Micah was showing signs of leaky gut as an 8-9 week old puppy with IBS and some other issues. I started switching his food immediately to improve his nutrition, but unfortunately, I didn’t really put 2 and 2 and 2 together until he started showing signs of systemic yeast. I got him switched over to Brothers Allergy Formula and raw(Darwin’s and homemade) about as fast as I thought I dared. And at just shy of 3 months on the new diet he is doing much better. He was having hot, red, itchy skin, seborrhea, inflamed intestines, mucousy diarrhea, red irritated eyes with discharge, as well as some other stuff. Really the only thing I wasn’t seeing was that he didn’t yet have the yeasty ears or skin sores. Fast forward 3 months, he has had brief periods of all those same symptoms, but they quickly resolve, he has had his ears wax up a couple times, and now he has a single skin sore.
I think it would be helpful to all of us that have a dog with this kind of issue, if we have a place to find out what is a normal detox versus it might be something else. So please share your detox story including what helps make it easier.
Nice post Patty!!!
Here’s my personal (me not my dog) experience with detoxing. I have issues with the caseine protein in dairy foods. The harder the product the more caseine it has in it — so hard cheeses are REALLY a problem for me. We have opiate receptors in our brains and foods that we are intolerant of can bind to those opiate receptors — which, of course, causes us to crave the food that is an issue (this is true with dairy and gluten at least). And I do crave dairy.. I have found it harder to give up all dairy then quitting smoking (which I did 7 years ago after smoking for some 20 years).
Because of this craving and good feeling from dairy I quit for 2 or 3 weeks but then right back on – sometimes by accident (there’s dairy in SO many foods). The detox, for the first few days especially, can be worse than the symptoms while I’m consuming dairy. Symptoms that have been attributed to my dairy intolerance — weight gain, rash on my scalp with severe itching (to point of bleeding) and thickened skin in small patches, inflammation in upper back and sinus areas, inflammation in joints, brain fog, after long term use of dairy I developed malnutrition along with all the symptoms and issues of that (despite eating a good diet) like hypothyroid due to iodine deficiency and pica due to iron deficiency etc.. I’ve never had digestive symptoms, until about a year ago and then only infrequently — indigestion.
While consuming dairy my sinuses (ears and nose mainly) get inflammed but not mucousy. About the last year or so I’ve been having inflammation in my upper back sometimes with pain that wakes me up at night — I stretch and pop bones in/out even. For about the last two years I’ve been experiencing issues with my lungs. I attributed this to the years of smoking and iron anemia. However, when I quit dairy my back quits hurting, my lungs get better, more energy etc etc. However, the detox is a NIGHTMARE.. The first few days after quitting I get SEVERE sinus inflammation (including headaches and inflammation in my jawline that is so bad my teeth actually become loose). My back gets worse, joints hurt etc. This usually clears up in 4 to 7 days.. After that I start feeling MUCH better but once in a while I’ll still have a “bad” day and the ithy scalp may come back with a vengence or I’ll have a sinus headache with jaw pain for hours. The detoxing is often more intense than dealing with the symptoms while consuming dairy. But, they are always short in duration and after the detox episode I feel MUCH better overall again. Energy continues to increase, lungs continue to feel better (better able to breath and more stamina etc).
I’ve quit and then started back up again enough to KNOW beyond any doubt what symptoms are attributed to the intolerance and what symptoms to expect when I detox..
Our pets must experience very similar symptoms to us. Only they have no control over what foods they are given so craving the food shouldn’t be an issue with them..
For additional reading on detoxing I would suggest Dr Martin Goldstein’s book “The Nature of Animal Healing”. He had a whole chapter on detoxing. I also like Veterinary Naturopath Dr. Jeannie Thomason’s article on detoxing http://www.thewholedog.org/artdetox.html
Many feel that when we do not allow detoxing symptoms (not allowing a detox to occur by switching back to the poor quality diet or by taking drugs to suppress the symptoms) OR that we suppress the symptoms in the first place that we set the body up to deal with the inflammation etc we are causing in another way — like cancer.
