Definition from Wikipedia: Inflammation is the complex biological response of vascular tissues to harmful stimuli, such as pathogens, damaged cells, or irritants. Inflammation is a protective attempt by the organism to remove the injurious stimuli as well as initiate the healing process for the tissue. Inflammation is one of the responses of the organism to the pathogen.
In the absence of inflammation, wounds and infections would never heal and progressive destruction of the tissue would compromise the survival of the organism. However, chronic inflammation can also lead to a host of diseases.
Inflammation can be classified as either acute or chronic. Acute inflammation is the initial response of the body to harmful stimuli and is achieved by the increased movement of plasma and leukocytes from the blood into the injured tissues. A cascade of biochemical events propagates and matures the inflammatory response, involving the local vascular system, the immune system, and various cells within the injured tissue. Prolonged inflammation, known as chronic inflammation, leads to a progressive shift in the type of cells which are present at the site of inflammation and is characterized by simultaneous destruction and healing of the tissue from the inflammatory process.
To sum that up…
Basically, inflammation is the response by the body (dog or human) to fight off a harmful stimulus. When the body is exposed to these stimuli such as, household cleaners, lawn chemicals, air pollution, or injury, inflammation responds. Also, whenever an animal eats food with a preservative, pesticide, antibiotic, hormone or a refined sugar inflammation responds. Inflammation not only responds to physical stress but emotional stress as well.
When being exposed to these day after day the body does not have a chance to shut off the inflammatory response. In both dogs and people this can lead to chronic illnesses.
So what can help decrease the body’s inflammation response? It would be great to say that we could eliminate being exposed to the harmful stimuli, however, just by being alive this is merely impossible.
Some more realistic possibilities would be…
Don’t treat your yard and gardens with fertilizers and pesticides or your carpets with harsh cleaners and chemicals. Sure, bright green grass in the middle of a drought may look nice but is it worth the health of your dog and your human family too? Wash your dog and your dog’s bedding in soaps that are plant based, unscented, and free of dyes.
Reduce your pet’s stress both physically and emotionally. Keep your dog at an appropriate weight for its breed and age, added weight (even two or three pounds) causes stress to joints, heart and essentially the whole body. Give your dog mental stimulation whether it be through a dog training class, teaching a new trick or a prolonged interactive food dispensing device.
Proper exercise daily if possible. As we say…birds need to fly, fish need to swim and dogs need to run. Swimming is also a great option.
Proper diet is vital. For most dogs the most beneficial is a meat based diet without “fillers” especially corn, white rice, white potato, and definitely no sugars, colorings or artificial flavorings.
Anti-inflammatory supplements to try are fish oil, glucosamine sulfate, chondroiton sulfate. Anti-inflammatory herbs and foods to try are garlic, ginger, turmeric, sweet potatoes, wild salmon, sardines.
Misty Pines wants your dog to be happy and healthy so we do offer a variety of products to aid you in this endeavor. We are happy to talk with you and help you decide what products are best for you and your dog.