Inflammation in dogs and cats: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly


Inflammation in dogs and cats is a complex biological response that plays a crucial role in the body’s defense mechanism. It is a natural and necessary process for healing and protection; however, excessive or chronic inflammation can have detrimental effects on your beloved pet’s health. This article explores the good, bad, and ugly aspects of inflammation and highlights naturopathic approaches to address inflammatory degeneration.


The Good: Acute Inflammation as a Protective Mechanism

Acute inflammation is a beneficial response that occurs when the body detects an injury or infection. It helps the immune system release white blood cells, antibodies, and other immune factors to the affected area to promote healing and fight off infectious organisms. Acute inflammation can serve as an important protective mechanism, initiate the repair processes, and prevent further damage.


The Bad and the Ugly: Chronic Inflammation and Health Issues

Persistent redness, swelling, or pain? When inflammation persists or becomes dysregulated, it leads to inflammatory degeneration. This involves the destruction and degradation of cells and tissues, leading to progressive damage and functional impairment.

Chronic inflammation can lead to a range of health issues, including:

  • Joint diseases such as arthritis in dogs
  • Digestive disorders like Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Crohn’s Disease, and Cancer
  • Skin conditions like hot spots and skin allergies in dogs
  • Respiratory problems
  • Cardiovascular conditions
  • Nervous system and mental disorders
  • Cushing’s disease
  • Reproductive disorders,
  • Diabetes and
  • Even organ damage


Chronic inflammation can significantly reduce the quality of life for your pet, impair their performance, and increase the risk of severe illness.


Inflammatory illnesses in pets can have various causes:

Poor Diet:

Diets high in low-quality ingredients, processed foods, and artificial additives like colours, flavours, fillers, and preservatives, promote inflammation. Certain ingredients, such as wheat, gluten, and excessive carbohydrates, may trigger an inflammatory response in some animals.


Excess weight can lead to a state of chronic inflammation. Fatty tissue produces inflammatory molecules that contribute to systemic inflammation, increasing the risk of various health conditions.

Allergies and Food Sensitivities:

Allergies to environmental factors like pollen, dust mites, or certain foods can trigger chronic inflammation in animals. Food sensitivities or intolerances, occasionally associated with ingredients like wheat, gluten, soy, chicken or dairy, can also lead to ongoing inflammation.


Recurring or chronic bacterial, parasitic, viral, or fungal infections causing health conditions like urinary tract infections, ear infections, gastrointestinal infections, dental infections, or skin infections, can cause chronic inflammation.

Autoimmune Disorders:

When the immune system mistakenly attacks the body’s own tissues, Autoimmune conditions occur. This dysfunctional and chronic immune response results in destructive inflammation and can affect various organs and systems.

Environmental Factors:

Exposure to environmental toxins, pollutants, chemicals (herbicides, pesticides, and insecticides), and second-hand smoke can contribute to chronic inflammation and eventually illness.


As pets age, their bodies may become less efficient at regulating inflammation. Ageing leads to a state of chronic low-grade inflammation, which is associated with age-related health conditions.


Stress hormones are continuously released under conditions of chronic stress, including those brought on by emotional distress, physical stress such as rigorous exercise, environmental factors, or changes in routine. The persistent release of stress hormones can disrupt the normal functioning of the immune-, hormonal-, and nervous systems and significantly increase the risk of inflammatory illnesses.


It’s important to note that the causes of chronic inflammation in animals can vary from one individual to another. Identifying and addressing the specific underlying factors contributing to inflammation often requires a thorough examination by a veterinarian. They can help develop an appropriate treatment plan tailored to the pet’s needs, which may involve dietary changes, allergy testing, infection management, stress reduction techniques, and other interventions to reduce chronic inflammation and improve your pet’s health.


How can you protect your beloved companion from the potentially debilitating effects of inflammation?

1. Diet and Nutrition:

A wholesome, anti-inflammatory diet rich in fresh, whole foods provides antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, and phytonutrients that support the body’s anti-inflammatory response.

2. Health Supplements and superfoods:

Natural anti-inflammatories like turmeric and especially its anti-inflammatory bioactive – curcumin, ginger, boswellia, burdock, siberian ginseng, propolis and astragalus can help or heal persistent inflammation. They provide bio-active constituents that work on multiple physiological levels to manage inflammation and reduce your loved one’s risk of chronic disease.

Nutrient-rich superfoods and nutraceuticals like spirulina, whey protein concentrate, glucosamine sulfate, omega 3s, health-promoting mushrooms, and berries provide a variety of biologically complete proteins, anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals to provide additional immune and anti-inflammatory support, effectively targeting degeneration and promoting cellular healing processes.

3. Physical Therapies:

Modalities such as physiotherapy, acupuncture, and hydrotherapy can help reduce inflammation, improve circulation, and promote healing in affected tissues.

4. Stress Reduction:

Chronic stress can contribute to inflammation. Stress management techniques, environmental enrichment, promoting a calm and stable environment for your companion and naturally supporting their nervous systems with calming supplements like Untamed Calm, can be beneficial in reducing chronic inflammation.

5. Vaccinating and chemical tick and flea treatments:

When it comes to vaccinating and treating your pet for mites, ticks, and fleas, it is important to prioritise their health and consider natural alternatives. Prioritise essential vaccinations and try to avoid chemical treatments that can strain their organs and nervous system. Instead, explore natural flea and tick prevention options like diatomaceous earth, herbal repellents, regular grooming and inspections, and environmental management.



Inflammation is a double-edged sword for pets. While acute inflammation serves a vital protective role, recurring and persistent inflammation can have detrimental effects on their health and well-being. To effectively treat inflammation, it is essential to adopt a holistic approach to your pet’s health, that focuses on nutrition, herbal remedies, physical therapies, and stress reduction. After any chemical treatment or vaccination, support your companion’s health by providing them with a good quality, comprehensive health supplement like Untamed Rejuvenmax for pets, that can help strengthen their body’s natural defense systems, promote detoxification, and enhance protection against potential side effects and the development of degenerative inflammatory disease.


Check out our article: 6 Essential Ways to Help Treat and Prevent Arthritis in Dogs and Cats: A Caring and Scientific Approach, which provides helpful information about diet and exercise.


Contact us to receive guidance from Dr. Jeanne-Marie Lambrechts, our expert Naturopath, will respond directly to your inquiries.




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