Good posts Patty & Shawna!
Like Shawna, I have personal detox stories. I was sprayed with monitor, an organophosphate insecticide, while surveying a farm, then repeatedly & deliberately exposed to several pesticides. Eventually I became so immune compromised that every toxic substance, even trace amounts through second or third hand exposures, produced life threatening reactions. Multiple heart attacks, strokes, seizures respiratory paralysis, asthma, lymphoma, lymphodenopathy…. It’s a huge list. At one time it was 3 pages, 3 columns. I experience new and different reactions depending on the bio-interactions of the specific toxins I’m exposed to. Yes, I also deal with boils, sores, hives, weals, itching, chemical burns, conjunctivitis (gooby or crusty eyes), ear itching & discharge, scalp reactions, TMJ, IBS… You name it. 8 years ago the doctor I used to see told me to go home and die. He said, “There is no treatment, there is no cure, it will get worse with every exposure. Go home and avoid all (exposures).” Then he told me he wouldn’t see me, or help me, anymore. The good news is he was wrong. :-}
Sonia, my 16 year old Pom, has gone through the deliberate spraying and is toxically injured, too. She’s had 3 surgeries for tumors, has seizures upon exposures, and has had both the eye & ear problems. She also had motor impairment & neurosis. Her symptoms flair during environmental exposures and resolve after detoxing. Like many of you I used to give her the annual vacs and regular worming. She’s much better since I quit those.
Rosie, my 2 yr old service dog, had a very bad reaction to her first, and only, set of vacs. She is still detoxing that vac. A Merck immunologist told me it would take at least 2 years. My doc did some more research and said, probably 3. Her symptoms include conjunctivitis, ear discharge & lymphatic cysts.
Different toxins take different amounts of time to fully detox. The cleaner (non-toxic) your, or your pets, diet and environment, the better you or they are able to handle the current toxins, and unload them: detox. Let me give you a couple of analogies. The one my doctor likes to use is to equate the immune system to a rain barrel, the kind that waters the lawn or garden. Every day toxins fill it up, and are drained off at a certain rate. When the barrel receives more than it can handle it over flows. The overflow represents symptoms of toxic injury. Small over flow, small symptoms, like itchy skin, hot spots, conjunctivitis, ear discharge. Large overflow, major alarming symptoms, which can range from chronic acute skin disorders, and impacted ears to seizures, heart attacks, respiratory distress, cancer… You get the picture. The problem is that most of us don’t recognize the problem until it manifests at the chronic level.
The analogy I use when counseling is to picture yourself in a small row boat, rowing across a large bay. The freeboard, the distance between the top of the water and the gunnel (top of the side) of the boat represents your immune system. The bay represents your life. You row across, or proceed through your life. When the weather is fine, there’s a lot of freeboard. If you’re carrying a lot of baggage, there’s less free board. Unfortunately the water often gets rough, reducing your freeboard, and even allowing water to come into your boat. (i.e. you’re operating with an impaired immune system, and most likely a chronic condition.) Most of us keep rowing along, even though now we’re pulling not only our weight and the boat’s weight, but the added weight of the water, as well. If we don’t stop and bail, eventually the boat will sink, or capsize in a storm. Bailing is detox.
You have to stop letting or putting toxins into your, or your dog’s, life. That’s the first and most important step. That means reducing or eliminating as many toxins as you possibly can from BOTH your diet and environment. Second, support the immune system. Third, assist your body in removing them.
