Autoimmune disease in dogs refers to the immune system’s inability to recognize a dog’s body, therefore it begins to attack and reject the body’s own tissues labeling them as foreign. In some cases it can be life threatening depending on what organ or system of the body is affected. There are many theories, but as yet, no one certain cause is found for the disease in dogs. What has been found however, is that an Ayurvedic diet can help to manage aid the body to self heal.
GUT IS THE BIGGEST PART OF THE IMMUNE SYSTEM" - Dr. Akil
Last summer we welcomed Dogi Nicky, an adorable Shitzu and his human Marya to the Curry n Pepper family. Nicky, now 10 years old is laid back cuddly pup, showering those around him with love.
Nicky, has a chronic autoimmune condition known as immune mediated poly-arthritis (IMPA). This condition is believed to be a result of immune-complex deposition within the soft tissue that lines the spaces of the joints, resulting in an abnormal immune response to the joint cartilage.
During an episode of relapse, Nicky showed a combination of the following clinical and systemic symptoms:
- joint swelling,
- lameness (he was unable to walk) and
- severe dermatitis
Marya tried managing Nicky’s condition with medications like prednisone and atopica along with a raw diet and all natural herbal supplements. She also tried cavaletti exercises, water therapy and acupuncture, but polyarthritis episodes kept relapsing.
Marya discovered Curry n Pepper when looking for an all natural toothpaste and was intrigued by Ayurveda for dogs and wanted to learn more…and we got introduced to wonderful Nicky Boy!
After evaluating Nicky’s condition and reviewing his daily routine, we determined that he had an aggravated Vata which caused him to deviate from his natural state of balance, which was predominantly Kapha.It was clear that his gut needed to be balanced to enable his immune system to self heal.
Our goal was to restore Nicky’s digestive health and help eliminate the toxin build-up that was accumulating in the space between the joints. So we created an Ayurvedic routine focussed towards healing his Digestive System. It’s important to note that as you transition your dog it needs to be done in steps so as not to cause too much of a drastic change.
We began by creating an ayurvedic diet routine as follows:
Month 1 - Alignment:
Replaced ¼ of Stella & Chewy raw diet with Curry n Pepper Kapha Food in order to allow him to align with his natural constitution.
Month 2 - Balancing Vata :
We eliminated beef completely from his diet and introduced Vata Turmeric Chips 30 mins before meal time to activate the digestive fire. Turmeric in these Vata treats also helps reduce inflammation associated with the swelling. We then rotated and replaced one full Stella & Chewy Meal with Curry n Pepper Vata Food
Month 3 - Detox:
We found that he was taking several different herbal supplements everyday. What a lot of people don’t realize is that not all herbs/vitamins are meant to be taken daily. In fact, especially for dogs they should be taken with breaks to allow the body to process them.
We created a special ayurvedic herbal blend and simplified his supplement scheduled. The dosha balancing herbs were specially formulated to remove toxins from the body and assist with the immune systems rejuvenation process.
We also added a weekly yogurt bath into his routine to help alleviate the discomfort from itching.
It’s been almost 1 full year now since Nicky has transitioned to a mixed routine of raw food with a plant based Ayurvedic diet and supplements. Since his transition, Marya has shared that the difficulties he’s had in the past with his auto-immune disease, allergies, and discomfort are managed with little to no relapses!
If you have a dog suffering from similar ailments, we recommend the following:
- Choose wholesome food that is not processed, free of chemicals, preservatives, hormones, antibiotics and other toxic substances. Also avoid ethoxyquin and BHA.
- A diet free of common allergens such as glutinous grains may help the digestive system remain in balance. It’s been found that the prescribed medications can have an adverse reaction on the gut.
- Consider a rotation in diet.
- Choose a diet that helps your dog maintain a normal body weight and condition.
- Choose a diet that provides plenty of antioxidants and use as many fresh foods as possible.
Other things to consider:
- Consider an Ayurvedic approach with supplements - essential fatty acids, Vitamin E and Selenium & Vitamin C.
- Consider probiotics - for example as found in Yogurt.
- Remove stress and toxic substances from your pet’s environment and diet as possible.
As with any change you consider for your pet, before you begin to transition your him to a new diet, we always recommend to consult with your Vet first, and always transition slowly, one step at a time.
This information is not intended as a substitute for advice from your pet’s veterinarian or any other healthcare provider. You should not use this information for diagnosis or treatment of any disease, condition or health problem or for prescription of any medication, supplement or other treatment for your pet, yourself or any other person or animal. You should consult with a veterinarian before altering or discontinuing any of your pet’s current medications, treatment or care or starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program.