#33 Skin! It’s alive!

The skin. Who knew your Sadie’s outer protective layer was intimately associated with her immune system?

And when you shampoo her lovely skin, you are actually impairing Sadie’s resistance?

Oh oh.

We live in a world of “germophobia” (fear of germs), but the bottom line is, we all benefit from having healthy skin microbiomes! All those alcohol wipes and repeated washings with soap or shampoo do is mess up Mom Nature’s well-tested plans to keep us all healthy!

Join me and homeopath Julie Anne Lee as we discuss the intimate connection between healthy skin, its native flora, and general health. And how you can encourage more resiliency and diversity in this, the largest organ any of us has.

Put dirt in the litter box? A mud mask on your dog? Getting down and dirty with your creatures may just be the best thing for all of us!

Links for this episode

The Adored Beast Specials for listeners (microbiome support and more)

Apoquel: Dog Drug with a Dark Side Looking past the quick fix.

Cytopoint: High Tech Answer to Your Itchy Dog Are you using Cytopoint? Read this.

Here’s Julie’s recipe for the flora enhancing mask:

Thanks for listening!

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Next week: Lisa Rosamino joins me to discuss titer clinics! If you’ve ever been stopped from getting a titer by your vet (or charged hundreds of $$ for one), listen to this one. You’ll learn how to get your friendly pet store to help get the needed blood and get a titer test inexpensively.

Let us know in the comments below if this has been an eye opening episode for you or if you’ve tried some of these skin treatments that support its health.

