After reading this blog, you may never think the same way about dog conditions, albeit a small minor hot spots that has just arisen, minor Malassezia or a small patch of alopecia - whether you agree with the content or not. My aim, however, is to convince you that there is more to skin issues than meets the eye - or skin!
In August 2018, MicroMed ran it's first documented dog trial, and one of those participants was a dog called Gypsey (pictured above), owned by a ECL teacher in Hamilton, NZ, Nicolle. One month into the MicroMed programme, Nicolle was truly amazed and relieved to find her dog had transformed from having health issues, such as a diagnosis of alopecia, seborrhoea sicca and seborrhoea oleosa and malassezia to radiating good health. It's quite simple really - if you know the steps to follow. The crucial point being - anyone can instigate these steps - you do not need to be a vet or a Naturopathic Nutritionist or have a degree in canine health! Do you want to learn more? Let me take you on a journey with Gypsey, starting at the beginning...
In Nicolle’s words… “Gypsey had a multi-factorial skin condition, she scratched and licked herself constantly, her skin was in a state of minor inflammation, she was losing hair and she smelt! "I had spent hundreds of dollars in vet visits! Steroids would help while she was on them, but as soon as she stopped taking them her skin would flare up again. A modified diet controlled it slightly but did not fix the problem”.
“The day after I started using MicroMed for Dogs, Spray-on Probiotic (Step 1), she stopped licking all through the night. About 3 days in, I realised her skin was better and the stickiness of the minor seborrhoea oleosa was going away, her manner was much happier, she was bouncing around like a puppy again. No more constant licking and scratching. Other people (friends and family) also noticed the difference in her and were so surprised - particularly if they hadn’t seen her for a while”.
Following MicroMed’s recommendations, Nicolle removed dried and processed food (Step 2) from Gypsey’s diet and commenced her on a cooked food diet, as an interim step to the BARF diet and in addition, bone broth (Step 3) was added to all Gypsey’s meals in order to benefit from the high collagen content. Collagen is the ‘glue’ that holds body tissues together, and over time bone broth can reduce inflammation and heal the gut, particularly if it’s Leaky. This was particularly important where Gypsey was concerned as I believed Gypsey was suffering a Leaky Gut. The main symptoms of a Leaky Gut being:
- high allergenic profile, so reacting to many foods,
- skin issues,
- digestive issues,
- a subdued demeanour
Gypsey had been ‘reacting’ to many different foods prior to commencement of MicroMed for Dogs, Nicolle reported Gypsey’s poop was definitely not normal, her demeanour was low, her skin was a concern, and she had been losing weight, and hair.
I explained to Nicolle that it was really important to get back to basics! Dr Karen Becker, DVM, puts this brilliantly in her three pillars to good health.
Pillar No. 1 is species-appropriate nutrition;
Pillar No. 2 is a balanced, functional immune system; and
Pillar No. 3 is a sound, resilient frame
If you have the time for a quick video - meet Karen - and settle down for an excellent teaching sess’.
So how did Pillar Two come into play with Gypsey - to address her compromised immune system? How did I know Gypsey had a compromised immune system? It's not rocket science - she didn’t have the health issues she had from a lack of steroids or a lack of antibiotics - she had compromised immunity! Bearing in mind, ill-health is ALWAYS multi-factorial - usually a combination of diet, stress, conventional medicine treatments such as flea and worming meds and courses of antibiotics and steroids, heredity and environmental factors, such as environmental sprays - glyphosate or Roundup, and heavy metals contained in vaccines. Ill-health is never just one factor - it doesn’t come out of the blue - it can take years for a condition to manifest, fed by negative factors that accumulate day by day, week by week, month by month. Then one day, your dog’s system becomes overwhelmed and their adaptive capacity is stretched to the limit! When your dog’s body decides to 'off-load' in the best way it can, an acute situation arises - be it the beginning of a hot spot, mild mange, or mild Malassezia. It is for us to realise that this is the body’s way of off-loading, and to assist your dog as best you can to work with the healing processes of the body. If this process is stopped and the ‘symptoms’ suppressed, without the root cause such as gut dysbiosis, Leaky Gut or liver toxicity being addressed (Step 4), then the condition will simply reappear again sometime later or manifest as a more serious condition. Sometimes this presents itself as a chronic condition, at a deeper level, possibly at an organ, glandular or immune level. It seems a no-brainer to look at underlying issues in order to prevent the manifestations of an unwelcome condition. Given the prevalence of increasingly serious issues in dogs that vets are now having to deal with, we need to pose the question: what can I do differently to improve the health of my dog, so it lives a healthier, happier life and doesn't get sick in the first place? Looking to the pillars of good health is a start, where the research and evidence is now there to support the importance of embracing a rawfood diet, for improved nutrition, using probiotics to balance and strengthen the immune system, and giving your dog regular and stimulating exercise.
Nicolle checked in recently and reported Gypsey is still doing really well. She had this to say, “Life looks really good for Gypsey now, we are on a maintenance schedule just to keep her condition in check. I have a happy healthy dog, who is no longer on a restricted diet - as food was obviously not the cause of her condition. She was so bad that I was honestly thinking my only option was to put her out of her misery because it was clear nothing the vets offered was helping. I am so happy to know that I don’t ever have to have this thought again."
And we at MicroMed are so very happy that Nicolle never has to have this thought again. When we asked what was different about our product, Nicolle had this to say “It works!!!!! Her skin has completely cleared up, and her previous complaints are no longer an issue”.
What better result can you have? Lets keep it simple, and get ‘back to basics’ solutions in an easy Four Step Return to Health Protocol.