Have you heard the old adage “we are what we eat″? Well, it does seem right when it comes to dermatological problems in dogs and cats. Skin infections and recurrent itch and rashes could be linked to your pet’s diet. There are two main ways: unbalance and deficient diets or adverse reactions to foods (allergy).
When it comes to nutritional deficiencies, it is a rare issue thanks to all the readily available and balanced ( as by FDA requirements) commercial diets. Nutritional imbalances occur mostly from home cooked diets or in pets that are fed low-quality pet diets in insufficient amounts or if the pet has a medical condition that interferes with the uptake or assimilation of certain nutrients. The most common requirements that are missed are zinc, vitamin A, fatty acids and protein.
Dogs that have encountered bouts with pancreatitis or have congenital deficiencies of digestive enzymes (German shepherds) might be at risk for a deficiency due to inability to absorb them properly.
We commonly see skin rashes, itch in anus and face/neck area and scaly crusty areas around the mouth of dogs with true food allergies. The other manifestation of food allergies is gastrointestinal issues like chronic soft stools or vomiting.
When it comes to food reactions, these are more acute and could be linked to bent cans of dog food; moldy, damaged dry foods; and recalls from bacterial contamination. An internet search can make any dog/cat food recall information available. Food reactions can be diagnosed by putting the pet on a strict elimination food trial for six to eight weeks. If clinical symptoms disappear it was a food-related issue.
Read the full article at The Ledger