In the Western world the wonderful discovery of antibiotics created a whole new way of curing disease for the medical industry. Not only for human beings but for our pets.
But at what cost to the health of our pets? We are becoming very self-aware that the overuse of antibiotics is bad for us for many reasons. They decrease our resistance to bacteria, reduce the strength our immune system and over time they have created stronger and more resistant super bugs to name only a few. These issues affect our pets also. Looking at it simply, antibiotics kill bacteria. They cannot differentiate the good bacteria from the bad, so they kill all targeted bacteria. In order for our pets to live long healthy lives it is important they have a balance of good bacteria in the body. Let’s use the bowel for example. In the bowel our pets have hundreds of different beneficial bacteria. Without it they can suffer from many diseases like , irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), skin allergies, bowel ulceration and even constipation. When antibiotics are used in times of illness it will kill the bad bacteria that is making your pet ill, but it will also kill the good bacteria that keeps your pet healthy. Over time the bowel will try and replenish the bacteria and if the bowel is healthy the bacteria will continue to multiply. But, what happens when antibiotics are continuously used? When does the good bacteria have the opportunity to replenish? Without them the bowel can become very unhealthy. Good bacteria finds it difficult to replenish and multiply in an unhealthy bowel. This is where we may see the beginnings of chronic disease in our pets. Here is an example of antibiotic abuse This dog had a Staphylococci infection on and in her nose, confirmed via a skin biopsy. The top right corner is dry and cracked and she wept black discharge from her nostril. She had significant weight loss and her owner could not get her to put any weight on. She developed this problem after 9 months of antibiotic treatment for a mouth infection from a stuck bone. The vet tried for months to treat the nose with stronger and stronger antibiotics as well as antibiotic creams. The problem would begin to clear but always returned. The abuse of antibiotics has created an antibiotic resistant bacteria. After visiting me I stopped all antibiotics immediately. I put her on a natural diet and supplements and she immediately began to put on weight, get a shiny coat and appeared far more healthier. I treated her nose with a range of herbs, immune stimulants, antibacterials and homoeopathics. It took many months and over time the Staphylococci infection has cleared from her nose.
If you have to put your pet on antibiotics it is advisable to put them on a good quality pro biotic to counteract the side effects. It is important to remember that good bacteria will not survive in an unhealthy bowel. Use a probiotic like DigestaVite Plus in conjunction with a probiotic. This will ensure that you didn’t waste your money on an expensive probiotic, only to send it to its death.
Like any medication, there are good quality pro biotics and there are average products on the market. In this instance you really do get what you pay for.
What to look for?
A multistrain probiotic. The more bacteria and more strains you have in your probiotic the better your results will be.
Different strains of good bacteria can perform different functions. A multistrain probiotic with the below strains can assist the following
1. digestive health and function
2. immune health and function
3. urogenital health and function
4. management of medically diagnosed irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
5. temporary relief of diarrhoea.
Below is a chart of good bacteria and the conditions they can assist. The bacteria names are long and confusing even to say. This chart isn’t for you to memorise but to give you an understanding of how probiotics work and how different strains will effect different functions in the body. By killing off these types of good bacteria with antibiotics, you can see what functions may be affected by disease.
Another example is this young dog who had been diagnosed with skin allergies. He had been treated repeatedly with antibiotics and anti inflammatories. These pictures are the end result of antibiotic abuse. After two weeks of natural treatment his itching began to subside. After a further six weeks his red, irritated skin began to return to a normal colour, without inflammation and the itching ceased. In the next few months his coat will begin to grow back to normal.
Speak to our Animal Naturopath for further assistance