Episode 33, Julie Anne Lee on skin microbiome
Intro: If you want a wildly healthy, naturally disease resistant pet who turns heads and starts conversations with awestruck onlookers, you're right where you belong. This is the Vital Animal Podcast with your host homeopathic veterinarian. Dr. Will Falconer
[00:00:36] Will Falconer, DVM: Welcome everyone. This is episode 33 of the Vital Animal Podcast. I'm Dr. Will Falconer your host. It's my pleasure to welcome back Julie Anne Lee from the great north of Canada. And we're talking about skin microbiomes today. Welcome Julie.
[00:00:56] Julie Anne Lee DCH: Thank you so much.
[00:00:58] Will Falconer, DVM: Great to have you back again. And again, it's really in my interest to hear all about skin microbiomes, because I've been fighting skin stuff for decades now, and I'm convinced that I've got a dysbiosis at the heart of it.
[00:01:13] So there must be some connection between gut microbiomes and skin microbiome. So what is that? Talk about that what's going on between the two.
[00:01:23] Julie Anne Lee DCH: There is definitely a connection, but they also are very independent of each other. So I think in general, whether you're, a school teacher, a mom, a veterinarian, a doctor, a nurse, we look at the skin as something all the time to clean the skin, clean this, scrub it.
[00:01:46] Exactly. We look at it as a blank playing field that needs to stay clean, right?
[00:01:52] Will Falconer, DVM: Especially with the COVID thing, right? Wash your hands!
[00:01:54]Julie Anne Lee DCH: With everything, or your, our dogs are running around in the mud and they'd come, would come bring them back in. And we wash all their dirt off. And kids too, " don't play in the dirt. Don't get dirty. Don't do this. Don't do that."
[00:02:07] So the skin really is our first defense organ. So before we even get into swallowing anything, and then it dealing with the gut, our first mode of defense is the microbiome of the skin that protects, it's our largest organ.
[00:02:29] So what it is it's really is our first mode of defense. When we remove that defense mechanism, which is our natural, healthy bacteria. When we remove that, then the body is defenseless to other bacterias, other chemicals, other, because, but there, cause there's certain bacterias that even protect us against environmental chemicals and pollution and all yeah.
[00:03:02] All kinds of stuff. There's a definite I always look at it as a, when you look at your hair follicles or you look at a skin close up, it almost looks like a little jungle and it does. And when you think of the bacteria, you can think of it as the army or the defense system of all different kinds of, and of all different educations.
[00:03:29] To protect the skin or the body or its vessel against anything that basically comes to invade or set up shop even. If the skin is a playing field of different kinds of bacterias, those different bacterias will then do what it needs to do environmentally... If it comes to it naturally evolves and comes to play where it needs to come to play.
[00:04:03] And I, it's so adaptive and I use the, I always say, what is your skin and Yellowstone park have in common? I did a lecture actually about that or wolves in Yellowstone park. And I always like to go back to that example of, I don't know, did I?
[00:04:25] Will Falconer, DVM: Yeah. We covered that in your last episode, they took the wolves out and the whole ecosystem fell apart.
[00:04:31] Julie Anne Lee DCH: Fell apart, everything fell apart until they started putting the wolves back in.
[00:04:36] So a similar thing happens, you get into the shower or you get your dog and you wash your dog with ketoconozole shampoos and all kinds of different steroid shampoos and different like harsh. The stuff we use on dogs is they're pretty harsh. And it's stuff like you said, now what we're using on our own hands really destroys our like, I get it, but it destroys our natural ability to fight viruses, to fight yeast, to fight different kinds of bacteria.
[00:05:10]Because if it's stripped of its natural bacteria, Then it leaves it open to all of the pathogenic bacteria, having full reign on the entire skin. And set up shop in the whole, because soap is the same as antibiotics. It doesn't differentiate between good bacteria and bad bacteria.
[00:05:33] It just destroys bacteria and washes everything off. And then as soon as it does that, and it also washes off like the Humanic and the oils and in everything that I even keeps the skin having almost a natural water based protection., where water or liquids don't absorb into the skin as well.
[00:05:59] Repellent, Exactly. So even things like fungus's and parasites, and you name it when we remove the bacteria off our skin, we set the skin up for all kinds of pathogenic bacterias to just take hold.
[00:06:16] Will Falconer, DVM: Makes sense. Yeah. Makes total sense.
[00:06:19] Julie Anne Lee DCH: So it's Contra it's basic. It's very contra-indicated compared to what we're taught though, is very controversial too. If we touch something and it's dirty, then we're supposed to be washing our hands to take the viruses or the bacteria.
[00:06:33] Will Falconer, DVM: That pendulum has swung so far in that direction though. Now we have disinfectant toothpastes and disinfectant of course, hand cleaners. And, but we've got disinfectant, baby wipes, you're wiping your baby's butt with a disinfectant, and it's crazy how far that's gone.
[00:06:49]Julie Anne Lee DCH: We know there's lots and lots of studies about if someone can't have a natural birth that's one thing. But the whole immunity is passed onto your baby through the vaginal canal. So that, that entire bacteria and that entire process starts the gut microbiome to develop.
[00:07:13] And they know that not having that bacteria in the first 12 hours depletes or decreases the intelligence, basically of the immune of your immune system. The defenses are down much like really they, I think they're saying like that the children that are born through C-sections have about 40% of the immunity of vaginal birth.
[00:07:40] And they also know that children that grow up on farms. That dig in the dirt and are dirty all the time and around all different kinds of animals. They have a much, much stronger immune system than children that live in the city.
[00:07:57]Will Falconer, DVM: The Amish is a classic example. They've compared Amish kids to very genetically similar kids growing up in the city.
[00:08:05] And of course the Amish their babies are born vaginally, they're out in the barn with mom nursing on mom while mom's milking a cow for God's sake, at an early life. They get like almost no asthma, allergies are unheard of.
[00:08:21] And the kids in the city and in like genetics are fraught with asthma now and getting allergies to all sorts of things and sensitivities like the peanut sensitivity and all that crazy stuff. That's unheard of in a farm environment.
[00:08:36] Julie Anne Lee DCH: Yeah. And I do really well. They don't that it's from digging in the dirt and putting your hands in soil. Like when we talk about we don't garden anymore. When people were gardening and when kids were young and running around, they were running through mud and grass and dirt. And it's the same with dogs that live on farms.
[00:08:56] Like my dogs, they're constantly in the manure pile. They're walking through the grass and I have free range, chickens, everywhere, pooping, and they're in mud and soil and dirt, and they're digging and they're in all kinds of stuff like that. You look at dogs that are in the city, they're on concrete, right? They're on, or cats that live in apartments that are never outside.
[00:09:21] Their dog parks are cement or gravel. A lot of dogs don't get, or if they do get dirty, they get a bath when they get home. They get washed off. So I remember when I went to England, when I was doing the, my work with the British homeopathic veterinary surgeons. And I remember I was so shocked when one of the vets said that he never uses deodorant and how bad deodorant is.
