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Fur Times | April 7, 2020

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What is Leaky Bowel Syndrome?

What is Leaky Bowel Syndrome?
Francisco DiPolo, DVM, CVA

Leaky Bowel Syndrome is a problem that develops in dogs when the animal’s intestinal wall is unable to retain bacteria inside the intestinal tract. This allows toxins and bacteria to migrate from the vascular system to other organs in the body. Some indications that your pet may have Leaky Bowel include chronic skin infections, intermittent diarrhea, lethargy, and more.

In human medicine, this syndrome has been linked to chronic fatigue and depression. However, in our pet population, the problems seem to present as some kind of food allergy that may contribute to skin irritation and bowel problems. Since the intestinal tract is the largest immunologic organ, if it’s not working well, it may profoundly affect or influence problems throughout the entire body. (In the interest of keeping this post brief, I’ll discuss food borne allergies or intolerance only, and will leave contact and other environmental allergies for a different time.)

While Leaky Bowel Syndrome is not the only cause for most of our pets’ chronic allergies and diarrheas, it can certainly intensify the problem. So, I believe that it is crucial to pay attention to this potential underlying effect in the gut, while at the same time using standard medicine to control the clinical signs and discomfort.

Thankfully, there are a few things that we can do to help improve our pet’s intestinal health. This involves the use of multiple therapies, such as dietary changes and other supplements that can improve the overall health of the intestinal tract.

Stay tuned for my next blog post on the standard treatment protocol for Leaky Bowel Syndrome.

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