What is Kelp Allergies ?
Dogs that develop allergies may experience inflamed and itching skin, respiratory disorders, and chronic skin and ear infections. Although possible, allergies to kelp are very rare. Kelp is used more often to help relieve the symptoms of allergy by improving health and vitality to the skin and coat. Kelp supplements also can provide essential vitamins and minerals to help repair damaged tissues and keep the overall immune system functioning properly. Any supplements added to your dog’s dietary regimen should be discussed with your veterinarian to ensure proper dosing and make sure there are no contraindications with other medications or supplements.
Kelp is often used as a useful complement to other allergy remedies due to its ability to soothe inflamed skin, regulate glandular activity, and repel biting insects.
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Symptoms of Kelp Allergies in Dogs
Canines with the type of environmental or contact allergies that kelp is recommended for may have similar respiratory symptoms as you see in humans, but the skin reactions are generally more problematic. Symptoms of allergies tend to get more dramatic with each subsequent exposure. Food related allergies may include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea along with the other symptoms of allergy.
- Asthma symptoms
- Chewing on affected areas
- Ear infections
- Hair loss
- Nasal congestion
- Obsessive licking
- Red and itchy eyes
- Shortness of breath
- Thickened skin
- Ulceration of the skin
Kelp is a helpful supplement for many dogs, but it comes with minor risks that should be watched for.
Allergies - Although kelp is often used to help ease symptoms of allergies, it is possible to develop an allergy to the amino acids in the kelp itself.
Hyperthyroid symptoms - Symptoms such as excessive weight loss, difficulty breathing, weakness and heart palpitations may indicate an excess of iodine in the system and should be addressed.
Inappropriate eating - Dogs that find kelp on the beach may eat dried portions which can later expand in the stomach dangerous intestinal blockages. This condition is frequently fatal.
Laxative - Oversized doses of kelp can cause diarrhea in your pet.
Toxins - Kelp harvested in polluted water often absorbs any toxins. It is important to know the source of any kelp supplements that you give your dog.
Causes of Kelp Allergies in Dogs
Allergies in canines are the defensive mechanism of the immune system which employs specialized immune cells in the dog’s body to defend it against a protein that it sees as an invader. The specialized cells the body uses to protect itself are known as mast cells, and when the immune system is stimulated by specific allergens, the mast cells release histamine into animal’s system, which has an inflammatory effect on any of the tissues that it comes into contact with. This can result in the dry, itchy, and inflamed skin conditions characteristic of most allergic reactions in canines.
The vitamins and minerals found in kelp can be extremely helpful in reducing the uncomfortable symptoms related to canine allergies. In rare cases, dogs may become allergic to the kelp itself and skin conditions will worsen rather than improve, if this occurs stop all oral and topical use and contact your veterinarian for treatment.
Diagnosis of Kelp Allergies in Dogs
During a physical examination for allergy, the condition of the skin will prompt your veterinarian to get a skin sample for a process called cutaneous cytology. Cutaneous cytology is the microscopic examination of the skin cells which were harvested from affected areas using a skin scraping technique. This method can be used to identify biological organisms that can cause similar symptoms to allergies. These could include issues such as mites, fungi, or even bacterial infections. General tests are often done at this time as well, which will help to rule out disorders like hypothyroidism, chronic bacterial illness, or even imbalances in blood chemistry. The timing of the symptoms combined with the results of these tests may give an initial indication allergy.
The diagnostic technique will depend on what type of allergy is occurring. A patch test, also known as an intradermal skin test, will often be done to pinpoint which allergen or family of allergens is causing the distress for environmental and contact allergies, but is not as often used for the diagnosis of food allergies in canines. For suspected food allergies, an elimination diet is the most common diagnostic technique. In certain circumstances, blood may be drawn to check the response of the blood when the allergen is introduced directly.
Treatment of Kelp Allergies in Dogs
Kelp is useful in treating your pet’s allergies and possibly even other disorders in several different ways. It is a well-known natural source of iodine, which helps to rebalance the glandular system after an allergic response. Kelp as an addition to a dog’s diet can help repel fleas. Flea saliva is a common allergen for dogs and can cause extreme discomfort to dogs that are allergic. It is extremely high in iron. The added iron from kelp supplementation helps to distribute oxygen to the blood, which may help enhance your pet's natural healing abilities. Kelp also contains vitamins and minerals which improve both skin and coat health in dogs.This can help ease the discomfort of itchy and swollen skin as well as improving the skin's ability to heal from histamine related rashes.
Recovery of Kelp Allergies in Dogs
Although kelp is an excellent addition to your dog's diet, it important to contact a veterinary professional before implementing any changes in the daily diet. It is critical to accurately calculate a safe dose because overdoses of kelp can lead to disorders such as diarrhea and hyperthyroidism. Your veterinarian may also recommend that you wait before beginning any natural treatments if they are still in the process of diagnosing the allergy. Agar-agar is a jelly-like substance obtained from algae that may have some cross-reactivity with kelp and may increase the likelihood of overdose if used in combination with this plant.
Kelp Allergies Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals
how to tell if your dog is having an allergic reaction the the kelp probiotics or if is a process that’s working ? constantly has snorting runny nose and sneezing i have been giving it to them twice a day for two weeks
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I have been using Kelp on all 3 of my dogs which are 2 Rotts and 1 Lab. My old Rott will be
12 years old next months and she is the only one that has open bloody sores on her legs and
on her neck. I started using the Kelp about 2 months ago. She has a big covered kennel area that has pine shavings and she comes in the house at night. I know what she eats and what she comes in contact with daily. She has never had sores like this before.
The cause of the lesions maybe due to allergies, whether from the kelp, contact allergies (even to substances she was never allergic to in the past), infections, autoimmune disease, cancer or metabolic diseases. It would be worth given Heide’s age, to visit your Veterinarian for blood tests etc… to make sure there is no systemic disease; until you visit your Veterinarian, keep the sores clean using watered down chlorhexidine. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM
Yep. Our 7 month old Golden began exhibiting chronic diarrhea and per vet tested her for food sensitivities.
5 items showed up Pork, White potatoes, Kelp, Alfalfa and Milk. White potatoes and Kelp were ingredients in the Blue Buffalo Wilderness she was getting. I switched her to a limited ingredient American Journey Venison/Sweet potato based food and voila now good firm consistent stools.
I believe you are right, food sensitivities (including Kelp) are more common than many people think.
I have a dog that is allergic to kelp. This was proven by allergy testing. I think allergies to kelp are more common than people know. Just stop feeding it. Also it is a common additive in dog food so you must read labels. My dog is allergic to kelp, white potatoes, corn and soy. All of these are common allergens.
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