[00:09:54] And I'm like, oh God, that's just gross. That would have been like 20, I don't know, 1994. And I thought, and then, but he said, Julie smell my underarms. I'm like, yeah, no, that's okay. I told him, I trust you. I believe you. It was. But I wound up, I did, because I couldn't believe that he wouldn't wear… And he said, man, I stunk like crazy till my body rebuilt my bacteria. And when the bacteria was rebuilt, then the, that bacteria stops the bacteria that actually has the smell, the odor. And it's so true. Like I know so many women that used to get yeast infection after yeast infection, because they're washing with soap.
[00:10:50] And I would say to them, stop washing with soap. Don't use soap at all anymore. And it was like, they weren't getting any more yeast infections. Because the bacteria was what was keeping the yeast at bay and everything lives harmoniously… like we're supposed to have it. Like dogs are supposed to have yeast on their skin.
[00:11:12] They're supposed to have bacteria. They're supposed to have the diversity of that ecosystem. That exactly what you said it adapts or ebbs and flows depending on its environment. That's how the body, that's how host homeostasis works is in that ebb and flow in. And it's not static by any means. It's an interesting it's so interesting. I just feel like all we really have to do is look at nature and just get out of it, get out. It honestly, it's so true. So when people say to me, so what do people do if they live in apartments? Like what about cats that live in apartments?
[00:11:54] What about dogs that live in apartments? Live in the city, like urban dogs? What do you do with that? And I say to people just go and buy soil and buy manure, but make sure it's organic, so it doesn't have any chemicals and fertilizers and stuff in it. Give it and put it on your. Apartment, put it on your balcony, put it in like a swimming pool on your balcony and hide their bones in it.
[00:12:20]Let them dig in the dirt, let them, and then get different dirt. Or if you can go to parks, go to different kinds of parks so that you're introducing different kinds of bacterias to get that diversity. Or go to the woods one day and then go to a then go to the beach. Yeah. Take a shovel full of dirt home.
[00:12:40] And it's the same with cats. Give them a litter box with dirt in them and just watch them like they're there. My gosh, they think that they've it's kinda, yeah. It's is it as easy to clean? No, but I, what I said, it just had the, this have that as an extra. Throw their cat litter in it or not cat litter, their catnip in it.
[00:13:03]So that they play in it. Like they get it on them. Yeah. Yeah. How many cats go on dirt and dirt that are in the house? And then you wonder why they're in their plant in your P O or in my planters. My cats keep getting into my planters. Yeah, they're seeking out the dirt. They're not just trying to be bad and dig up your plant.
[00:13:24] They're actually seeking out what they know that they need. So it's,
[00:13:29] Will Falconer, DVM: It's a brilliant perspective, I love it.
[00:13:31] Julie Anne Lee DCH: It's a really, like I've had people do mud baths, and dirt baths, and the one product that I have, it's got it's Phytospora, that's got the fulvic and humic acid in it. And that's what it is. It's compacted like ancient dirt, ancient minerals, right then that has been, yeah, that is, that's been compacted over centuries by the ice age.
[00:13:59] The one that we have is from the ice age. And I've had so many people where I would, they say "How do you put bacteria back on their skin?" First stop washing them with soap. If you gotta rinse them off, if they've come back in and they're dirty or whatever, just use water.
[00:14:17] Use water, use green tea, use camomile tea, don't use soap and water or shampoo and water. And then I also give people, take a really good probiotic and takes some kefir, and make like a mask. We can actually give you the amount, Stephanie can give you the recipe for it, and you make it, you put your animal in the bathtub and you massage this mask into their skin and you leave it on. And it doesn't hurt them if they lick it because it's a probiotic and kefir, of a probiotic and yogurt, you leave it on for as long as you can, 15, 20 minutes if you can. Rinse it off, don't wash it off, rinse it off, or rinse it off with plain water or again, tea. And it's pretty amazing. I've seen so many bright red, hot spotty, stinky, sweaty dogs that have such relief from that. It's incredible. And then there was a study done about topical probiotics and atopic dermatitis, and it works.
[00:15:25] It actually works when you use a probiotic on the skin topically. And I think there was a bunch of people that tried the Phytospora, and which, it gives a lot more of the different strains and the canine strains, but the fulvic and humic acid in it, I think what happens is it also creates this one, almost like a detoxification or a chelation, because the skin's often so stagnant in really bad animals, like really bad skin disease that the, that chelation, or that drawing effect right?
[00:16:05] From the mud, which it almost looks like when you wet it, it pulls the, almost the detoxifies through the skin. But then at the same time, it's it's got to have ancient bacteria in it as well. Because it's not sterilized or pasteurized or anything like that, it's taken right from the ground and milled. And so I'm sure it's got that because people will take a picture before they put it on. And the dog is like beet red. And then after the mask, you can call it for days their skin is nice and calm because it's just giving that relief of giving that extra bacteria, putting that extra bacteria on there, because the, like staphylococcus and things like that are just crazy itchy.
[00:16:57] Like they really cause distress in animals.
[00:17:01] The next thing I tell people to do this is, I would do anything for my animals. Some people think I'm a bit crazy, but is that cross species positive contamination. Which is an interesting thing to say with COVID but I tell people that have animals that are really bad, that if they take, has to be a hundred percent cotton, and before you have your shower, when you're sweaty or whatever is you take the towel and you rub your skin, with the you rub yourself all over with the towel and then you lie the towel down on your dog's bed or your cats bed, and the bacteria that comes from your skin, then cross pollinates onto your dog as well. And again, the more diversity, the more bacteria, the better, of all different kinds, right?
[00:17:57] It's like dogs that had so many antibiotics, especially skin disease, dogs. Yeah. Antibiotics and antifungals first thought for a lot of practitioners. Oh, yeah. So they're so depleted in their microbiome that any way that you can get a diverse bacteria onto their skin, the better.
[00:18:22] Will Falconer, DVM: I just had a vision, Julie, I'm thinking there's mud wrestling out there somewhere. So someone could bring their dog to the mud wrestling match and just get down there and get all slathered up. Both of you.
[00:18:36] Julie Anne Lee DCH: Seriously! That, or, yeah, you could have like a little swimming pool. Swimming pools full of mud, all kinds of stuff like that. Like animals aren't stupid. If you look at, if you look at my like livestock animals is if there's bugs and flies and things like that out there, they just go roll in the mud as protection.
[00:18:57]Will Falconer, DVM: Yeah. Elephants do that. Sure.
[00:19:01] Julie Anne Lee DCH: And I think there's more to it than just keeping bugs off. I think they know that the more bacteria, the less possibility for almost like the protozoa type bugs too. So the other thing that I was going to say though, is they've also shown that synthetic blankets produce more pathogens than cotton blankets.
