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Asthma in Dogs

AsthmainDogsAsthma, as a chronic, repetitive condition of the respiratory system, is an ailment that makes normal breathing very difficult for those afflicted. From time to time, an episode is triggered and airways begin to constrict – starting the breathing difficulty; inflammation results, along with excess production of mucus in the lining of the airway. This results in even greater constriction to the airways, and thereby further increase in breathing difficulty.

Various irritants may be instigators or ‘triggers’ for such occurrences. Such Triggers may include simple emotional stress, heavy exercise, or over-exertion; but, environmental factors such as allergens, exposure to chemicals, household cleaners, or even changes in temperature or humidity are often involved.

Interestingly, science has recently discovered a relationship between certain Antioxidant Enzymes and Asthma. It seems there is a direct correlation in lowered activity levels of the antioxidant enzyme, Super Oxide Dismutase (SOD), and the incidence of Asthma. It has been found in affected individuals, that lower levels of SOD activity result in more severe the episodes of asthmatic attacks.

Super Oxide Dismutase is a front-line, antioxidant enzyme, directly responsible for the conversion of the Oxide Radical (free-radical) to a less harmful form. The Oxide radical is a reactive oxygen species (ROS), and as such, causes cellular damage leading to inflammation. Although in some experimental systems of lung inflammation, antioxidants, like SOD, increase in response to oxidant stress and minimize oxidant-induced damage, antioxidant defense is impaired in the asthmatic airway. What is not known is whether asthmatics suffer from a mechanism which temporarily shuts down the antioxidant defense system, or whether day to day low enzyme levels (LEL) lend themselves to periodic asthmatic episodes. In either case, it would seem reasonable to support the body’s natural production of the antioxidant enzyme, SuperOxide Dismutase.

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