Inflammation

Natural treatments to reduce swelling and inflammation in areas such as the ears of cats and dogs.

treatments to help reduce swelling and inflammation in cats and dogs

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  1. What is Inflammation?
  2. What Causes Inflammation?
  3. Help for Inflammation
  4. More Information on Inflammation

What is Inflammation?

Inflammation refers to any part of the animal body that swells. Inflammation can be slight – redness of an animal’s skin for example (due to a flea allergy, insect sting or dermatitis), or inflammation can be more severe – such as the swelling of an animal’s joints or hocks (in the case of dogs).

The areas of the animal body that are most commonly affected by swelling of tissues include the limbs, joints, skin, lymph glands, and internal organs. Inflammation is generally not cause for major concern and often occurs in warmer weather or as a result of superficial wounds – small cuts and scrapes. If swelling occurs throughout the animal body, this may be a sign of a long-term, progressive disease.

What Causes Inflammation?

General inflammation may occur as a result of any injury in the animal body, or an allergy. It can also be caused by scrapes, cuts, burns, abrasions and bruising. A variety of factors and medical conditions can cause swelling and these including malnutrition, pregnancy or as a result of surgical procedures.

Conditions that may contribute to inflammation in the animal body include:

Help for Inflammation

Treatment usually depends on the underlying cause of the inflammation. Excessive inflammation should be checked thoroughly at your vet. Conventional medications that are commonly administered by vets to minimize swelling include antihistamines (for allergy) or medications for swelling associated with arthritis such as EtoGesic, Rimadyl and Previcox.

However, these drugs may have side effects and aggravate other conditions. Fluid and sodium intake and output may also be monitored as well as your pet’s weight. If cuts, scrapes or burns develop on parts of your pet’s body that have swelling, healing may be prolonged and your pet may be prone to infection.

Natural remedies

Natural and holistic treatments have long been used to address inflammation of skin tissues and structures in the body. Astragalus membranaceous (Huang Qi) has a beneficial effect on immune functioning while also being an excellent anti-inflammatory – effectively promoting the healing of wounds and injuries as well as chronic skin conditions.

Echinacea angustifolia reduces inflammation and inhibits growth of bacteria, viruses and fungi while Arnica is a highly respected ingredient in homeopathic medicine and has powerful anti-inflammatory and tissue healing properties. Calendula is highly effective in aiding post-operative recovery, reducing scarring and treating pain.

More Information on Inflammation

In order to prevent swelling,
certain measures can be taken and these include:
  • Make certain adjustments to your pet’s lifestyle to reduce swelling – this can be easily remedied by providing a healthy, low sodium diet, exercising your pet regularly and making sure your pet maintains a healthy weight.
  • If your pet is overweight, get them onto a healthy eating plan to lose weight and thus reduce the pressure placed on your pet’s lower limbs and joints
  • Encourage your pet to drink fluids to keep his or her skin as cool as possible in hot weather
  • When traveling with your pets on long trips in the car, stop regularly to stretch their legs

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Tips for Inflammation
  • Don’t ignore severe menstrual symptoms as normal or "part of life". The symptoms of Inflammation can be debilitating and negatively affect your whole life, even your emotional wellbeing. Left untreated Inflammation may also worsen and lead to complications.
  • Take regular exercise – apart from all the other health benefits, exercise will strengthen your liver as well as keep oestrogen levels balanced.
  • Avoid prescription drugs especially hormonal medications, pain killers and NSAID’s.
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet based mainly on organic, whole food with lots of fruit and vegetables. Avoid refined and processed foods as well as caffeine-containing food and drinks as these may contribute to higher levels of estrogen and thus worsening the symptoms of Inflammation.
  • When buying meat or fish, try and buy from organic sources known to come from farms which follow organic farming methods, without the use of antibiotics, growth hormones and artificial pesticides. Make sure that eggs and poultry come from farms which feed whole grain to their birds and no animal derived food.
  • Make sure your diet includes Omega-3 fatty acids which are found in fish, flax seed, and eggs, and in many available supplements.
  • Take the time to relax and de-stress. Stress hormones tend to aggravate the pain associated with menstrual cramps and Inflammation so consider exploring some relaxing activities, meditation, yoga or deep breathing exercises.

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