Skin disease is very common in dogs because the skin is the target organ (where the symptoms are) for allergies in dogs.
While the symptoms are in the skin, the underlying problems often are not. Imbalances in the GI tract play a major role, especially in chronic (present for 3 or more months) cases.
Functional medicine with its recognition of the web-like interconnections in the body is particularly adapted to diagnosing and treating chronic allergies and skin diseases. Functional medicine recognizes the importance of imbalance in the GI tract as the major contributor to allergies and chronic skin diseases.
There are 3 major factors which are central to the successful resolution of allergy symptoms and chronic skin disease. These factors are
- the patient’s immune system,
- and the microflora of the GI tract.
There is a complex interaction between these factors which produces either health or disease. In some cases, instituting a hypoallergenic diet will resolve chronic skin diseases and allergies. Other cases are more complicated and require more than diet change. It is often necessary to evaluate the microflora of the GI tract with a Stool Microbial Profile.
The Stool Microbial Profile identifies pathogenic bacteria and yeast in the stool as well as deficiencies or imbalances in the probiotic microflora. We often recommend both a food allergy panel and a stool microbial profile in allergy and chronic skin disease cases.