IMPORTANCE OF DIETARY AND NUTRITIONAL THERAPY IN DERMATOLOGIC CONDITIONS
Ma. Rosario S. Racho
Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of the Philippines Los Baños
The skin, being the largest organ of the body, has numerous vital functions such as thermoregulation and vitamin D production. It also served as an external barrier from the environment. Because of these important functions, it is essential to maintain a healthy skin in dogs which involves proper management including but not limited to giving preventives to avoid external parasites and providing good nutrition. Clinical diseases involving the skin are easily detected by owners because the manifestations of such diseases are seen externally. As a result, skin problems account for approximately 20% of clinical cases brought to veterinary clinics. Clinical signs often observed in patients with skin problems are pruritus, alopecia, and erythema. These conditions may be caused by different factors such as infectious agents (e.g. bacterial, fungal, parasitic), hormones (e.g. hypothyroidism), allergies, food intolerance, neoplasms, and idiopathies. Most dermatologic conditions are treated or managed with medications and have been proven beneficial to be paired with supportive therapy such as dietary and nutritional modifications. Depending on the disease condition, dietary and nutritional modifications may include the use of novel protein sources in dog food and the addition of increased amounts of omega fatty acids and micronutrients such as Vitamin E and Zinc. The lecture will discuss the benefit and importance of nutritional therapy in patients with dermatologic conditions.