[00:19:31] So when your dog is sleeping on a hundred percent cotton, or we're sleeping on a hundred percent cotton or something of natural organic fiber, whether that's wool or cotton or silk or whatever, those materials tend to house friendly bacteria, promote the growth of friendly bacteria, supports them.
[00:19:56] Okay. Whereas synthetics, that don't breathe, which makes sense that don't breathe, produce more and support more pathogenic bacteria, and yeast and fungals, fungus. Yeah.
[00:20:13] Will Falconer, DVM: Yeah. Makes sense. Makes intuitive sense to me.
[00:20:16] Julie Anne Lee DCH: Yeah. So I've got lots of people when their dogs jump up on the couch, they make sure that they put down like a cotton towel or a cotton and all of the chemical fire retardants that are on dog beds and blankets and sofas and couches and everything,clothes….
[00:20:37] Will Falconer, DVM: Yeah. Yeah. Babies pajamas are now fire retardant laden, crazy.
[00:20:41] Julie Anne Lee DCH: Isn't it crazy? Forget about cancer and all the different auto-immune diseases too, but that whole, it's like lying on something that has a barrier that doesn't breathe. So it's it produces sweat and it produces different kinds of bacteria then, that sits between the sheet or the blanket and your skin. Right there. Again, there's no symbiotic breathing room of the skin and then no interchange, it's just this flat oxygen, non oxygen
[00:21:21] Will Falconer, DVM: It'd be like lying on a tile floor instead of a sheet, or better yet a lawn. Yeah, exactly.
[00:21:29] You remember sleeping out as a kid? What a joy that was to just, put your sleeping bag out on the grass and look up at the stars and all that. Imagine how much of a good hit your microbiome got just from being out in the grass, even wrapped up in a sleeping bag, you got enough exposure. We've come such a long ways to fearing germs and blaming germs for so many diseases.
[00:21:54] And the fact is that we've lived with them for millennia and we've struck a balance with them before recent times. We did well with their help.
[00:22:05] Julie Anne Lee DCH: And that's the other thing is parasites, right? Like I think that when we look at different kinds of auto-immune diseases and where they start in the protection initially happening with the skin.
[00:22:22] There are certain bacterias that also produce more anti-inflammatory effects, right? Help to decrease histamine responses and don'teven… it's almost like the pathogenic things don't even set up shop because the house and the housing just, isn't a sweet spot for them. They're looking for something that they don't have to compete with.
[00:22:51]They're looking for a house or a space where there's not a lot of competition. That kind of bacteria and those kinds of parasites and fungi are opportunists. So they really don't feel like fighting the big guns. They would rather jump on and take up their house on a skin that's easy for them to proliferate on their own.
[00:23:14]Will Falconer, DVM: It's like the idea of a, of an ear " infection" in a dog. And what a misnomer that is.
[00:23:19] The dog's ear is sick. And so the bacteria opportunists move in and say, Hey, let's set up shop here. Whether it's a yeast or a pseudomonas or whatever it is, they go, Hey, this is great!
[00:23:32] There's inflammation up in this ear probably triggered by allergies. And now we've got a home let's set up shop! And the veterinarian goes and takes a swab and says, "oh, there's pseudomonas or there's oh, there's malassezia, or there's this yeast or that yeast, that's the reason! Let's kill it! And we just kill it and nothing gets better.
[00:23:51] Long-term nothing gets better.
[00:23:54] Julie Anne Lee DCH: No. And it's again, that scenario is looking at the outside instead of the what's the underlying cause, which you and I are, both are that's what we aspire to, to figure out is the underlying issue, rather than the just what's on the surface or what we're seeing.
[00:24:14] Will Falconer, DVM: Zach Bush talks about that with agriculture and weeds, right?
[00:24:18] You start killing all the bacterial soil or soil bacteria with Roundup, et cetera, which is an antibiotic. That's how it was licensed originally. And what starts growing? Weeds take over. There again, these lazy opportunists who go well, "The soil is all screwed up so I can live here. There's nothing, there's no competition."
[00:24:38] And until we turn around the basis of that and get the soil microbe population healthy, the weeds proliferate. We're dunning them with more and more chemicals to kill them. Thinking that we're somehow going to get back to balance and it just gets worse instead of better.
[00:24:54] Julie Anne Lee DCH: No, we make the soil really uneducated that it doesn't know what it naturally would have known how to deal with that.
[00:25:05]And I'm saying that it's, I always want to read this and say, I have this thing. It says, "In the same way, modernizing our dogs and ourselves to disrupt natural flora and the gut with antibiotics, nutrition, lifestyle, same holds true with drugs and with the skin." And it says, "outdated research once thought that the skin microbiome only existed on the surface of the skin and that the deeper layer was sterile. But now we know that these organisms have been identified all the way down to the subcutaneous fat layer."
[00:25:41] Oh, so it goes all the way down. And then the skin microbiome and the skin immune system, they actually communicate with each other. This is I think really fascinating. So the skin microbiome and the skin's immune system, right?
[00:26:02] Because the skin has its own immunity, as well as the same with our gut. So the skin has the same concept as the immune response in the gut. Our skin has a very similar response.
[00:26:19] And when the skin communicates, the skin immune system and the skin microbiome communicate, it decreases in inflammation, it aids in wound healing.
[00:26:32] It . Limits the exposure to allergens and UV radiation. And it can derail oxidative stress. Yeah. And what's really cool is something called SALT. And S.A.L.T. is skin associated lymphoid tissue. And these immune cells literally talk to the lymph nodes within the body that distribute signals to the overall body's immune response to determine the correct course of action.
[00:27:09] So your skin, the skin immune cells of the skin, literally communicate to the internal lymph nodes and tell the lymph nodes where, and how to distribute. And what is the correct course of action to protect ourselves.
[00:27:31] Will Falconer, DVM: Oh, beautiful. Beautiful. Wouldn't that make logical sense? Like you say, the skin is the first defense, right?
[00:27:38] It's right out there on the surface. Yeah.
[00:27:41] Julie Anne Lee DCH: Beautiful. Yeah. You and I are always taught that the skin is the body when it's skin disease, it's not as, as life-threatening as an organ… it's external. But we treat it like it's the end of the world. And we attack it like it's cancer, we use drugs on skin disease, like it's cancer, right? Like the amount of chemicals and toxic drugs that we use on dogs. Really early on too, right? Like I'm not talking a dog that is has already gone through the gamut of a million different things. And it just needs some relief. I'm talking like pulling out the steroids, it's first hotspot, which we do. We just slap on the topical immune suppressive drugs.
[00:28:32]So when we do that, we instantly are suppressing the entire immune system, right? Like we're as you and I know as homeopaths, we're shoving it down to a deeper level. And as long as the dog or the person stays healthy, it's going to keep pushing it back up to skin disease.
