Monday, January 29, 2024

Paw Power: Your Pet's Paws And Immunity


Your pet’s paws carry them through countless adventures big and small. Yet, these escapades can turn into challenges when your pet faces paw issues. 
A pet's immune system plays a crucial role in maintaining overall health, including the well-being of their paws. Inflammation in the paws can be linked to various immune system-related factors. 

Here's how your pet's immunity can affect their paws: 


Allergic Reactions: Dogs and cats can have allergic reactions to certain substances. When an allergen is encountered, the immune system may overreact, leading to inflammation in various parts of the body, including the paws. Allergies to environmental factors, certain foods, or even contact allergens can contribute to inflamed paws.  A classic condition of allergies is when dogs chew on their paws.  Dogs may have red, inflamed paws due to food allergies as well as to environmental factors like stepping on grass.


Autoimmune Disorders: In some cases, the immune system may mistakenly attack the body's own tissues, leading to autoimmune disorders. If the immune system targets the tissues in the paws, it can result in inflammation and discomfort.  Pillow Paw is a painful autoimmune disorder in cats. 


Infections: The immune system plays a critical role in defending the body against infections. If a pet's paw is injured, bacteria or fungi can enter, leading to an infection. The immune response to the infection can cause inflammation as the body works to eliminate the invading microorganisms.


Inflammatory Conditions: Certain autoimmune or inflammatory conditions, such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis, can affect the joints and tissues in the paws. These conditions involve an immune system response that leads to chronic inflammation and discomfort.


Injuries: When a pet experiences an injury to the paws, the immune system is activated to initiate the healing process. Inflammation is a natural part of this response as immune cells and healing factors are directed to the injured area to promote recovery.


Stress: Chronic stress can impact the immune system's function. If a pet is under prolonged stress, their immune response may be compromised, making them more susceptible to inflammation and other health issues, including those affecting the paws.


What Can You Do To Help Your Dog Or Cat With Red, Inflamed Paws?


Take your pet to the veterinarian to rule for a diagnoses.  Consider a diet change as food allergies and high carbohydrate diets can weaken immunity and worsen inflammation.  Consider switching to a high-quality, hypoallergenic dog or cat food.  Consider natural supplements like plant sterols and Happy Paws CBD Oil.  Include your pet's diet on the order form at checkout and AskAriel staff can include free diet tips on the packing slip that comes with your order. 


Author:  Susan Blake Davis, Pet Nutritionist