Your dog's gut is really important. A healthy gut or health microbiome is the literal foundation of health. The gut microbiome is made up of "trillions of microorganisms (also called microbiota or microbes) of thousands of different species. These include not only bacteria but fungi, parasites, and viruses" that should coexist symbiotically and peacefully in the body without causing sickness (Source: Harvard School of Public Health).
Each organism has their own completely unique microbiome that is determined by DNA and genetics, during birth via the birth canal and obtained through breast milk.
This balance in the body is crucial for overall health, particularly a strong digestive and immune system. However, in humans if the gut microbiome becomes unbalanced, because of "infectious illnesses, certain diets, or the prolonged use of antibiotics or other bacteria-destroying medications—dysbiosis occurs, stopping these normal interactions. As a result, the body may become more susceptible to disease" (Source: Harvard School of Public Health).
The same is true for our dogs.
For example, bulldog puppies are particularly susceptible to dysbiosis, or an imbalance of bacteria in the body because they are typically born via c-section and right from birth, they don't receive that healthy bacteria from their mothers' birth canal. It's the perfect storm for disease.
After birth, they are typically bombarded with too many vaccines too soon and fed a highly processed diet that fails to help them establish a strong microbiome and their immune system and digestive systems become weak. That is why they are notoriously sick. Chronic ailments like interdigital cysts, allergies, cherry eye, autoimmune disease and the list goes on are typically considered typical bulldog issues that are widely accepted as "ok" or "normal," when in fact they are anything but normal.
These symptoms are the bodies' way of trying to reestablish that healthy, symbiotic balance in the gut microbiome and heal itself.
If you are reading this, you definitely do not want to see your dog suffer and the most logical thing to do when your dog is showing symptoms of something, is to take him/her to the vet.
Makes sense. However, most vets are quite simply drug dealers. They push pills that mask the symptoms in the short-term yet fail to heal the actual cause, which starts with gut dysbiosis. The over-prescription of kibble diets, antibiotics, steroids, and apoquel destroy the gut bacteria even further, making actual and true healing even harder to do. Unfortunately, if you continue to follow this course of action, your dog will get sicker.
So, what can you do?
It is extremely important that you optimize your the health of your dog with optimal nutrition. Every single health condition begins in the gut, which means feeding an ancestrally appropriate diet of meat, veggies and fruit is extremely important. Feed raw or home-cook and avoid feeding kibble if possible. Add a probiotic to his/her food. Read more on our feeding recommendations here.
Despite optimizing diet, dogs still can get sick. Be wary of any vet that just starts pushing pills or prescription diets because these strategies will not cure the issue in the first place. If your dog is chronically sick, we recommend feeding clean protein and vegetables, like white fish or cod. You can read more on our detox protocol here.
Find yourself an integrative vet that can help you help your dog naturally. And remember, if your vet prescribes medication before asking about lifestyle including nutrition and vaccines, they are a drug dealer, not a vet.