[00:28:57] Cause it's going," No! I want to get rid of this." And as a homeopath, when we're treating an animal or a person and we're looking at the symptomatology. And the language that the body is trying to tell us on the skin… Yes, the symptom language, it therefore goes to the original state of the disease. But a drug can't differentiate, a drug just suppresses and then it, so it makes even homeopathic sense that when we're taught, don't suppress skin disease, this holds true with this skin associated lymphoid tissue. Because if we're suppressing its ability to communicate to the rest of the body, what are we doing?
[00:29:47]It's a huge disservice. But it's no wonder we have so many autoimmune diseases, right? Because we're creating, we're stopping the ability for the body to communicate with itself not in shock to each other, from gut-brain to anything,
[00:30:08] Will Falconer, DVM: Yeah, gut-skin, gut, every, all these communication systems that take place.
[00:30:13] I just had an aha while you were talking about the immune system of the skin. The saying a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing. Science or the mainstream big pharma has discovered that these dogs who are itchy, the number one reason dogs see vets is they're itchy and allergic
[00:30:29] and their immune systems are out of whack. The big pharma has said, "Ah, that's the immune system doing something wrong. So what are we going to do? We're going to give your dog Apoquel or Cytopoint, which further suppresses that immune response. And makes things, the itch goes away within hours of taking Apoquel, the itch goes away.
[00:30:53] People are in heaven until the other shoe drops. And now they've got cancer or now they've got auto-immune disease, or now they've got a myriad of other things that are growing out of bounds. So the immune system and the skin. Yeah, a good that you saw that correlation, but horrible that you're suppressing the immune system as an answer.
[00:31:15] That's not going to fix anything.
[00:31:16]Julie Anne Lee DCH: No. And I think that it's because they're compartmentalizing it, they're not looking at the skin as being the language of a deeper level. Yep.
[00:31:26]Will Falconer, DVM: And a living, breathing organ right?
[00:31:28] Julie Anne Lee DCH: Yeah. They're looking at the skin as a shell of the organs inside instead of the largest organ of the body.
[00:31:37]So it's like attack. And it's also the rebound effect. Even if the dogs don't get cancer or liver disease or whatever, the minute they, the body either gets to that level of,now I know lots of dogs that have been onAtopica and Apoquel, and it's been like a miracle.
[00:32:01] And then all of a sudden, it's not a miracle anymore. It's it stops working. It either stops working because it's like putting a bandaid or a duct tape over a hole of a pipe, a water pipe. It doesn't look like it's there, but underneath it's just getting bigger and bigger the hole until the duct tape comes off.
[00:32:22] Can't stick anymore. It's been on there too long. And then the hole is exponentially bigger than it was before you put duct tape on. Or even the rebound, right? Like you're pushing suppressing, you take, stop the drug, or the drug stops working and then you have this incredible rebound right.
[00:32:41] Where the body is just yeah. It's a thousand times worse than it ever was, and then it's, then you got to do more drugs and then you got to do more intense stuff. And then they got to walk around for the rest of their lives, with a cone on their head or,
[00:32:54] Will Falconer, DVM: It's getting worse instead of better.
[00:32:55] Julie Anne Lee DCH: Oh man
[00:32:56]Will Falconer, DVM: Yeah. I agree. My number one most read and commented on blog post is "Apoquel: Dog Drug With a Dark Side" and I'll link to that at their show notes. If people haven't seen it, the preponderance of comments are not only that the drugs stop working after a while, which as you say it does. But the commonest side effect appears to be lymphosarcoma, cancer of the immune system.
[00:33:23] Hello. Should we trade itchy skin? Oh, we got relief. I had to do something I'm so happy he's not itching. And then months later, or a year later, lymphosarcoma or some other tumor is going awry and now they're battling cancer. It's so short-sighted, and there's a reason that's got 800 plus comments on that post is because it's a widely experienced phenomenon.
[00:33:48] This drug is being prescribed like crazy. It's a prescription only thing. And I'm sure Zoetis people are in heaven that they're making millions of dollars off it, but these animals are suffering. That's a horrible short-term fix.
[00:34:04] Julie Anne Lee DCH: Yeah. And I often wonder what they, I'm sure they feel relief from not being able to itch, but. Or not being itchy, but I often wonder what they actually feel like.
[00:34:15] Will Falconer, DVM: No, I'm sure they don't just feel better.
[00:34:18]Julie Anne Lee DCH: I don't think so either, but it's so sad because what's their alternative? There's just, there just isn't enough. I don't know. There's just not, there's still just not enough people giving another alternative besides that,
[00:34:36] Will Falconer, DVM: Homeopathy cures them, but boy, I was just talking to a homeopath the other day, interviewing someone, Odette Suter, oh, she's not a homeopath, she's a holistic vet, but she said they're harder and harder to cure now. The skin cases come and she used to be able to cure them more easily. And now they're like really knotty and difficult. And I think I experienced that myself in my own progression as a homeopathic vet is, I cringed when I started to hear about another itchy dog case coming in the door, who owners had spent thousands of dollars on the conventional route and they hadn't gotten it relief or long-term relief. Now they're at the homeopath's door, and while homeopathy can cure the disease underlying and get them well, it's hard work and it's long work.
[00:35:24] If they've been itchy for five years, it's going to be two and a half years of work as you well know. Have you experienced that as well that it's harder to get the skin cases better than it used to be?
[00:35:34] Julie Anne Lee DCH: Oh yeah.
[00:35:35] Yeah. But I'm going to shoot myself in the foot saying this, but with what I do now or what I started doing, and that's why I started the leaky gut protocols and things like that, like really working on the microbiome, like big time working on the microbiome.
[00:35:53] I have a different philosophy. Being in practice for 20 years and seeing as many patients as I did, is that what we just spoke about is that real gray zone of quality of life. And I've heard way too many people say I couldn't stand one more day watching him bleed or watching him itch himself.
[00:36:18] He's miserable. His life is crappy. And if it's going to shorten his life, but he's going to have an okay life, I'm giving him the drugs. Like I can't, I just can't watch this anymore. And when I first started in my practice, I was really anal about just constitutional prescribing and one remedy at a time and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
[00:36:42] And then I really started looking at the animal and going, are you happy? Above all do no harm. The amount of people that couldn't wait the two years to get them better or the year to get them better the six months to get them better, that I started treating these deep seated chronic diseases acutely.
[00:37:09] And I gave them single remedies and I just chased the disease. And whatever came up, I gave them a acute remedy for, and it was like the late, you could see layers come off actually quite quickly when sometimes they would cycle back to the original remedy. And then eventually, and at the same time, I was super focused on their gut.
