Monday, October 12, 2015

Do You Give Your Pet Probiotics?

Last month I wrote about my Husky, Icy, who had gotten ill following a weekend filled with houseguests and food she should not have eaten.  She ended up with a Belly Bomber of a stomach ache.  I switched her to a diet of plain boiled chicken and white rice for a few days.  She seemed to be doing better, but then one morning she suddenly vomited up her chicken and rice breakfast.  Later that day she began to have diarrhea as well.


I got really worried, the chicken and rice diet usually works like a charm when she has stomach upset.  I was so shocked when she threw up that morning!  I decided to get her to the Veterinarian right away.  My own Vet was closed that day but I located a 24/7 animal clinic that was open and could see her. 
The Veterinarian examined her and didn't find anything alarming, but he did a full blood panel to rule out infection or other illness.  He prescribed an antibiotic, an antacid, and something I had never used before - a Probiotic.  He told me that antibiotics can upset the balance of the "good"  bacteria in the digestive tract and that a Probiotic would put back the good bacteria that could be compromised by antibiotics.  The Probiotic he gave me was a powder that I was to sprinkle on top of her food once a day.

I thought OK, what is this stuff he's giving me?  I had never heard of giving a pet probiotics before.  I hoped it wasn't some weird powder made in some guy's basement!  Fortunately, after I got it home and examined one of the packets I saw that it was made by Purina.  Whew!  Thank goodness it wasn't a fly by night product made by some guy in his basement, it was made by a trusted brand!


Probiotics are living microorganisms similar to the “good” bacteria naturally found in your dog’s digestive tract.  Antibiotics and other drugs can upset the balance of “good” bacteria in your dog’s intestines.  Many other things can compromise good bacteria as well such as emotional or physical stress or eating strange foods or stuff around the yard they’re not supposed to eat.

The digestive tract is the largest immune organ in a dog or cat's body.  A healthy balance of good bacteria is important to help keep their immune system strong and prevent infection and diseases.  Good bacteria helps remove toxins and aids in digestion as well.  These good bacteria help keep harmful or "bad" bacteria in the intestines such as E. Coli and Salmonella, in check.


Thankfully, after just a few days Icy was back to normal again.  Her blood work came back fine as well! 

There are many different kinds of Probiotics, and they are not regulated.  If you're interested in trying a Probiotic for your dog or cat it's important to have a discussion with your Veterinarian. 

Have you ever given your pet a Probiotic, or are you considering a Probiotic for your pet?  Leave us a comment, we want to know your thoughts on Probiotics for pets!

17 comments:

  1. I believe years ago we had to do the same for a dog on antibiotics. I know they prescribe the pair together for people. Hope Isis continues to feel better.

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  2. Yes, Cocoa does take a probiotic. She has a sensitive tummy and has had a couple issues so we have her take one. I will have to look at the ones you are talking about. We get hers at the vet and they are pretty expensive.

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  3. Yep we use probiotics fur sis Lexi every once in a while, and wight now meez gettin' sum since me got sick. Mommy sez she dusn't know ifin they be all they're cwacked up to be or not, but she's willin' to twy most anyfin' to help us stay healffy and happy. Good luck.

    Luv ya'

    Dezi and Lexi

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  4. I have used probiotics for the boys several times. Thankfully, we haven't needed them lately. I'm glad that they did the trick for you. ♥

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  5. I've used probiotics for myself and would use them for my dogs if the vet recommended them.

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  6. I have used probiotics after myself or human kids have had to take antibiotics, but I haven't given any to the dogs. Interesting and great to know!!!!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

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  7. I have taken probiotics, but never heard of probiotics for pets. Fortunately my cat hasn't had stomach problemas, but it's great to know about probiotics for pets.

    Rosa @ Cat Lady Confidential

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  8. Truffle had to take probiotics when she was a kitten because she constantly had an upset tummy. I've also had to take probiotics when on antibiotics for an extended period of time.

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  9. Sorry about the upset stomach and ER vet visit. Glad it's better now!

    I've used plain yogurt and pumpkin with my boys for stomach upset for a while. Just a big spoonful of each on top of some bland meat and it's worked wonders. Guess sometimes it's best, though, for the probiotic not to be delivered with dairy.

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  10. I'm glad Isis is better, we haven't used probiotics on our dogs yet, but I think it could be very beneficial at times.

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  11. Poor Isis! That has totally happened to us before, too! Yep, we definitely do use probiotics and I will have to check these out!

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  12. Poor Isis. We are big fans of probiotics in my human family (hubby and daughters have immune and tummy issues and so helpful), but Kilo and I have not had any issues yet. He has yoghurt every morning.

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  13. Yes, we gave probiotics to Mr. N after he had pancreatitis for a couple of months.

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  14. Excellent post - and so glad Isis is feeling better! There's nothing worse than when they do not feel good. One of my Huskies is prone to IBS and belly issues, so all of mine do get a small dose of probiotics daily in their breakfast, and our girl with the belly issues, after a serious bout of gastroenteritis, she received a syringe of probiotics from her vet and it turned things right around for her. We are pro probiotics here at the FiveSibes! Hugs to Isis!

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  15. We had our Lab mix Luke on probiotics when he was younger. He had a lot of loose stools, but I think changing his diet might have been what really did the trick. And I find that pumpkin and yogurt can work just as well to regulate things too.

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  16. Probiotics are so important for us and dogs. I guess for anyone/animal who is on antibiotics. Great information!

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