One of the most common frustrating dog health conditions are

Here are some of the many signs:

Chronic itching and scratching.
Ear infections.
Hair loss
Red, painful skin
Thickened black skin
Bad skin odor
Paw licking
Anal licking
Head shaking

So What can you do?

Well a fairly recent study in people shows that probiotics can
help. ( Source: NBC NEWS)

Here are some highlights of the study:

Exposing pregnant mothers and infants to probiotic bacteria could
help stimulate the growth of the immune system and potentially
play a role in preventing allergies, say researchers.

The team selected 1223 women who either had a history of
allergies, or their partner did, or both. Since susceptibility to
allergy is partly genetic, this allowed the team to assume that
the babies were “predisposed” to allergies.

The women took probiotic or placebo doses daily from the eighth
month of pregnancy. While some women dropped out or did not
successfully deliver, 925 infants continued in the study and had
the same probiotic or placebo dosage given to them daily for six
months after birth.

Marschan and colleagues found that levels of key proteins
associated with tissue inflammation were 50% higher on average in
the blood of probiotic-treated infants than in the blood of
placebo-treated infants. Inflammation is thought to stimulate the
immune system, and so reduce allergic reaction.

Probiotic children were also 30% less likely than their untreated
counterparts to develop an itchy skin condition known as atopic
eczema, which is often an early manifestation of allergies.

The findings support the idea that allergies have increased, at
least partially, thanks to the deficit of bacteria in modern
living. Historically, food was loaded with bacteria and caused
chronic immune responses that resulted in inflammation, says
paediatric immunologist Anthony Horner at the University of
California at San Diego.