One of the biggest areas of nutritional supplementation that is gaining wider acceptance by even the most conservative and conventional veterinarians and MDs is the addition of probiotics to various treatment protocols. Both probiotics and prebiotics contain various digestive and health promoting intestinal aids, as well as several healthy strains of bacteria that help populate the digestive tract with all of the factors that are needed for optimal digestion and absorption so that the digestive tract achieves its maximal functional capacity. It is often said that up to 80% of the immune system starts in the digestive tract, so that if our pets’ digestive tracts are not healthy, this can lead to what is called a “leaky gut,” resulting in long term chronic health problems not only of the digestive tract, but of other organ systems, such as chronic ear/skin allergies, joint problems, chronic respiratory ailments, as well as even chronic urinary tract disorders.
By supplementing with a trustworthy and reliable probiotic, animal guardians are going a long way toward not only helping as part of a multifaceted approach of treating some of these chronic conditions, but also in helping prevent future health problems. Of course, regular probiotic use also cuts down on unwanted gas, bloating, regurgitation/vomiting, as well as helping with production of a smaller, less odorous and healthy bowel movement. I include probiotics as part of my treatment of any digestive tract disorder. Amongst the most reliable products I have found helpful include FortiFlora, Fast Balance GI, Rx Biotic from Rx Vitamins, as well as NaturVet Digestive Enzymes & Probiotics. Whenever I prescribe an antibiotic in veterinary medical practice, I make sure to use a good quality probiotic to ensure that I don’t disrupt the normal intestinal population of healthy bacteria in our pets.