SUPERBUGS, SUPER PROBLEMS Antibiotic Resistance Part 3 of 5
Antibiotic resistance is among today’s largest health threats for both humans and animals: How can you combat these ever-evolving superbugs?
In an article written by Dr. Chloe Ross, A Veterinarian in Western Australia, she writes about how antibiotics are used when they should not be or when another treatment will take care of the problem. She has a strong interest in preventive medicine, and is especially interested in the microbiome and its role in keeping a body healthy.
Antibiotics resistance is one of the biggest threats to human and animal health, and the problem is getting worse. Avoiding unnecessary antibiotic use (and making sure they’re used properly when they are essential) can help to save important antibiotics for life-threatening situations. It can also lower your dog’s exposure to a host of potential side effects.
After your vet has diagnosed an infection, he may prescribe antibiotics without much consideration toward the rise of the superbug. Rather than heading straight for the pharmaceuticals, if your pooch is otherwise well, you can try other alternative treatments.
Here are some common infections, often mistreated with antibiotics and tips for how to help fight antibiotic resistance.
Urinary Tract Infections (UTIS)Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex (CIRDC)Skin InfectionsGastrointestinal UpsetDental Disease
I will touch on each of these topics over five newsletters as to not make each article too long.
Today we will talk on Skin Infections.
It’s rare that skin infections require antibiotics. Generally dogs only develop these secondary infections when there’s one of the following going on: hypersensitivities (to insects certain foods and additives, or pollens and grasses); ectoparasites (like fleas); diseases of hormonal imbalance (like hypothyroidism); immunosuppression; cancers – and a handful of relatively rare primary skin diseases.
Often – and frequently due to pressure from pet owners – the veterinarian neglects the workup and prescribes antibiotics indiscriminately. We see many dogs return to the clinic repeatedly for more antibiotics, purely because the underlying cause hasn’t been identified and controlled.Priorities when treating skin infections are: improving skin barrier function; controlling flare-ups of inflammation or itching; reducing exposure to allergens; and treating or preventing microbial imbalance and infection. Here are some ways to help your dog through the discomfort:
Clip the hair, and clean and remove crusts.
- Apply medical grade honey. It’s a great topical treatment for wounds.
- Give calendula or oatmeal baths. These are excellent treatments to soothe inflamed skin.
- Apply bentonite clay. It’s a very soothing and healing topical treatment.
- Use aloe vera topically to soothe and hydrate inflamed skin.
- Control parasites and fleas.
- Wipe down problem areas (like the paws) after going outdoors.
- Use clothing to stop self-trauma.
- Try a limited-ingredient diet (ideally raw, natural and balanced, avoiding common allergens like chicken, beef and preservatives).
- Use topical lipids (like coconut oil) to heal the skin’s natural barrier.
- Feed probiotics (as recommended above).
- Supplement wih naturally-sourced vitamin E at 8.1IU/kg daily.
- Add freshly ground flaxseed to food – it’s a good source of essential fatty acids.
- Apple cider vinegar (ACV). Add organic raw ACV it to one of your dog’s water sources to help rebalance her gut.
Dr. Chloe Ross, “Superbugs, Super Problems” Dogs Naturally Magazine, September – October 2019, pp 9-11
As a side note, we have also found colloidal silver to be effective in treating skin wounds and irritations and to either help with or prevent infections.
If you need assistance with a limited ingredient diet, probiotics, shampoos and topical treatments, please come see us to discuss your options for your pet.
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