (airway, skin, eyes, ears) may become inflamed and pruritic (itchy) because to some animals, “ground level micropollution” breaks out their skin and surfaces, like pink insulation does to me.

Imagine how you would lick your feet if you walked barefoot in pink insulation all day?

How your sinuses would run down the back of your throat (post-nasal-drip) if you lived in a house with exposed insulation.

Atopy can even affect the ears and eyes.

Here’s my latest discussion in two, succinct pages that talk about Atopy and some new ideas I’ve had, and the second page talks about some treatments.

 

 

 

 

https://drjohnson.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/ATOPY.pdf

 

 

 

Reverse sneeze, or snorting in dogs

I’ve been waiting for a long time to get a video of a dog performing the “reverse sneeze” and I finally got it. This dog is doing a classic reverse sneeze, except the pace is a little bit slower than some dogs that may be younger.

What’s happening is that air is moving inward through the nose being pulled by the dog who is trying to dislodge his epiglottis from the opening of the Soft palate.

A dogs soft palate is very much like yours in the roof of the mouth and further back where you have a uvula or a little “punching bag“ dogs don’t have that.

At the opening of the wind pipe or trachea, there is a little triangular piece of tissue called the epiglottis and that sticks out behind the soft palate. Normally they never touch. But then, during allergy season, or after a lot of coughing, or during the winter with dry heat and the cold, the soft palate may swell and become irritated. When the soft palate is more swollen, the epiglottis can get trapped behind it and then the dog has to do the reverse sneeze to free it up.

The dog is not choking, anytime they wanted to they could open their mouth’s and breeze easily through their mouth. It is not a sign of heart disease, it is purely a function of airway swelling and irritation. Some dogs do it all the time because they’re soft palate is elongated, “made that way” and sometimes is so bad that it requires surgery.

The majority of these dogs go on an anti-histamine and an anti-inflammatory and quickly resume normal breathing and health.

What’s the Best Dog Probiotic on Amazon?

What’s the Best Dog Probiotic on Amazon?

  1. We’ve almost forever known that our gut contains germs.
  2. We learned a little more recently that many of the germs in our gut a “good” and necessary.
  3. In the recent past, science learned that we can implant / transplant beneficial germs to the gut.

Very recently, we realized that if we put “good germs” in the gut while we kill other germs with antibiotics, that the gut remains “pretty healthy” in spite of the antibiotics. Yeasts are less likely to overgrow and the bad germs left in the gut don’t get “the upper hand”.

So until lately, science has been putting milk-based germs (lots of lactobacillus) species into the guts to pretty good effect. They’re easy to get, to grow and to give. But they’re by no means “native” germs. They’re still “outsiders” and just holding a place.

What's the Best Dog Probiotic on Amazon
What’s the Best Dog Probiotic on Amazon

VERY very recently, science has started growing colonic germs (poop germs) commercially in the lab and those are actual REPLACEMENTS that benefit the gut. Since the germs are grown in petri dishes, it’s not like anyone’s being exposed to poop anymore than someone giving lactobacillus are being exposed to milk.

But dogs do better with native poop germs. So do people. (FMT) (These people should have a probiotic supplement!)

And so the probiotics that are the best have germs (in addition to the standard-bearer Lacto’s) germs that are ‘native’ or nearly-so, to the animal’s own gastrointestinal tract. Germs like:

L. Acidophilus, E. Faecium, L. Rhamnosus, L. Plantarum, B. Bifidum, B. Longum, B. Breve, L. Casei, B. Coagulans, B. Lactis, S. Thermophilus, L. Fermentum

When you see a germ with “faecium” in the name, go ahead and get grossed out, because that’s a poop germ, but it’s also a HERO among germs because it literally belongs in there. 

So while some companies are using the trusty old Lacto-team, which is GOOD, more progressive companies are adding actual “proper poop” species. Species that literally belong there.

Where to buy the recommended Probiotic
^Where to buy the recommended Probiotic

What else is in a good probiotic?

FOS. Fructo-Oligo-Saccharides. This is “inulin” (not insulin)  – – a soluble fiber from a lot of sources. Chicory was at one time the most common source but Jerusalem Artichoke is coming on. Inulin is literally “all that’s good” about soluble fiber. When you eat a pumpkin, sweet potato or black bean, you get some “inulin” soluble fiber. When you eat chicory root, or jerusalem artichoke, ALL you’re getting is “inulin” so you can see that FOS Powdered Chicory Root is a the best, purest source for inulin. Better than pumpkin or anything else.

But pumpkin is tasty. Dogs like it. So, we go with that.

What are Probiotic s made with, besides germs?

A great “vehicle” or “powder” to mix your probiotics in is FOS, or inulin powder and that’s often from Chicory or similar as listed above.

Other probiotics are mixed in oat powder. I say “Meh, okay. Overpriced oat meal with some germs in it.”

And some are based on Whey. Which is good. I would be HAPPIER seeing FOS/inulin as the base vehicle / powder, but whey has distinct palatability advantages.

So when you go over to Amazon.com you want to see:

  1. Ingredients only from America. (Not Italy, not China.)
  2. Based on Whey or FOS/inulin. (Not wheat, oats or any other grain)
  3. That contains E. faecium and S. thermophilus at least.

Which is the best one? (Best germs but Whey based, more tasty)

Which is the SECOND best one? (Most of the same germs but FOS based)

Runner Up With a Twist:  I’m including this because this company has done a little more research and decided: “You know what? Screw the milk germs, all a dog’s actually gonna benefit from are native species anyway, so give ’em LOTS of E faecium!” and so they did. Then they chocked it full of Vitamin C and Taurine, zinc and other goodies. They’re one of VERY few manufacturers who “put it in writing” that their germs are LIVE. Sadly, there’s no inulin, or soluble fiber, or whey in it, but it’s a good one:

 

Dermatology For The Win The First Try

I am endorsing this protocol for folks that want immediate results and ultimately, fewer trips to the vet.

