Natural Treatment and Support of Autoimmune Diseases in Pets ©

There are several autoimmune diseases that dogs, cats or horses may suffer from, including Autoimmune Hemolytic Anema, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Hypothyroidism, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Pemphigus, Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca, Degenerative Myelopathy, and Immune-Mediated Thrombocytopenia. Depending on the condition and species, you may be able to use herbs, natural dietary support, and lifestyle changes to help manage the autoimmune disease.

Natural Treatment of Autoimmune Diseases in Pets

Canine Cutaneous Lupus Erythematosus {Photo: Dr. Alfred Brehm}

Common Natural Treatments of Autoimmune Diseases in Pets

Diet & Digestion: Natural, well-balanced diet that is easy for your pet to digest will reduce stress on their immune system. Avoid processed foods, salt, sugar and saturated fat, and maintain a healthy weight.

Omega-6 and Omega-3 (EPA and DHA) Fatty Acids: Krill, Oily fish (such as sockeye salmon, sardines, trout or anchovies), and Seaweed are all good sources of Omega-3. Omega-6:Omega-3 ratio is often (arguably) recommended at 5:1, based on Atopic Dermatitis studies.

Amino Acids: L-Arginine, L-Ornithine, L-Cysteine, L-Methionine, and L-Lysine have all been identified as helpful in the natural treatment of autoimmune diseases in pets.

Antioxidants: Glutathione, Vitamins A, C, E, along with minerals zinc, manganese and selenium. Foods high in antioxidants include cherries, berries, green tea, seaweed, carrots, spinach & other dark, leafy greens.

Other Nutrients: Quercetin, Bromelain, and Taurine.

Herbs & Neutraceuticals: Yellow Dock, Ginkgo biloba, Astragalus, Wisteria, Bilberry, Cordyceps/Maitake/Reishi/Shiitake Mushrooms, Seaweed, Spirulina, Chlorophyll and Alfalfa have been recommended by experts and holistic veterinarians for treating dogs with autoimmune diseases. We purchase many of our fresh, dried herbs from Starwest Botanicals.  Manufactured immunity-boosting supplements are also available for pets, like those found at Entirely Pets.

Essential Oils for Pet Immunity: You can make your own highly diluted essential oil blend and massage a bit into dogs or horses (not for cats). Some oils recommended for boosting immunity include Laurus nobilis, Eucalyptus radiata, Ravensare aromatica, Coriandrum sativum, Cymbopogon martini, and Thymus vulgaris. High quality essential oils are also available at Starwest Botanicals.

Lifestyle: Plenty of rest and regular, moderate exercise (cut back if you have a working animal). Avoid stress, pollutants, chemicals and exposure to viruses or parasites. Stay indoors during extreme weather.

Natural Treatment of Autoimmune Diseases in PetsNotes of Caution: Not all of the above recommendations are suitable for all species. All supplements should be cleared with your veterinarian first as they may interact with medications or cause a dangerous immune response (for example, Echinacea should not be taken by pets with an autoimmune disorder).

Natural Pet Care Blog CommentsHave you ever had a pet with an autoimmune disease? Do you have any tips for their natural care? Please share your experience in the comments below.

Sources:
Angles, J.M. New tools in the fight against autoimmune disease in the dog: the major histocompatibility complex. Research in Veterinary Science. 2002.
Cooksley, Valerie Gennari. Seaweed: Nature’s Secret to Balancing Your Metabolism, Fighting Disease, and Revitalizing Body and Soul. 2007.
Kellon, Eleanor M. V.M.D. Horse Journal Guide to Equine Supplements and Nutraceuticals. 2008.
D Rob, B.VSc., B.Sc., CMAVA. Treating the Itching, Scratching Dog the Natural Way. 2011.
Tilford, Gregory. Wulff, Mary. Herbs for Pets: The Natural Way to Enhance Your Pet’s LifeHerbs for Pets: The Natural Way to Enhance Your Pet's Life. 2009.
Bell, Kristen Leigh. Holistic Aromatherapy for Animals: A Comprehensive Guide to the Use of Essential Oils & Hydrosols with AnimalsHolistic Aromatherapy for Animals: A Comprehensive Guide to the Use of Essential Oils & Hydrosols for pet muscle sprains, strains and spasms. 2002.
Dr. Andrew Jones, DVM. Veterinary Secrets Revealed.
Messonnier, Shawn DVM. Natural Health Bible for Dogs & Cats: Your A-Z Guide to Over 200 Conditions, Herbs, Vitamins, and SupplementsNatural Health Bible for Dogs & Cats. 2001.
Balch, Phyllis. Prescription for Nutritional HealingPrescription for Nutritional Healing: A Practical A-to-Z Reference to Drug-Free Remedies Using Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs & Food Supplements. 2010.

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10 Responses to “Natural Treatment and Support of Autoimmune Diseases in Pets ©”

  1. Really interesting post! Looking forward to more articles from you & sharing more of your techniques & tips. Please continue the great work.

  2. Spencer says:

    We changed it up in January 2011 and never looked back. We’re all so much healthier and rarely have even a cold.

  3. Ronald says:

    It’s so sad that pets suffer with what may be preventable diseases. Somebody needs to get to the bottom of this epidemic. Thanks for steering people towards the natural pet care approach because I believe western medicine has failed us all and we need to go back to how things were.

  4. Julia L. Maine says:

    A very useful post, thanks. We all need to work together to share information about autoimmune diseases so our pets can have a better quality of life.

  5. It’s great to know other natural options to keeping our pets healthy rather than just always go to medications. Thank you for the great information.

  6. Sarah Foster says:

    I did not realize there were so many different autoimmune diseases that could affect our pets. Thanks for giving the great tips on products to treat our pets with naturally that we can research and discuss with our vets. Our pets are already exposed to many chemicals from many different sources (pet food, vaccinations, environmental, medications, etc.) that it would make sense to try to treat these diseases with products that are as natural as possible.

  7. Roger says:

    It’s so sad when the body becomes its own worst enemy. Thanks for these helpful suggestions. My pup is in the early stages of RA.

  8. Jasper & Jim says:

    Another fantastic post, thanks. There’s something wrong somewhere because animals never used to get sick like they do today. Diet, chemicals, I don’t know but something is wrong.

  9. Linda says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this infomation with those of us dealing with hypothyroidism or other immune diseases. It’s a constant battle and I need all the weapons you can give me!

  10. Evelyne E says:

    I didn’t realize there was so many diseases related to immunity. I think it’s related to vaccinations myself. It’s a tough decision.

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