‘Spring, and a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love......’ said the great poet Lord Tennyson.
Not if he f*cking lives in Georgia it doesn’t!
Because all any of us is thinking about right now is one word...POLLEN!
I get pissed off to the back teeth feeling like a thousand year old walking corpse ( now I know why they shot ‘The Walking Dead’ here.....they probably saved thousands on make up if they filmed in springtime) and looking like Will Smith in the film ‘Hitch’.
I am SO ready for the day when I leave the house with full make up and clean clothes on, ready to go somewhere that doesn’t involve dog hair, and I DON’T sneeze, inadvertently get snot all over my shirt and have Tammy Faye Baker make-up before I even get in the bloody car!
The inside of my nasal passages looks like a well used Octomom cervix (oh yeah, I went there...because it’s true!) and I just know that EVERYONE’S head feels like someone took a ginormous bath towel and stuffed it into all the holes where there’s supposed to be air flow.
I really, really, really love living in Georgia, but seriously, pollen counts of almost six thousand?
I mean...for f*cks sake!
That’s how we all feel, isn’t it?
Now imagine how your poor dog feels.
His nose is closer to the ground, he’s sweeping all those millions of tiny particles into his nose with every intake of breath and his lungs and stomach are full of nasty yellow clouds of pollen.
It’s not unusual to see quite dramatic symptoms....from piles of yellowy liquid vomit, poop that is more liquid and mucous than anything else and everything from runny eyes to ear infections and even reduced muscle strength. Because of this foreign object clogging up their lungs you also need to be super wary of upper respiratory infections.
It all stems from the body trying to process and expel this vile foreign object on an almost 24/7 basis for weeks and weeks on end.
The scope of the job is so huge, so monumental, that the body tries to find ways to get rid of it continually and very often not only fails in its attempt, but also weakens itself very much so in the process.
Now, close your eyes and I’m going to tell you in the most simple terms just how this shit goes down.....
Imagine your body has millions of little soldiers stationed in the gut area, and they are always just ready for that bugle to sound so they can go off and fight on whatever front they are needed.
Spring strikes with a vengeance and so off go one squadron to fight the effect pollen has on the respiratory system.
Then another squadron has to go fight to stave off the effects of pollen on the skin, the largest organ of your body..
Then yet another squadron hear that ‘trouble’s a-brewing’ in the eyes so they have to go off and fight a few battles there.
The group that’s left in the gut, which from here on, you need to view as the main fortress, are weakened due to their smaller numbers, and so pretty soon that’s where shit is really going down..literally!
The problem is, and this is where I want you to think about those poor little soldiers as if they were your own children......for they really are.....what if they were marching on empty stomachs? Or had all eaten food that gave them amoebic dysentery?
Think how weak they would be!
How effective would they be then?
Hopefully now you see where I’m getting at.....the key to a competent and healthy immune system does not actually lie in stuffing your face full of Benadryl for six weeks or shoving Claritin down your neck, it all starts in the gut. Yep, right there in your beautiful belly lie millions of kick ass little Chuck Norrises, just aching to go and take on all comers at any time!
If you’ve never eaten clean in your life but you’re pissed off with looking and feeling like you just went ten rounds with Mike Tyson, then this, my friend, is the time to start!
I am a fat bitch. I own it.
In my heart, I’m an even fatter bitch actually, because I’m the person that sees that fourteen pound serving dish of bacon, pork sausages and chicken fried steak and secretly wishes all my dining partners would die immediate and horrible deaths so I could eat it all for myself. I’m not kidding, I really do think like that. I have dreams about bacon that are more erotic than any porn flick you could imagine because I genuinely worship the stuff.
In my mind, bacon is the new Belgian chocolate.
I will fight you if you disagree.
However, at this time of year, and because I work outside in the pollen for 8 hours a day, I have to give up meat. It kills me to do it, but meat slows down my metabolism so much and is so hard for my system to digest that it compromises my immune system, putting my ‘little soldiers’ in peril.
It may not be meat that does that to you, it may be dairy or gluten or sugar, or legumes, or salt, or a combination of different things, but trust me, if you suffer with seasonal allergies and any of the symptoms I’ve mentioned earlier in this blog, your body will be ingesting something it doesn’t like, and right now is the time to give it one less thing to have to worry about.
Level that playing field by giving your digestive system one less chore, and watch your symptoms ease up a bit within days.
I’m telling you this because it’s exactly the same for your poor dog, whose digestive system works the same as yours in many ways.
For the last four weeks, my dogs and I have changed our diet dramatically to compensate for the environmental changes going on outside.
I had to give up meat, so my protein source is mainly fish and dairy and I’m okay with that because, within a few days, my eyes stop watering and I don’t sneeze half as much or feel stuffy in my head.
For my own dogs, five of them have gone back to raw beef green tripe almost exclusively as it’s very easy for them to digest and is full of chlorophyll (which is awesome for allergies) and probiotics, while one of them, who is allergic to beef, is eating a diet of white fish and chicken with a little white rice and pumpkin and greens. Easy to digest and no big overload on the system.
They are all taking bone broth because it settles and strengthens the gut.
They are all taking colostrum because it contains both pre -and pro- biotics. If your dog isn’t taking these at the very least, then why on earth not? Please, please, please start today. They are life savers in so many ways.
Each one of them takes Dr Bakers Canine System Saver, which, if you’ve read about this stuff before on my blog, is a powerful, natural anti-inflammatory so it’s just perfect for an inflamed digestive system and gives the immune system chance to mend and repair.
Each one of them has a teaspoonful of raw LOCAL honey at each meal. It has to be raw as pasteurization removes all the goodies that make honey so bloody marvelous, and it must be local as it is made from the pollen of local flora, creating a tiny culinary regional ‘vaccine’ that desensitizes your dog to the environmental toxin that the local pollen has become to your dog.
Not one of my dogs takes antihistamines like Benadryl, Claritin, Zyrtec...I am not even needing to use Dino-Vite (which I also highly recommend for skin allergies by the way, especially during ragweed season when the skin takes the biggest hit.)
I do have one dog that takes a small dose of Apoquel as needed but her dose is greatly diminished, by half, and we have now been able to start phasing it out.
Many of you will know -from previous blogs- my thoughts on Apoquel and why I have gone to such great lengths to try and solve the seasonal allergy problem with my dogs. I hate the drug and what it does to internal organs long term, even though it delivers short term quality of life which is, literally, not to be sneezed at. See what I did there?
If your dog is suffering with seasonal allergies, try looking at the problem from the inside out, instead of playing whack-a-mole with all the symptoms and in desperation reaching for drugs like steroids that will just kill all those dear little soldiers so ready to fight on your body’s behalf...stone dead. Yep, that’s what steroids do.
They kill the symptoms, and disable the immune system, but do NOT solve the core problem.
My recommendation is to run a quick allergy test if you can.
Most veterinarians can do this for less than $300, or you yourself can purchase the Nutriscan testing kit from Dr Jean Dodd’s company Hemopet online.
Within a week or so you will know what foods and allergens weaken your dog and be able to eradicate as many of them as possible from his diet, giving the legion of soldiers in his gut the strength and freedom to go fight the truly big fight that needs to be fought......out in your yard.
Spring is devastatingly beautiful, but it’s also a right bitch.
Let’s kick it’s ass!