[00:37:34]So it's not like I just rebuilding their gut, getting the gut membrane or the mucosal lining so that it didn't continue. I think I truly believe that the reason that skin disease is harder is because the drugs that they're getting is causing so much gut trauma, that everything they eat, everything they smell, everything that goes into their body becomes inflammatory. Everything.
[00:38:03] Cause it just seeps right through the mucosal lining and goes directly into the bloodstream. And the bloodstream is just going," What's this? And what's that? And there's a chicken protein and there's a dust mite and there's a flea saliva. And there's this." It's just this, it's just this explosion with no relief.
[00:38:23]So I would just start it, I would just start treating them acutely. Until they could get some kind of relief and at the same time building up their gut, building up their gut and then you get them to a certain level and then you're going, okay. They can now handle one remedy watch and see, and then they feel better. And then the pet parents feel better and everyone's less like frantic and freaking out. And the dog can literally breathe without chewing its feet off or chewing its face off or walking around with a cone. It's a different way of looking at stuff. But I definitely that's the reason that I came up with all the protocols and stuff is because I saw firsthand with thousands of animals that it's a multi-faceted approach.
[00:39:20]And it's looking at, I feel like when they've been so suppressed, it's almost like different miasms even come up as the layers come off. In different, like where they were here. Like I always call it, I don't, I call it. So I say it's non-organic diseases and drug layered pathology, and you've got to go through, what were they like before they got that dose of that?
[00:39:47] And let's treat them where they are right here until that drug dose comes off. And then you'll see what they were probably like before that suppression happened. So it's not even taking off layers of disease. We're taking off layers of drug pathology, like non-organic disease. It's very, I feel like homeopathy is really different now.
[00:40:12] Because Hahnemann was dealing with dirty water and unclean, like being in dank basements, and having asthma and not having he was dealing with, I believe more organic disease. We're dealing with mutated, drug suppressive, layered pathology that I think it takes a while to even get to see what the animal really is or what their real symptoms even are.
[00:40:49] I've seen dogs that the symptoms are the drugs. They're not even the dog. They're drug symptoms. They're chemical symptoms or they're side effects of the drugs. They're not even real disease. So I didn't do that with everybody, but the really bad ones that you're talking about. I had to find some way to give them relief because their cortisol levels are all over the place.
[00:41:13] They're like, it just, at some point you just got to try and give them some kind of relief.
[00:41:20] Will Falconer, DVM: Yeah. Yeah. Chronic inflammation is underlying everything. That's making her life miserable and the gut is such a big part of that. Like you say, if they're leaking everything they eat through that membrane, then the immune system's constantly under stress, constantly challenged, constantly responding with inflammation.
[00:41:39]Julie Anne Lee DCH: Yeah. And reactivity. Jean Dodds was the first to say, it's not an allergy, it's a sensitivity or a reactivity. So all these animals that are being diagnosed with allergies, so many of them don't have true allergies. They have reactivity because the protein is going where it's not supposed to go. Through that leaky gut, they're not getting their micronutrients to even be able to metabolize their vitamins properly in order to have antioxidants.
[00:42:11] I know more animals than I can even count ever in my lifetime that have been on the best food you could possibly put them on. And they're still a mess, absolute mess, because all of that amazing food isn't going into healing. It's going into just being reactive in the blood stream.
[00:42:32] Will Falconer, DVM: So outside the gut absorbed where it shouldn't be.
[00:42:35] Julie Anne Lee DCH: Yeah. The animal actually becomes malnourished, even though you're giving them amazing food because they're not, they don't have the bacteria in the gut that actually creates the metabolite that processes the food that actually makes the vitamin, right? That whole that's how we have vitamins.
[00:42:59] The metabolites or the post biotic effect of bacteria is what turns a carrot into the vitamin, Or turns the protein into the protein or turns or whatever into the, whatever. It's not the food itself. It's the metabolism or the metabolite from the bacteria. And if that bacteria is not there, you're yeah, and you're not making the metabolites and you're not, so you're not producing the nutrition, your body's not absorbing the micronutrients.
[00:43:31] Will Falconer, DVM: So let's wrap up Julie with a little bit of takeaway of what people can do to start to turn the tables. Even better, if you had a mini talk on preventing getting there in the first place. That's where I really love to start. As you got to, you've got a newbie, that's come into the world and you're deciding about, are you going to vaccinate in the usual way?
[00:43:54] Are you going to feed kibble versus raw or something else? And are you going to kill fleas and ticks with poisons? All those decisions will affect the long-term health of that animal. We can't fix all the there's no blanket statement. Maybe there is maybe there's a, there's some principles that you could give for those animals whose owners are listening now saying, "My animal is already in the damaged state, but let's maybe just thumbnail prevention first.
[00:44:22] How would you outline that in the ideal world?
[00:44:25] Julie Anne Lee DCH: For me, it's like less is more. So I feel like animals are, have the innate ability to be healthy. So if you. A lot of puppies and kittens are born with not very healthy guts, because they're like you just said, a lot of people are watching and they're, their animals are already quite sick, but puppies and kittens born to those animals are not going to have a healthy microbiome in their gut.
[00:44:57] So I feel like if you think of your animal or your self's body as a forest, or as a, an ecosystem, try not to remove anything that's natural. That's an important piece of the body staying within homeostasis. Because when you remove one or two things and you think it's nothing, it's a domino effect that may not happen immediately, but it will happen absolutely within this first year.
[00:45:32]So if you're going and choose, like what's, life-threatening? What isn't life-threatening? Do your research. Do you live in an area that truly has heartworm? Don't just, if you have to use flea products, don't use flea and heartworm products. Like really look at what you're doing.
[00:45:52] Like I often say I'm surprised that dogs and cats live as long as they do with the amount of stuff they put in. "Oh, and it doesn't, oh, it's going to go on their skin but that it's just on their skin." It's no, it goes on their skin and it goes into the rest of their body. It's metabolized by the rest of the body, no matter what they tell you, that just simply isn't true.
[00:46:16] So feed really good food, feed a really good diverse probiotic with lots of different strains in it. Feed a good prebiotic. Try to prevent fleas and ticks rather than ignoring them. And then using something, some harsh chemical and let them get dirty. They're not China dolls that are animals are one thing I would really like to say as a prevention that not a lot of people talk about is let them be animals.
