WHAT IS MY DOG'S SKIN MICROBIOME AND WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT?
THE LINK BETWEEN AN ITCHY SKIN IN DOGS AND A DISRUPTED SKIN MICROBIOME.
Valerie De Clerck, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
Does your dog lick or bite his paws?
Does your dog suffer from bald spots?
Does your dog rub his head along the couch or plants?
Itching in dogs, a very annoying but common problem! Skin problems in dogs are the main reason for a visit to the vet and are often difficult to treat. The treatment of skin problems varies and always depends on the cause.
Nevertheless, there is a rule of thumb that applies to all dogs: the stronger and richer the skin microbiome, the smaller the chance of skin problems and itching.
What is my dog's skin microbiome?
Your dog's skin microbiome or skin flora is the combination of different good microorganisms such as viruses, fungi, bacteria that cover the skin. This army of good soldiers works together as one large organism and thus forms an important part of the skin's defence. After all, the skin is the largest organ of the body and has a very important role as a shield between the body and the outside world.
The composition of the skin microbiome is different and unique in every dog and also depends on the location of the body. Other factors that influence the composition of the skin microbiome are lifestyle, diet, gender, environment, age, use of medication, antibiotics, shampoo and other skin or coat products.
Bacteria used to be seen as the "bad guys", but nowadays it is very clear that we have to distinguish between "good" and "bad" bacteria. Good bacteria are essential for good health and are very abundant on the skin, in the intestines and also in the vagina of both humans and dogs. Good bacteria ensure that bad bacteria cannot multiply because they compete for nutrients and produce certain protective substances.
Did you know
that there are 10 times more bacteria living in and on your dog's body than there are body cells (1)?
What happens if my dog's skin microbiome is disturbed?
An imbalanced skin microbiome leads to many skin problems because the skin's defence mechanism is disrupted. Common skin problems associated with unbalanced skin microbiome are skin allergies (atopic and allergic dermatitis) and ear infections (1-4).
Atopic dermatitis (AD) is an allergic skin disease with a genetic component that occurs in approximately 10% of dogs. The disease is mainly manifested by intense itching and redness (erythematous maculae) primarily involving the face, axilla, inguinal region and feet. The itching and redness occur because the immune system overreacts to certain allergens such as house dust mites, pollens and moulds. The skin lesions can become secondarily infected by "bad" bacteria and fungi (usually Staphylococcus pseudointermedius and Malassezia pachydermatis), which results in the development of pustules and crusts. Several studies have shown that dogs with atopic dermatitis have a less diverse skin microbiome than healthy dogs (1).
How can you keep your dog's skin microbiome healthy?
1. Wash your dog as little as possible and if you do wash him, do so with a microbiome friendly shampoo developed for dogs.
2. Use antibiotics as little as possible because, as the name itself indicates "anti = against", "biôtikos = concerning life", they also kill the good bacteria!
For certain infections, antibiotics are necessary, but always consult your veterinarian! Always finish a course of antibiotics and do not keep any leftovers for later use. Also, do not use antibiotics or antibacterial creams whose expiry date has passed.
3. Give your dog the right food. Many skin problems are caused by poor nutrition. Talk to your vet about the best food for your dog.
4. Strengthen the natural skin microbiome with LACTANIMO CREAM. This restorative skin cream contains good bacteria that strengthen the skin microbiome. Normally, the good bacteria cannot survive in a water-based cream, but the LACTANIMO CREAM contains unique microcapsules in which the good bacteria (Lactobacillus species) CAN survive. These unique microcapsules were developed by YUN PROBIOTHERAPY and have been patented because you have to admit, this is a great invention right?!
LACTANIMO CREAM does not contain harmful chemicals.
LOVE YOUR DOG'S BACTERIA.
Support those good soldiers and strengthen your dog's skin microbiome with LACTANIMO CREAM.
LACTANIMO CREAM is a patented formula developed by YUN PROBIOTHERAPY containing good bacteria to strengthen the skin microbiome and skin barrier, making it less sensitive to all kind of evil attackers.
1. Rodrigues Hoffmann A. The cutaneous ecosystem: the roles of the skin microbiome in health and its association with inflammatory skin conditions in humans and animals. Vet Dermatol. 2017;28(1):60-e15. doi:10.1111/vde.12408
2. Hakanen E, Lehtimäki J, Salmela E, et al. Urban environment predisposes dogs and their owners to allergic symptoms. Sci Rep. 2018;8(1):1-9. doi:10.1038/s41598-018-19953-3
3. Santoro D, Rodrigues Hoffmann A. Canine and Human Atopic Dermatitis: Two Faces of the Same Host-Microbe Interaction. J Invest Dermatol. 2016;136(6):1087-1089. doi:10.1016/j.jid.2016.03.015
4. Chermprapai S, Ederveen THA, Broere F, et al. The bacterial and fungal microbiome of the skin of healthy dogs and dogs with atopic dermatitis and the impact of topical antimicrobial therapy, an exploratory study. Vet Microbiol. 2019;229(September 2018):90-99. doi:10.1016/j.vetmic.2018.12.022