Any part of your pet that is easily accessible to pathogens, which means anything connected to the outside world, has a superb ability to repair and regenerate itself. Your dog or cat's first line of defence is its skin and skin is involved in the health condition of almost one third of all dogs and carts we see at the London Veterinary Clinic.
Hair growing from the skin acts as insulation but also offers physical protection. Skin itself acts as a physical barrier to pathogens and is a major organ in your pet's immune system. The lining of the gut and the liver, which is in open communication with the gut, have evolved equal powers of regeneration. The gut lining is the second largest organ in the immune system. Natural defensive actions take place throughout the gastrointestinal system. Pathogens are killed by saliva or stomach acid. Toxic substances are denatured in the stomach or intestines or detoxified by the liver. The system is sophisticated and highly effective. Places that are less accessible to pathogens, like the brain and heart have poor to negligible natural regenerative powers.
Signs Of ‘Illness’ Are Often Defences
Coughing, sneezing, vomiting, diarrhea, frequent urination, even scratching the skin, all are natural defensive manoeuvres to rid the body of dangers. These are evolutionary methods used to expel pathogens from body surfaces. Coughing, for example, is a complicated procedure involving a coordination of the diaphragm, chest muscles and voice box but when it is successful, the foreign material that has entered the windpipe is spat out or swallowed and destroyed by natural stomach acids. Grooming, including simple scratching rids the body of parasites and potential pathogens. Limping rests an injured leg and creates the best circumstances for natural repair. Many pet owners see these natural defences as the problem and want their pet's defences suppressed. Eliminating the defence may create a greater problem.