by Stacy Mosel, LMSW
It’s not fun for you or your furry friend when they are afflicted by a skin condition like itching, shedding, inflammation and hotspots. These issues can be uncomfortable, unpleasant and painful for your pet. This is where Skout’s Honor Topical Probiotic products can step in. Our products have been proven to help prevent and eradicate the growth of yeast and fungus that can affect your pet’s skin, and a new breakthrough, third-party study has reasserted the benefits of our patent-pending probiotic blend.
First, How Common Are Skin Ailments in Pets?
If you’ve noticed that your pet is itching and shedding more than usual, you’re not alone. Itching and hair loss are common first signs that something isn’t quite right with your pet’s skin health. Skin problems tend to start off in mild forms, and you might not even notice that there’s a problem in the early stages. But if they’re left untreated, symptoms can quickly progress to severe skin problems like pruritus (intense itching that can cause hair loss and bleeding), environmental dermatitis, bacterial skin infections, hotspots and inflammation.
These conditions are some of the most common skin ailments in pets. In fact, a study published in the Veterinary Research Forum indicated that dermatological problems are accountable for 17% of all vet visits, with pruritus being most common and accounting for 25.35% of all the dermatological consultations. This was followed by erythema (red, inflamed skin rash) and red, inflamed bumps known as maculopapular-pustular eruptions (16.97%), erosive or ulcerative lesions (16.74%), scaling or crusting (13.02%), alopecia/hair loss (8.84%) and visible ectoparasites (7.44%).
Underlying Microbial Problems
Candida albicans, commonly known as yeast, and Microsporum canis, the fungus known as ringworm, are two persistent microbes that are associated with many of these common pet skin ailments. If your pet is affected by Candida, you might notice symptoms like itching, odor, licking of the area, scratching, swelling or redness. Ringworm can cause a scaly, crusty rash manifesting as raised round patches on your pet’s skin, patches of hair loss, itchiness and lesions that look like blisters.
The Proof in the Probiotics
For years, we’ve received stories from customers saying that our probiotic grooming and wellness products have helped their pets overcome their skin ailments and maintain skin health. We wanted to obtain scientific evidence to test out these claims, so we invested in an independent, third-party study to investigate the benefits of our topical probiotic technology.
The goal was to determine the exact level of clinical effectiveness of our product for preventing yeast and fungal growth and treating severe cases of skin ailments. These are typically treated using medications like steroids or antibiotics — but as you may already know, these drugs tend to cause both short- and long-term problems and consequences for our beloved pets.
How The Study Went Down
The independent lab Adamson Analytical Technologies examined our proprietary patent-pending blend of beneficial yeast and bacteria (the probiotic blend) with a Zone of Inhibition test. A Zone of Inhibition test is one of the most common ways of examining the effectiveness of an antibiotic or probiotic in the presence of specific types of bacteria or fungus, in our case, on those known to cause skin problems in pets (Candida albicans and Microsporum canis).
The Zone of Inhibition test involves putting the pure bacteria or fungus on a petri dish plate coated with agar (a nutrient used to create microorganism cultures), then, a small disk that’s infused and treated with the probiotic blend is placed on the plate. The bacteria/fungi are left for a period of time to grow and incubate. If the bacteria or fungi are unable to grow in or around the treated area, there is said to be a “zone of inhibition,” which indicates that the bacteria are sensitive to the probiotic.
The results of the study found that our probiotic blend created a zone of inhibition for both Ringworm and Candida albicans, with a 14 mm zone of inhibition for Ringworm and a 19.7mm zone of inhibition for Candida albicans.
What does this mean for you and your pet? Not only does our product create a barrier of protection from these microbes if your pet already has a skin issue, it also destroys and prevents the growth of Candida albicans and Microsporum canis. This means that even if your pet doesn’t have a problem right now, our probiotic products can help prevent one from developing in the first place. And as they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!
Stacy Mosel, LMSW, has been the proud owner of many different pets, and is also a licensed social worker and psychotherapist. After receiving a bachelor’s degree in music from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, she continued her studies at New York University, earning a master of social work degree in 2002. She writes in the fields of mental health and holistic wellness.
Animal Trust - 10 of the most common dog skin conditions
ASPCA Pet Insurance - Common Skin Problems in Dogs
Veterinary Research Forum - Survey of dermatological conditions in a population of domestic dogs in Mashhad, northeast of Iran (2007-2011)
Medical Mycology - Fungal infections in animals: a patchwork of different situations
VCA Animal Hospitals - Steroid Treatment - Effects in Dogs
Biology LibreTexts - 13.5B: Kirby-Bauer Disk Susceptibility Test
University of Pennsylvania Medical Center Guidelines for Antibiotic Use - Bauer-Kirby Disk Diffusion