Any Allergy Dermatology Case Fixed First Try

It’s a shotgun approach I am seeing engaged by Veterinary Dermatologists in the Atlanta area, followed up with an injection of Cytopoint.

dermatology
About Yogurt and Antibiotics

In some cases it’s as simple as a couple week’s worth of antibiotics and yogurt, followed by Cytopoint.

In other more resistant / stubborn cases, the protocol in this video prevails.

It’s Fast and Foolproof. I didn’t put together these treatments. I’m no genius, I’m copying them from cases coming back from Dermatology Referrals. And following the shotgun up with Cytopoint just makes sense, and is working GREAT!

Any Allergy Dermatology Case Fixed First Try

Foot Licking – Atopic Foot Chewing – How To

By far, the most common cause of foot licking is ATOPY. You see and hear dogs licking and sucking on their feet at the worst possible times, like when you’re trying to sleep. And you feel bad for them, you know?

Foot Licking – Atopic Foot Chewing

Fleas

Always check a dog or cat for fleas when they’re foot licking. Admittedly the feet are NOT the favorite place for fleas to eat. they like living under the tail, belly and thighs. But check, anyway.

Tangles in the webbing

This is the second most common cause of foot licking and chewing. And it “layers” on itself like a vicious cycle. The dog has ATOPY and is licking its feet. The spit and the foot licking all contribute to tangling and twisting of the hair –  which then PERPETUATES the foot licking and chewing. The reason I mention it, is because you could GIVE medicine to “fix” foot chewing and it might address the allergic cause, while ignoring the mechanical cause. And fail. So, for foot chewing always keep the feet  trimmed up.

Long hair between the pads

Foot Licking - Atopic Foot Chewing
Foot Licking – Atopic Foot Chewing

Some, smart dogs know that long hair growing between the pads is screwing up their abilility to get ‘traction’ on the ground and some dogs actually try and barber it. Other dogs just chew their feet because overgrown hair between the pads gets twisted, OR simply holds irritating dusts and molds against the sensitive skin between the pads. So, for foot licking always keep the feet  trimmed up.

Overgrown nails

This is another “less common” cause of foot licking and chewing but people are sometimes surprised when they discover that one or more nails is diseased or broken. So a careful exam of all the nails on all the feet is important. Again, medicine won’t work if there’s a mechanical discomfort involved. And seeing the nails, and assessing their health is easier with short fur. So, for foot licking always keep the feet  trimmed up.

Yeast and Bacterial infections

If you examine your dog’s feet and they’re swollen and pink in between the pads, it’s possible that a yeast infection is going on. That’s super itchy. Yeast infections are made worse by spit. Also, by moisture trapped by hair between the pads. Cleaning the feet frequently, with Cetaphil Wipes, or antifungal wipes, plus minimizing the impact of thick foot-hair on the moisture of the feet is good. So, for foot licking always keep the feet  trimmed up.

Foot Licking – Atopic Foot Chewing

Atopy is when dust, smog, pollen, and car-combustion-by-products accumulate in the fur, causing irritation and inflammation in the skin. You’ll see dogs licking their feet, with pink eyes and ears, and pink bellies. They’ll itch ALL OVER.

Atopy is “sister” to allergy. The difference is that with Allergy, you’re dealing with an immune response to antigens. With atopy you’re usually dealing with an immune response to IRRITANTS.

For pure “allergy” a baby wipe doesn’t factor.

For “Atopy” keeping the feet clean and wiped (Click) helps a LOT.

Foot Licking – Atopic Foot Chewing

Any Allergy Dermatology Case Fixed First Try

I am endorsing this protocol for folks that want immediate results and ultimately, fewer trips to the vet.

Any Allergy Dermatology Case Fixed First Try

It’s a shotgun approach I am seeing engaged by Veterinary Dermatologists in the Atlanta area, followed up with an injection of Cytopoint.

dermatology
About Yogurt and Antibiotics

In some cases it’s as simple as a couple week’s worth of antibiotics and yogurt, followed by Cytopoint.

In other more resistant / stubborn cases, the protocol in this video prevails.

It’s Fast and Foolproof. I didn’t put together these treatments. I’m no genius, I’m copying them from cases coming back from Dermatology Referrals. And following the shotgun up with Cytopoint just makes sense, and is working GREAT!

Any Allergy Dermatology Case Fixed First Try

My Dog’s Cough – PND Hack n Gag

This dog  typifies the “PND Hack n Gack” which is akin to COPD, which is kind of like airway Atopy, all of which are oversimplifications of airway inflammation.

Document on PND Hack n Gack download or read online: (PDF Click)

dog cough post nasal drip bronchitis COPD
dog cough post nasal drip bronchitis COPD

There are lots of contributors to a bronchitic / inflammatory airway disorder, for example, genetics, body weight, and age.

The case depicted is complicated by extreme body weight. The excess weight compresses the heart and lungs, causing pulmonary hypertension. Also, the extra weight compresses the airway. (Trachea)

After the exam which may include Xrays and bloodwork (to help rule out pneumonia, or congestive heart failure)  – – you can safely back into a tentative diagnosis of “PND Hack n Gag” and manage that (at least initially) with anti-inflammatories, and antihistamines.

Antibiotics may be needed, but RARELY so.

Sometimes a cough suppressant aids comfortable sleep while airway inflammation is reduced.

My Dog’s Cough – PND Hack n Gag