Your pet’s skin and coat provide clues to overall health
It seems like a big concern for many people today is keeping the skin looking and feeling young. Aging gracefully has been for the most part replaced with the concept that aging is a disease that can be prevented. Everywhere we look we see words such as anti-oxidants, free radicals, lasers, surgeries, essential fatty acids, and other drugs or methods designed at keeping us feeling and looking younger for longer than ever before. When we’re young we wish to be older, when old we wish to be young, when wealthy we see the beauty in the simplicity of not having much, and when we’re struggling with finances we believe that money can solve all our problems. Probably the best way to avoid the trap of always looking for that something “else” to make everything better, is to begin appreciating what we do have and to live in the present. There is something beautiful about a person who appreciates who they are, what they have, does not regret the past, and is not afraid of the future.
When it comes to our skin and our pet’s skin however, it’s not all about looking young. My dog Duke doesn’t really care if he looks young or old but when he had a skin infection that was not going away after a few days, I brought him in to the veterinarian for a checkup. Apparently his blood sugar has been a little on the high side and we now have to watch him for potential signs of diabetes.
Sometimes a pet may have dry skin or unhealthy looking skin because the diet may not contain enough essential fatty acids. Giving Omega 3 fatty acid supplements could help keep the skin looking healthy, decrease inflammation, and decrease shedding. Other foods or supplements which contain beta carotene and other beneficial vitamins can also play a role in keeping the skin healthy.
A product that has come to my attention recently because of positive reviews I hear from pet owners is called Proanthozone. This anti free-radical supplement contains bioflavanol and helps keeps cells healthy throughout the body. Bioflavanol from grape seed extract is supposedly the most potent antioxidant known. By scavenging free radicals, Proanthozone inhibits enzymes that break down collagen. Collagen and elastin is what makes up the structure of the skin and when free radicals cause it damage, the skin loses its elasticity. This product has also been recommended for liver, cardiovascular, and kidney health.
Skin conditions on a pet that won’t go away are generally indicative that something else could be going on with another part of the body. When the body is not healthy many times this shows up as an external symptom on the skin or on the extremities. Whether it’s a vitamin deficiency, an allergy, an immune system weakness, diabetes, a hormone imbalance, or something else going on, it is important to get the dog over to the veterinarian for a complete checkup. The earlier a diagnosis is made and the underlying problem is identified, the quicker the road to recovery will be.
As always, if you have any medication related questions call your pharmacist at 1800PetMeds who will be more than happy to help answer them for you.