Friday 10 January 2014

Dog Days

Given the chaos of the present time and the difficulty of making sense, if any, of all that is going on perhaps it is time to take a look to see what science has to tell us.

Plos one, a site for academics has a long article to read on the subject of The Skin Microbiome in Healthy and Allergic Dogs.  It will certainly take your mind off other present excitements.



A large number of previously uncultured or rarely isolated microbes were identified in the skin of dogs evaluated in this study, demonstrating that the skin of dogs is inhabited by much more rich and diverse microbial communities than was previously thought, using culture-based methods.

The study also shows that each skin site from each dog evaluated here was inhabited by a variable and unique microbiome, with significant individual variability between samples from different dogs and between different skin sites within the same dog.

Differences in species richness were also seen between healthy and allergic dogs, with allergic dogs having significantly lower species richness when compared to healthy dogs. Since the number of allergic dogs enrolled into this study was small, and significant variability was observed between individuals and between different skin sites, a larger cohort of healthy and allergic dogs would have to be evaluated before drawing any further conclusions on the most important microbes inhabiting the skin of dogs, and the roles that these microbes play in health or disease states.

A study of the skin microbiome of allergic dogs during acute flares and chronic skin lesions might also confirm a lowering of this bacterial diversity.  It is imperative for us to better understand the microbial populations inhabiting the skin of animals.

Being able to describe the skin microbiome in healthy animals, and identify the changes that occur in the skin microbiome in disease states, could reveal the role of the microbiome in the pathogenesis of skin diseases, and possibly identify better measures to treat skin conditions, ultimately reducing usage and resistance to systemic antimicrobial treatment."


I can conclude only that while dogs could be bad for humans it is likely that humans are very bad for dogs.

1 comment:

  1. Maybe it's a bad idea to wash dogs too often. A smelly dog is a healthy dog.