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Examining the Root Causes of Skin Allergies and Ear Infections

Allergies (itchy skin, repeated ear infections, frequent foot chewing episodes) are all signs of an underlying problem and are notoriously hard to treat, they are also common affecting 20% of all dogs.

There is now a new hope of resolution as researchers discover strong links to the microbiome and instead of concentrating on the outward symptoms are examining the root cause for more effective treatments and therapies.

Key Points

1. The microbiome is the master regulator of health, vitality and a strong immune response.

2. If the microbial gut community isn’t healthy i.e. having

a) too few good gut bacteria

b) an overgrowth of bad bacteria

c) has the formation of biofilm bacteria linked to leaky gut.

then your pet is likely to be predisposed to many aspects of poor health.

3. The microbiome is a finely balanced community that benefits the host by producing energy, vitamins and by making minerals available. This ecosystem is easily upset and imbalanced by medication, environmental pollutants, and changes in diet.

4. Antibiotics kill the microbes in the gut, both good and bad. Antibiotics reduce diversity by as much as 50% causing instability in the gut ecosystem that allows the bad bacteria (true pathogens) and the not-so-beneficial but don’t always cause disease type of bacteria to proliferate.

5. The not-so-beneficial bacteria create biofilm communities that reside predominantly in the gut wall where they cause damage, inflammation, and leaky gut.

6. True Pathogens always cause disease, if these are present in high numbers then infection occurs, and some true pathogens translocate and cause problems in other areas of the body. Borrelia is an example of a true pathogen, a member of the spirochaete family it is able to translocate from the gut to many other areas of the body linked to Lyme disease, allergies and arthritis.

Scientific Research

There are currently hundreds of published papers relating to the microbial community and links to gastric disorders, discomfort, and dysbiosis.

At Petbiome we have the largest animal microbiome database in the world, comprising over 3,000 analyses of many breeds of dogs in different states of health. We also have access to a sophisticated AI platform that helps us to correlate complex patterns within the data sets of individual dogs with symptoms of allergies and other diseases. This has helped us to build profiles of dysbiosis, we currently have a library of 54 different profiles relating to allergies, indicating how complex the microbiome is and how many different approaches are needed to bring about a resolution.

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