Sunday, September 26, 2010

Healthy Digestion

Healthy Digestion

Diarrhea, Gas, Digestive Upsets, Colitis and IBS
Dogs tend to eat many unsavory things they shouldn’t, which is why diarrhea and vomiting are so common. When the problem persists for weeks and months, instead of days, your dog could have a more serious digestive problem. Conventional therapy is to give medications to stop the symptoms - typically steroids for inflammation and antibiotics to control bacteria, and other drugs to control diarrhea (read more below).

The Natural Approach - Many holistic vets recommend a natural approach based on using herbs, homeopathy and diet to soothe, heal and strengthen the dogs digestive and regulatory organs. We have had tremendous success with our control diet, herbal and homeopathic approach. Many owner’s dogs had been on steroids and antibiotics for months or years and are now completely drug free.

Vomiting, Diarrhea and Gastritis - what’s happening with your dog’s digestion?

Conventional Treatment
Conventional vets often prescribe antibiotics, antacids (Pepcid and Tagamet) and steroids for gastrointestinal upsets. These medications function by reducing or stopping the normal stomach acids that naturally occur in the stomach to aid digestion! Antibiotics indiscriminately kill the beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract. Steroids are anti-inflammatory drugs that do not correct the underlying causes.

Conventional treatments simply mask or cover up the symptoms and never resolve the underlying cause. The suppression of symptoms results in an endless (and discomforting) cycle of vomiting, diarrhea and gas for the dog.

The Cause
According to Donald Strombeck DVM, PhD, excess stomach acid is not the real villain. Bacterial invaders, such as Helicobacter pylori, Bacillus cereus, Enterococcus feacalis, e coli, and others are present in as much as 83% of commercial foods. These bacteria burrow into the mucosal lining of the stomach, wreaking havoc when gastric acid burns the lining causing a sore (ulcer). Dogs may harbor these bacteria for years leading to chronic gastrointestinal disorders.

Lowering acid levels
Low levels of stomach acid also allow harmful bacteria to multiply in stagnant pockets along the GI tract. This is called diverticulitis - an inflammation in the pouches where the bacteria has flourished. Excess gas is produced and antibiotics compound the problem because they indiscriminately kill the resident flora, both the naturally occurring beneficial bacteria and the bacterial invaders.