Inflammation in dogs

What is an Inflammatory Response? 

The inflammatory Response is actually part of the body’s defense mechanisms. It is an immune response to rid the body of harmful stimuli so the body can begin the healing process.

The inflammatory response (inflammation) occurs when tissues are injured by bacteria, trauma, toxins, heat, or any other cause. The damaged tissue releases chemicals including histamine, bradykinin, and serotonin. These chemicals cause blood vessels to leak fluid into the tissues, causing swelling. This helps isolate the foreign substance from further contact with body tissues.

The chemicals also attract white blood cells called phagocytes that “eat” microorganisms and dead or damaged cells.

This is why you often see swelling, redness or there is pain and/or heat in the affected area. This is called acute inflammation.

Inflammation becomes chronic inflammation when the body does not turn off and the immune system’s response actually begins to damage the body. This chronic inflammation can often lead to more progressive conditions such as arthritis and even heart disease.



Discouraging Inflammation

Foods that discourage inflammation

Animal-based omega-3 fats—found in fatty fish like wild Alaskan salmon or krill oil—help fight inflammation throughout the body. Research published in the Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology4 in 2012 confirmed that dietary supplementation with krill or salmon oil effectively reduced inflammation and oxidative stress.

Medicinal mushrooms have long been used for their many beneficial properties, discouraging inflammation being one of many benefits.

Laboratory tests revealed that bioactive compounds derived from mushrooms such as reishi, have anti-inflammatory (1),  and immuno-modulatory (2) properties. Several reishi-derived substances are also antibacterial and anti-viral.

Cordyceps sinensis is also known for it’s beneficial properties that reduce inflammation (3) In Taiwan and China, Cordyceps sinensis is used to stimulate the immune system to fight cancer cells (4)

What’s interesting to note is that polysaccharides from reishi and other medicinal mushrooms, do not kill viruses and cancer cells directly. Instead they activate the body’s own immune cells to attack harmful cells (an action termed as immune-modulation), thereby increasing the body’s defense against infections.

Essential Oils 

Essential oils contain many different natural chemical constituents that are documented to support the body’s natural defenses and other body systems by raising the body’s electrical frequencies. Essential oils easily penetrate the skin and can be carried throughout the blood and tissues within minutes

Inhalation of essential oils enter the bloodstream via the lungs, (The lungs govern the immune system). The body’s response time to inhalation of essential oils can be as quick as one to three-seconds!

Every imbalance or health disorder lowers the body’s frequency. Hence, we need to raise the body frequency with the right substances that are compatible at the cellular and energetic level. When the body’s electrical frequencies are low, it contributes to an environment where invaders are able to set up house and take over. Therapeutic grade essential oils penetrate the very cell walls in the body and as they vibrate at their higher frequencies, the affected organs and very cells begin to vibrate in harmony with the higher frequencies, promoting balance and wellness in the body.

Whether applied directly, or inhaled, essentials oils have virtually the same therapeutic impact on the body. 

Essential oils that are high in carvacrol, a phenol, can be very effective at supporting and maintaining specific body structures and functions. Examples of a few oils high in carvacrol are: Oregano, Thyme and Mountain Savory.

There was a Japanese study published in the January 2010 in the Journal of Lipid Research which found that several essential oils suppressed the COX-2 enzyme by as much as 75 percent! COX-2 is an enzyme responsible for inflammation and pain. Thyme essential oil ranked number one out of six different oils tested. But there are over 50 different oils that show natural COX-2 suppressive properties!

Please note that in addition to using essential oils, always make sure you are making the lifestyle changes that will support your dog – body, mind and spirit. Natural remedies such as essential oils work best when “the whole dog” is addressed and supported naturally.

Click HERE for more information on using essential oils for pets and to find out which essential oils are the only ones Dr. Jeannie has used for almost 20 years.

References and More On the inflammatory response or stimulus and Cox-2

“After the inflammatory stimulus has been neutralized, inflammation can abate. This abatement does not happen in a passive manner, as originally understood, through which the inflammatory response simply “fizzles out.” On the contrary, resolution of the inflammatory response is now appreciated to be an active event managed by an increasing number of recognized soluble mediators. These mediators engage mechanisms that culminate in the switching off of inflammation and return the stromal tissue that hosted the response to its prior physiology. It may be anticipated, therefore, that failure of acute inflammation to resolve may predispose to auto-immunity, chronic inflammation, and excessive tissue damage, as shown previously.

Intriguingly, of the factors and signals inherent to the successful resolution of inflammation, the cyclooxygenase (COX) and lipoxygenase (LOX) pathways, through which arachidonic acid (AA) and other fatty acid precursors are metabolized, are essential. This metabolic requirement is in stark contrast to the role of COX that has been established through the literature on nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), according to which COX-derived AA metabolites are mostly pro-inflammatory”. COX-2 in Inflammation and Resolution Ravindra Rajakariar, Muhammad M. Yaqoob and Derek W. Gilroy

Prostaglandins and Inflammation Emanuela Ricciotti, PhD and Garret A. FitzGerald, MD

Medicinal Mushroom studies






The information provided here has not been evaluated by the FDA, and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

The information on this site is based on the traditional and historic use of naturopathy, essential oils and herbs as well as personal experience and is provided for general reference and educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, prescribe or promote any direct or implied health claims. This information is and products are not intended to replace professional veterinary and/or medical advice

This information is provided with the understanding that the publisher and its authors are not liable for the misconception or misuse of the information provided. The publisher and its authors shall have neither liability nor responsibility to any person or entity with respect to any loss, damage, or injury caused or alleged to be caused directly or indirectly by this information.

© 2016 This article is the sole property of Dr Jeanette (Jeannie) Thomason and The Whole Dog. It cannot be reproduced in any form whatsoever without the expressed written consent of the author.


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