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
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!