[00:46:49] Yes. Mentally and physically. Let them get dirty. Let them like can't suppress them every time they bark you can't, animals are so suppressed. They're living in apartments. Get them out, let them bark, let them play, let them get down and play with them on the floor. If you can't get out because of COVID and whatever, literally roll around on the floor with them, be a dog with them, be a cat with them. Allow them. I think that's what causes, when you also talk about why a skin disease happening and why it's so hard to treat. I think the more animals that were everyone loves them and we're getting more and more. And I love that. But along with that comes the urbanization of them and the removal of them fighting, having sex, roaming free, hunting, we're removing a lot of their natural inclinations.
[00:47:44] We take away a lot of what gives a dog and cat joy, which is freedom. They don't have, they don't have, they don't have freewill.
[00:47:54] Will Falconer, DVM: Andrea Tasi says the cats are bored. They don't have enough stimulation. They, if they live in doors, they're bored. They are bored. Yeah. They don't get to choose the
[00:48:04] Julie Anne Lee DCH: So are a lot of dogs.
[00:48:05] Will Falconer, DVM: Yeah. I believe it.
[00:48:07] Julie Anne Lee DCH: Don't just think of their physical health. Think of their mental health a lot as well. Yeah. Feed them organs if you can, because they don't have sex organs. Look at amino acids, try and not spay and neuter them till as late as possible, let them develop if you can. Yeah.
[00:48:27]Will Falconer, DVM: That's great. And remember, the skin is not an inert surface that we scrub and take the bacteria off because it's intimately associated with the immune system. That was, I think the biggest takeaway here is there's this thing called S A L T, skin associated lymphoid tissue. So the lymphoid tissue' s part of the immune system, any surprise there, it's a parallel to what we see in the gut, right?
[00:48:50] The gut associated, we call it GALT,, gut associated lymphoid tissue is a huge part of the immune system. Yeah. So that's beautiful. So thanks for wrapping up that way, Julie. That's really good. We got to keep animals as animals and not see them as China dolls and not see that germs are the enemy and not try to sterilize our homes, our hands, our pests. That just doesn't work for anybody.
[00:49:20] Julie Anne Lee DCH: No, it just, it doesn't, we weren't built to live in a sterile environment. We
[00:49:24] Will Falconer, DVM: We are creatures of Nature.
[00:49:26] Julie Anne Lee DCH: We are,
[00:49:27] Will Falconer, DVM: Half the battle I think is just getting that knowledge, that understanding, just sinking, deeper and deeper in. There's a reason we feel relief when we go out and hike in the woods. There has been studies done that say, even just looking out a window and seeing green trees outside your office window, is valuable to your own immune system and your own wellbeing. There's a reason for all that. We come from nature. Our animals come from nature. The more we can do to get them in that environment and interacting with that environment. And the less, like you say, we can stop taking things away from them that are natural and supportive of being part of the natural world.
[00:50:06] Julie Anne Lee DCH: And I think by doing that's the biggest gift that they're giving to us because we are, we live in such a sterile environment ourselves that people love their animals so much and they'll do stuff for their animals that they won't do for themselves.
[00:50:22] So I say, go out. They've proven that if you put your feet in the ground, like the ionization and the magnetizing barefoot, yeah. And the more we can get back to nature and be silly and be more dog-like or be more cat-like I think the happier we are, right. The less suppressed that we are. I think animals bring us out of our sterile suppressed
[00:50:53] nature. Yeah. If they do, I mean before COVID, you can walk down the road and talk to people. How many people would just look at each other and go, Hey, how's it going? How's your day? That's not going to happen, but walk down with a dog, whatever, or a baby in a stroller, it breaks down that barrier.
[00:51:11] It makes people laugh and act silly and whatever. I think animals break down our barrier. So the last thing we should be doing is creating barriers for them. We need to be less, have less barriers, less suppression, and be, I believe, more dog or cat like, more synergistic with our animals physically and emotionally roll around in the dirt.
[00:51:42] Get it. Go run outside with your bare feet. Get down and roll around and be ridiculous on the floor. Yes. Yes. I always say dogs could care less. How many times you post them on Facebook? They'd rather you be off your computer and down on the floor playing they're like, yeah, whatever.
[00:52:02] Will Falconer, DVM: Turn that box off and come down here and roll with me.
[00:52:05] Julie Anne Lee DCH: Yeah, exactly. Yeah. It's pretty funny actually. Yeah,
[00:52:10] Will Falconer, DVM: No, that's real life. Thanks ever so much for coming on with us Julie, and talking about the skin and how we can support it, how we can get out of its way and let it do its natural. God-given natural way of life to help support us in our animals. And skin to skin, always a good idea for getting down with your dog and cat and get in the mud and get in the dirt and all that good stuff. It all works together.
[00:52:39] Julie Anne Lee DCH: It does well, thank you so much.
[00:52:41] Will Falconer, DVM: Oh, you're welcome. Always a pleasure to have you, and we're going to have a special, that will give you details about in the show notes. Julie is putting together something where you can get some of her products at a special price for being an avid listener and wanting to take the natural route.
[00:52:57] So stay tuned. We'll have more on that definitely on the episode show notes. And let me just give you a call out for that. Easy to remember. Vital Animal dot com slash 33. This is episode 33. And that's the shortcut to get to the links and get some goodies from The Adored Beast, Julie's natural company to help support the pets.
[00:53:20]Thanks again, Julie, hope to talk to you soon.
[00:53:23] Julie Anne Lee DCH: Nice to see you again.
[00:53:27] Will Falconer, DVM: Did you catch the good news? Leaky gut is healable and Julie oughta know. She's worked with a lot of it. So the prognosis is good. If your animal is suffering from this and most, it sounds like, are. I know I am likely myself. But have you also noticed how much Julie has put in the time and the hard work of researching how to heal it? And how it's a process and just throwing probiotics down the hole isn't going to cut it? Her hard work and researching and verifying things in the real world, in her patients, has brought Julie to a deeper understanding of how to truly heal this epidemic we're recognizing it more and more. And we're calling it leaky gut. Not wanting to just be a researcher, julie wants to help as many animals as possible.
[00:54:18] So she's built a line of products around this, in her Adored Beast Apothecary. That includes her anti-vaccinosis homeopathic product that she's seen such profound changes with in those who are taking their pets through her leaky gut protocol. I told Julie after we ended our recording, that I wanted to promote her well-researched line as I know so many animals are affected by leaky gut.
[00:54:43] I think it's safe to assume your animal is if she or he has ever had antibiotics or eaten anything other than a hundred percent organic food or drunken unpurified water, thinking of glyphosate here, leaky gut is likely a challenge he or she is dealing with right now.
[00:55:03] So Julie has graciously offered you, my Vital Animal Podcast listeners, a chance to get her products at a substantial discount. To take advantage of this, you'll want to head over to Adored Beast.com/ Vital. Once again, just like it sounds Adored Beast.com/ Vital to get your animals on board with Julie's well-designed, well verified products today. .

