What are Quercetin for Allergies?
Quercetin is a bioflavonoid, a type of phytonutrient that is produced in several plants. This particular phytonutrient has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antihistamine properties. Quercetin can be used to reduce or eliminate allergic reactions by suppressing the release of histamine by the mast cells. Although quercetin is a relatively safe supplement for canines, it can cause kidney damage if taken in too high of doses, and your veterinarian should be consulted for dosing and contraindications with other medications and supplements.
Quercetin is a phytonutrient produced in several plants that may help counteract the signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction. Consult your veterinarian before using supplementation of quercetin.
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Symptoms of Quercetin for Allergies in Dogs
Dogs with allergies of any sort develop similar symptoms, with the most noticeable reactions being skin related:
- 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
In addition to quercetin being available as a supplement in tablet form it can be found in many fruits and vegetables, however, not all of the foods that contain quercetin are safe for canines to ingest. It is possible to overdose on quercetin and cause serious damage to the kidneys. Supplements and food sources can combine to cause an overdose. Food sources of quercetin that are dangerous to your dog:
- Citrus fruits
- Green and black teas
- Unsweetened cocoa
Food sources of quercetin that may be beneficial for your canine:
- Raw spinach
- Ripe elderberries
Causes of Quercetin for Allergies in Dogs
Canine allergies are the result of an aggressive response of the immune system’s mast cells. Mast cells are specialized immune cells in the dog’s body that react to a protein that it sees as an invader by releasing histamine when specific allergens. The itchy and inflamed skin conditions characteristic of most allergic reactions in canines are caused by histamine, which has an irritating and inflammatory effect on the tissues that it comes into contact with. If the cells in the sinuses and eyes are affected by the irritant, the symptoms of a runny nose and sneezing are activated.
Diagnosis of Quercetin for Allergies in Dogs
Several tests can be used to diagnose allergies. Some of the more common tests include:
Cutaneous cytology - This is the microscopic evaluation of the skin cells harvested from affected areas. This technique is effective in identifying biological organisms that may cause symptoms that mimic allergic reactions, such as mites, fungi, or bacterial infections.
Intradermal skin test (patch test) - In this test, tiny amounts of the suspected antigens are injected under the skin to stimulate a localized reaction which helps identify the allergen. This test is particularly helpful in diagnosing environmental and contact type allergies.
Blood tests - Standard blood count tests may reveal the presence of enterocytes, a specialized form of white blood cell that will indicate a recent reaction to an allergen.
Elimination diet - The most common technique for diagnosing food allergies is the elimination diet. An elimination diet is accomplished by replacing the diet your dog is currently eating with either a diet of hypoallergenic or limited-ingredient commercial dog food or a temporary diet of bland human food. It usually takes several weeks to pinpoint the allergen.
Treatment of Quercetin for Allergies in Dogs
Quercetin has not as of yet been approved by the FDA for veterinary use. However, it is known to have some very beneficial properties and is often used as a natural alternative for allergy treatment. Some of the benefits from the use of quercetin include:
Antihistamine properties - Quercetin suppresses the release of histamine by blocking its release from the mast cells.
Anti-inflammatory properties - This compound not only reduces swelling and itching by blocking the release of histamine, but it also inhibits other enzymes that regulate inflammation to reduce swelling further.
Asthma relief - Quercetin inhibits the production of a type of lipid known as leukotrienes, which then decreases levels of bronchoconstriction giving asthma sufferers some relief.
Bromelain and papain are two enzymes that are often combined with quercetin to boost the effectiveness of the quercetin. The bromelain and papain also are known to suppress the release of prostaglandins, which decreases the pain and inflammation further.
Recovery of Quercetin for Allergies in Dogs
It is vital that you consult your veterinarian before adding any sort of supplementation to your pet’s diet. Ensuring that your pet’s distress is actually caused by an allergy is important so that you know you are treating the right disorder. Although quercetin is usually relatively safe, it is possible to overdose on this bioflavonoid, particularly when using supplements, and getting an appropriate dosing schedule from your dog’s doctor will help prevent potentially dangerous side effects. Quercetin may not be an appropriate therapy for pregnant dogs, dogs that are receiving chemotherapy, or dogs taking anticoagulants or steroids.
Quercetin for Allergies Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals
We have moved from uk to Italy in October this year. 2 months before this my bitch dob 15/05/2018 was chewing the base of her tail so I gave her worming and flea treatments from the vets. This didn’t settle And she was siting occasionally as if a sharp pain in the bottom area. I took her for a check up and the young vet emptied her annal glands and inspected her vagina. She was very upset by the procedure and the following day she came into season which lasted 3 weeks. As I was moving I couldn’t have her spayed at the 3 month after stage so she remains un spayed. Since we are here her fur is coming out more than normal on the center of her back which I treated with a fungicidal shampoo and the crusty bits went away. But and has now shown balding patches on her sides. And the skin is lumpy but not scabby. She has changed diet but as it started at home I didn’t suspect that. Any ideas I’m taking her to the vets tomorrow for tests.
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My 15 year old pug has had a history of Mast Cell Tumors. He was on Metacam for 5 years by the Oncologist. Subsequently he developed issues with jis liver which are now within normal limits due to milk thistle and SamE supplements. He presents wirh protein in his urine but CREATINE is normal. Is Quercetin safe for him? He weight 23 pounds.
Quercetin is a natural compound which has shown good results in reducing symptoms from allergies and the presence of mast cells; quercetin needs to be used together with bromelain and is usually well tolerated by dogs with minimal side effects (usually upset stomach). Dosage is recommended at 5-10mg/lb twice per day (115-230mg twice daily - so half to a whole 250mg tablet twice per day); whilst quercetin is a natural product and does not require a Veterinary prescription, given Luke’s age I would recommend speaking with your Veterinarian before use. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM
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