Boost your pet’s immune system: understand its significance and proper care

21-01-2021

The immune system in all organisms aims to protect the body from different threats such as diseases and infections. Whether it is a bacteria, a virus or a parasite,pet’s immune system is the host’s way of defense and prevention against these types of pathogens. That is why it is important to keep this mechanism strong and functioning properly.

Having a good and nutritious diet will not always be enough. In many cases, the invading infectious organisms overcome the individual’s immune system. At a veterinary level, there are several natural-based complementary products that contribute to the reinforcement of the pet’s immune system.

We interviewed VMD Erik Mauricio Cala Morales, specialist in animal reproduction and with wide experience in the area of Veterinary Biology in order to reach out a vision that, besides having a scientific and professional foundation, comes directly from the experience and treatment of pets.

Erik Mauricio defines those immune stimulators as “any element, food, molecule, drug, metabolite, vitamin, mineral, of natural or synthetic origin that causes a response on the immune system of any living organism. As for veterinary medicine, it refers to some product that causes a response in the animal’s immune system”. 

How do we know the condition of our pet’s immune system? Will it be strong enough or does it require any of these products? 

The immune system of animals and especially pets, is the barrier or defense system that keeps them alive, a system that works all the time (24/7) and is responsible for preventing aggressors from entering the body and establishing the barriers or mechanisms to build defenses against any strange aggressor: “When you see a happy, strong, with good muscle composition, with excellent growth performance, excellent reproductive performance and good mood and exercise behavior, is the best sign that the animal has a good immune system”.

From a veterinary perspective, what is the best way to protect or help the pet’s immune system?

The best way to protect or help the pet’s immune system is to provide rest or relief from potentially harmful aggressors and then provide support elements for its proper functioning. 

” A large majority of these elements are administered orally or digestively or in extreme cases via parenteral. The oral or digestive route is very important, since a high percentage of the structures or organs associated with the immune system of animals are associated with the digestive system or the digestive tract. In addition to this, the immune system is protected or helped by immunomodulators, which are elements that help to mediate the body’s immune response, not only increasing its response but also in some cases regulating or decreasing it,” said Erik Mauricio.

In which cases is an immunological stimulator usually given? 

When you find an animal with unusual behavior, when you find an animal in unfavorable body conditions (low height or low weight), when you find an animal whose health is deteriorating, with diseases or severe conditions, with established and well-managed medical treatments, and with a low response to those medical practices, an immune stimulator should be established concomitantly to help that immune system to mediate response and improve the animal’s health.

Can you explain any case studies?

In some types of acute or severe bacterial infections in pets, an antimicrobial therapy can be established quickly and a treatment with an antiparasitic (LEVAMISOL at 1/3 of the dose) can be established simultaneously with the antimicrobial treatment to use this antiparasitic as an immunomodulator or immune system aid. Also a special diet can be administered to the animal rich in vitamins C, vitamin D, vitamin E, minerals like Zinc, Magnesium, Selenium that help via therapeutic feeding to make what today is known as nutraceutical, which is to nourish with therapeutic objectives the patients.

What kind of side effects can occur when a pet is treated with an immunostimulator? 

Not at all! There will never be side effects, there will always be positive effects. The immune system is so perfect that if the treatment exceeds or is greater than what is required by, the immune system will take it away or transfer it to the food system for organic support of other organisms within the animal.

As a professional, how do you identify whether a product is a good immune stimulator or not? 

By the positive response or the response it generates in the animal. A good product, used properly, will always cause a positive or favorable response on the organism. And the best response is the conduct, attitude, and behavior of the animal to the use of this type of product. When it makes a good response or good effect in the animal its health recovers or restores satisfactorily, being this seen in the behavior of the animal.

Finally, based on your experience, does the public know and has a good reception with these natural products?

Nowadays, the population in general knows something about these natural products due to the different communication channels, much more in humans. In general, customers know very little about their uses in veterinary medicine. The veterinarians and the zootechnologists do have a very good knowledge about the use and handling in doses of this type of products, since nowadays the research on nutrition and effect on the animals has advanced to giant steps with the use of these products. Since several years ago it is known the effective dose required to cause a response in animals of zootechnical interest.

*Before providing any treatment or medication remember to consult your veterinary doctor.