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  1. Joy Eriksen on December 30, 2021 at 10:55 am

    Loved this episode. I learned so much about the skin’s microbiome that I had not realized before. I also really like Dr. Falconer’s interview style. It was like a conversation between friends. He gave her the time she needed to say what she wanted without interrupting her all the time.

  2. Victoria Blair on November 2, 2021 at 11:55 pm

    Hey! Don’t forget us groomers! We see the skin from nose to tail. Most of my clients are on four-week grooming schedules. I notice skin issues, lumps, bumps, can smell bad teeth, have pulled rotten hair from between teeth, and told numerous clients in the 14 years I have been in business to get their pets checked out. This was such a great, great episode! Thank you for all you do!

  3. Jodi on June 11, 2021 at 12:55 am

    I have a white dalmation/pit mix . He’s completely deaf. After his third round of shots he started itching like crazy! I took him to the vet and they put him on apoquel. He was on it for a couple months before I found out how bad apoquel was for him. They had also prescribed some really harsh shampoo. I’ve been putting aloe on his bad spots but he still scratches himself til he bleeds. I can’t wait to try the yogurt mask!
    I appreciate all you do! Keep up the good work!

  4. Nancy on May 26, 2021 at 6:33 pm

    My dogs both dig moles so they are constantly dirty from digging in dirt and mud. They clean their own paws so wind up consuming dirt. My dogs rarely get a bath but I know many people who bathe their dogs weekly!!! Both of my dogs are very healthy. No gut issues.

  5. Thomas Sandberg on May 25, 2021 at 5:46 pm

    This was brilliant! Everything is connected!

    • Will Falconer, DVM on May 25, 2021 at 9:35 pm

      Right, Thomas? We’ve shot ourselves in the foot, not to mention harmed our animals, when we’ve isolated things. “Let’s just get those damned fleas with this spot on! It says it’s safe…” Or, “This ear is full of pseudomonas!! This antibiotic will kill it and our patient will be cured!”

      And down goes species diversity, biomes on skin and in the gut are whacked out of balance, and we wonder why these cases linger in illness for years!

      Hope your project to treat animals holistically and share it with the world is getting well underway.

      (Readers: if you haven’t met Thomas and his amazing work on longevity, be sure to listen to his episode #9: Thomas Sandberg: Laughing at Life Expectancy Statistics)

      • Thomas Sandberg on May 26, 2021 at 10:53 am

        Thank you, my friend! Things are moving along. Researching several interesting subjects that I will share later.

        This podcast was very informative and I wish all pet owners would listen not once but several times, I’m on my second right now, taking lots of notes. This should be a lecture at all veterinary schools.

  6. Kim Thomas on May 25, 2021 at 4:22 pm

    Any further info about Julie’s comment in reference to a dog without their sex organs (how to support)? She mentioned amino acids, and I’d like to know more about that. My dog was spayed at 10 months after one heat cycle and I’d like to proactively support her endocrine system now (at 3 years old) before she gets older and starts having problems.

    • Thomas Sandberg on May 26, 2021 at 11:00 am

      If you feed a raw food diet with a good variety of proteins and organ meats you should not have to supplement with amino acids in my opinion. Add an egg in there a few times a week too. I have many (thousands) neutered and spayed dogs and cats participating in my study and they do very well on a raw food diet.

      • Kim Thomas on May 26, 2021 at 3:42 pm

        We tried raw but my dog’s stomach seems a bit too sensitive so we now feed a rotation of fresh/frozen gently/lightly cooked foods. I wonder what her comment was in relation to amino acids for a de-sexed dog, maybe I misunderstood. Right before that she mentioned organs, maybe that’s what she meant? I’ve been wondering how I might stave off long-term consequences of lack of hormones proactively, before she’s older and having more issues.

  7. Lisabeth Sewell on May 25, 2021 at 1:26 pm

    Hi you all! Hi Dr. F! This is so helpful. What is the recipe for the mask that she recommends? It has probiotics + Kefir + what else? Thank you thank you!

    • Emily on May 25, 2021 at 7:44 pm

      You can find it on Julie’s blog. 3T kefir with 1/2tsp probiotic. Blog article here.

    • Will Falconer, DVM on May 25, 2021 at 9:10 pm

      Hey Lisabeth,

      I’m adding the recipe to the show notes now. Enjoy!

  8. Gail Dunsbee on May 25, 2021 at 12:13 pm

    As usual the fountain of all knowledge, keeping us on the correct path for our canine buddies, so much info, brilliant, will keep on sharing all your info.

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