Monday, July 26, 2010

Probiotics at the vet

My dog Rocco developed haemorrhaegic diarrhoea. Normally I treat my dogs with herbal medicine, but in this instance I decided a diagnosis from the vet would be necessary, because I needed to be sure that it wasn't biliary causing this. Luckily it wasn't biliary but the faecal swab didn't help with a diagnosis. The vet offered me antibiotics and probiotics. I tried to explain to him that I was going to treat him myself, but I think he was very alarmed at this. He thrust the box of probiotics at me and urged me to at least take them! Unfortuantely for him, I was firm in my refusal, but I promised to let him know how Rocco was doing the following day.

Now I've got this "thing" about probiotics. I don't think that they are going to be effective if the gut is raw and inflamed. So in my opinion it is preferable to soothe and heal the gut first. This I did with oats and slippery elm, which had the extra effect of binding the stool and stopping the diarrhoea. If the patient has seldom or never had antibiotics, the gut should repopulate with microflora very naturally, as long as there is a good base for them to adhere to. Hence first putting down the "soil" or prebiotic in the form of slippery elm and oats. Brewer's yeast is a valuable help in treating diarrhoea as it is anti pathogen and supports the good bacteria. Luckily dogs love it and once Rocco got the first tiny bit of appetite he ate some. And for those sceptics that read somewhere that brewer's yeast is not good if you have candida, according to reasearch it is actually anti candida. (German Commission E Monographs)

I recently read a statement in a health magazine that probiotics are essential - as if one will never recover without them. I am immune to such advertising and am very anti products in general. In my view it's all a money making racket. Unless one is severely immune compromised, the gut flora will recover nicely. But the diet must support healthy flora. A bad diet will support "bad" bacteria.

Anyway, bless the vet. He did his best. Rocco has made a good recovery.

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