If your patient suffers from digestive or skin problems, the search for a solution can be frustrating. You’ve probably researched online, switched foods, tried prescription medications, and bought various supplements. But while many cats’ and dogs’ symptoms do improve in response to dietary changes or medication, other pets may experience only minor improvement (at best). Or their symptoms may go away but return after only a few weeks or months.
A key factor that may affect how your patient responds to treatment is the status of their gut microbiome—the community of microorganisms living inside the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, including bacteria, fungi, viruses, and protozoa (protists).
There is substantial scientific evidence that many health conditions—including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), “leaky gut” syndrome, chronic diarrhea, allergies, atopic dermatitis, ulcerative colitis, and antibiotic-resistant Clostridium and Clostridioides infections (including C. diff infections)—have an element in common: an imbalanced gut microbiome.