This is not an easy answer. It takes time and commitment. Shawna gave you an excellent example illustrating that you can’t expect to treat it once and then “go back to normal.” If you go back to exposing your body to the toxic substances that trigger reactions, the symptoms of an immune system in crisis come back. They will get worse over time, you will react more violently to smaller amounts. This is because you haven’t completely cleared the toxic overload. If it helps you to visualize, you only removed the top inch or so of the water from the barrel, so its still on the verge of overflowing again. Just a little bit, and wham! symptoms. It’s called “neural sensitization” or hypersensitivity. There’s also the spreading phenomenon to consider. In Shawna’s post she talked specifically about dairy. Dairy casein’s have caused her barrel to overflow. When her immune system is that overloaded, any other toxin can’t be adequately dealt with either. So they begin to illicit symptoms as well. Soon the body learns to respond to that toxin with a “condition red” response. Here’s the good news, it can be corrected. I haven’t looked up the same info in dogs, but in people every cell in the body is replaced in 7 years. So theoretically, if you could avoid all toxic substances for 7 years, you’d have an empty barrel. O.k. There is a guy that did that, went off to a mountain top, no phone, no electricity, no toxins, and it did work. So its more than a theory. It’s just not very practical. Since our society & world are so inundated with toxins, its impossible to avoid them all. You won’t get an empty barrel. You can get a declining barrel if you commit to living non-toxic, and bailing your boat.
Oiy! There is so much more to say!! Detoxing is critical! We are living in an age of rampant toxic chemicals accepted as normal within our own homes! The CDC states that indoor air pollution is often 100 times more toxic than outside air. Cleaners, pesticides (think bug spray, flea & worm treatments, and mold killers) fragrances, laundry products, petroleum products and food additives! We slather these on every surface in our homes and right on our own, or our pets bodies. We willingly ingest them! There are three pathologies for toxic exposures: ingestion, inhalation and absorbed through the skin. Then step outside where people routinely apply pesticide to the their lawns, gardens and pavement as though it was soap & water! So do municipalities, schools, counties and states! Add to that road fumes, asphalt, dryer exhaust, industrial emissions… Etc.
Leading specialist in the fields of oncology, neurology, cardiology, pulmonary & reproductive medicine & many others are now saying that “All diseased states are caused, or exacerbated by consumer product & environmental toxins.”
We were never designed to live in a world that is inundated with so many synthetic toxins. Neither were our pets. Our bodies can’t keep up. The ADA (American’s with Disabilities Act) Region 10 office says, “chemical hypersensitivity is the fastest growing segment of the disabled population.” They don’t even consider pets, whose little bodies are closer to the ground (many widely used pesticides are heavier than air, and settle along the ground, traveling for 100s of feet, if not miles). Our pets have a faster rate of respiration, so they breathe in more. Our veterinary practices have been encouraging annual revaccinating and over vaccination as well as extremely toxic (and ineffective) flea, tick & Heartworm control. Insects are far more adaptive and resilient than mammals. We have inadvertently developed pests that are immune to the poisons… So we obediently poison our pets for nothing. 🙁 Though, there is a movement to change that. Awareness is growing.
What else do you want to know?
Nice post yourself!!! Nice anologies too!!!
“When her immune system is that overloaded, any other toxin can’t be adequately dealt with either. So they begin to illicit symptoms as well.” VERY true — I know things are really going down hill when I start to be affected by scents. At times I can not walk anywhere near a bath and body shop or perfume counter without nausea and headaches. When my body is cleaner I don’t react (still not good for us but no outward manifestation of noticable symptoms).
The guy, Raymond Francis, Toxed is talking about that cleaned himself by going to the mountains was so sick he couldn’t use a telephone due to the toxins in the plastic, read a newspaper or paper book etc. He too was told he was dying (while in the hospital). Mr. Francis got healthy and then wrote the book “Never Be Sick Again” discussing his ordeal and how to prevent these type of illnesses (including cancer). It is an excellent read.. His analogy of disease —– there is only one disease and that is malfunctioning cells. There are two causes of malfunctioning cells and those are deficiency and toxicity. And there are six “pathways” that will get you to health or disease. He explains it all in the book going into detail regarding each pathway.
One final thought, the Environmental Working Group has an article titled “Polluted Pets”. Here’s a quote from the article.
“The results show that America’s pets are serving as involuntary sentinels of the widespread chemical contamination that scientists increasingly link to a growing array of health problems across a wide range of animals—wild, domesticated and human…
But with their compressed lifespans, developing and aging seven or more times faster than children, pets also develop health problems from exposures much more rapidly…. http://www.ewg.org/reports/pets
Copied from the Brother’s Complete thread, in case you’re ever wondering if detox is real, or you think it might be silly:
Are hangovers silly? Because hangovers are a form of detox.
Ever had food poisoning? The resulting explosive diarrhea is a form of detox.
Ever had the flu, with the super high fever & night sweats, with lots of mucus and congestion in your lungs? Both the sweating and the mucus production are forms of detox.
Detoxing is all about getting toxins out of the body. You have undoubtedly experienced most if not all of those forms of detox. You understand excessive alcohol causes the massive headache you experience, even if you don’t realize its due to toxin induced brain encephalopathy. Alcohol is a toxin. The toxic symptoms didn’t happen when you were drinking, they happened later, when you started to detox. You can relate to the light sensitivity and eye pain, and the hypersensitivity to sound, even if you don’t recognize that those are classic symptoms of mild toxic injury. If you’ve ever had dysentery, you’ve experienced the body’s urgent desire to rid itself of some kind of toxin… The body has systems in place to protect or purge itself of these unhealthy substances. They are sweated, puked, crapped, pee’d, coughed up, encased in mucus or stored in fat until they can be eliminated by one of the other methods.
You’re familiar with certain kinds of detox, even if you don’t call it that. That’s still what your bodies doing. So, lets take those same actions a little further. Lets say you lived off a diet of Cheetos and Big Macs, swilling it down with diet cokes. Remember that saying, “you are what you eat”? Well, every cell in your body would have traces of the chemicals from those foods. All of those items are high in excitotoxins. Your body would have been doing everything it could to get rid of them. You might have very oily hair, a very bad complexion, rank sweat and body odor (which you’d be oblivious to and everyone else isn’t). That would be the sweating it out. You’d also put on a lot of weight (storing the toxins in adipose fat). You would most likely have digestive issues, but we won’t go into that, too gross, and you’d get several “colds & viruses” through out the year because your body doesn’t have the resources to keep you healthy. But, you’d think it was normal, and you’d think of yourself as fairly healthy… Because we all would. We’re an egocentric species. But you’d have been detoxing ALL along! Even if you thought it was silly! So lets say you get a wake up call and you decide to upgrade your diet… Now, your bodies getting the nutrition it needs to perform the business of “cleaning house!” And its a body on a mission! It’s saying, “yeah baby let me at ’em.” and slamming every detox method it can access into overdrive. Your lymph system carries broken up toxic fat to your intestines and dumps it. Whammo! You have explosive diarrhea! Its also carrying every toxin it can to the surface of your skin and trying to sweat it out. Problem, clogged ducts because of toxic overload… Acne, boils, chloracne, cysts, hives… All lymph and toxins. Of course when your body starts breaking loose those toxins, they are once again active in your system and you get to experience them again. On the way in, it wasn’t so bad, cause you took them in a bit at a time. Now the dose is higher cause you’re letting go of as much as you’re body has the basic nutrients to do. Usually its short term bad, and much worse than when they went in, if the in was over an extended time frame. That’s detox. Once you unload a bunch of those stored toxins, you feel better, your body functions better. Well, as long as you avoid putting them back in, anyway.
So, bringing it back to kibble… Jennifer switched up to the better food, and her dogs detoxed whatever they were eating before. She didn’t say what that was. But it undoubtedly had some toxic stuff. If it was something with food additives and excitotoxins, it would be very much like the fast food analogy I made up.
Late in replying but the only thing that Boone has done a little over the last month that he hasn’t done since being on Darwins/Brothers is paw lick. Not bad but he had stopped for awhile, was back to it and haven’t noticed it this week, knock on wood
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