Posts Tagged ‘probiotics’

Have you heard of the nutritional benefits of probiotics?
Did you know pets can take probiotics, too?

 

What are probiotics?
Probiotics are microorganisms (bacteria) that live in the intestines and aid in the proper digestion of food. The “healthy” bacteria also help to limit harmful bacteria colonies and boost the immune system.

When the beneficial microorganisms are depleted — due to illness, use of antibiotics, or another reason — digestive upset such as diarrhea, gas, and constipation can result.

Eventually, the healthy bacteria (also called “flora”) will recolonize — but that can take time. A faster, safe method of encouraging the growth of new digestive flora is through giving your pet probiotic supplements, such as Vetri-Mega Probiotic.

Vetri Mega Probiotic for your pet’s g.i. health!

At Little Creek Veterinary Clinic, we have used Vetri-Mega Probiotic with success in stopping diarrhea and promoting normal, healthy digestion in pets.

What is in the bottle?
Each bottle holds 120 capsules containing  several strains each of Lactobacillusand Bifidobacterium (both are beneficial bacteria), along with an important prebiotic – fructooligosaccharides (FOS).

Wait — what is a prebiotic? 
Think of a prebiotic as food for the probiotic. The FOS in Vetri-Mega Probiotic helps the good bacteria to flourish in your pet’s intestines. In particular, the FOS stimulates the growth of Bifidobacteria.

If your pet has been experiencing diarrhea or constipation, your vet may recommend a probiotic supplement to assist in recovery.

Clients of Little Creek Veterinary Clinic may Contact Us to learn more about Vetri Mega Probiotic for their pets.

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This article originally appeared on February 12, 2013.

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Help for anal gland problems is here!

Glandex supplements

Boot the scoot with Glandex!

If your pet makes frequent visits to the veterinarian to have its anal glands (or “sacs”) emptied or treated for infection, Glandex may hold the solution.

Normally, the fluid that is formed in the anal glands (a natural, normal process) is released when your pet has a firm bowel movement. Sometimes the fluid gets blocked (“impacted”), turns into a thick paste, or the anal sac becomes inflamed, and your pet needs help.

Common causes of impacted anal glands are:

  • soft or loose stools
  • digestive problems
  • allergies
  • infection
  • obesity
  • anatomical issues
  • a combination of these problems

You might notice your pet doing one or more of the following:

  • “scooting” or dragging its rear end along the ground
  • licking or chewing at its rear
  • acting uncomfortable (may have difficulty with stairs)
  • straining to defecate
  • producing a foul odor / foul brownish discharge from rear
  • swelling or bleeding from a small hole next to the rectal opening
  • cats may defecate outside the litterbox
  • some pets vomit or have diarrhea (though this is less common)

So how does Glandex help? 

Glandex is a chewable or powder supplement that uses a fiber blend to add bulk to stools, which then helps release anal gland fluid normally with each bowel movement.

Glandex has natural anti-inflammatory ingredients (including omega-3 fatty acids) to address the inflammation and allergies that may be causing your pet’s anal gland problems.

Glandex also includes probiotics and digestive enzymes to aid the health of your pet’s digestive system.

Glandex is available at Little Creek Veterinary Clinic in a beef liver powder for dogs and cats or a peanut butter soft chew treat for dogs, which you give your pet once per day.

Clients, please Contact Us to find out if Glandex is recommended for your pet!

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Although neither Dr. Miele, nor Little Creek Veterinary Clinic
or its staff can guarantee the performance of Glandex,
we invite you to discover whether its benefits are right for your pet.

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Like many pet owners, you may have spent hours researching the best food for your pets, as well as the variety of brands available. You may have discovered that pet food manufacturers have become experts at marketing — they have to, in order to stand out in a packed market. Sometimes, those marketing efforts become confusing to the consumer.

Today, we’re going to wade into the deep waters of pet nutrition and discuss grains and grain-free pet food.

Fact: Whole grains are a healthy source of vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, essential fatty acids, and protein.

Fact: Grains help keep calories and fat at lower levels in pets foods, according to the Pet Nutrition Alliance (PNA).

Fact: According to the PNA, “Grains provide a good source of fiber, which promotes normal bowel function, maintains the health of the [gastrointestinal] tract, and helps in the management of certain diseases [such as diabetes mellitus and colitis.] 

Let’s review your pet’s basic nutritional needs. Dogs and cats need the following six nutrients in some form:  

  • water
  • vitamins
  • minerals
  • carbohydrates
  • fat
  • protein

Notice that carbohydrates are on the list of basic nutritional needs. Since “carbs” are a necessary part of your pet’s diet (they provide energy), pet food must contain an ingredient which provides this important nutrient. When a pet food manufacturer removes grains as the source of carbohydrates, it must be replaced with something else. Sometimes, the substitution is potatoes, sweet potatoes, or cassava. Other substitutions are beans, peas, or lentils. None of the substitutions are substantially better for your pet than grains, and some may provide less fiber, fewer nutrients, or even cause gastrointestinal problems (vomiting, diarrhea, flatulence.)

Definition: Gluten is a mixture of proteins found in wheat, barley, brewer’s yeast, and rye. (Source)

So how did the grain-free / gluten-free idea show up in pet food? As with other trends in animal health (antioxidants, glucosamine supplements, probiotics), grain-free diets are a carry-over from human health needs. The grain-free diet follows on the heels of an effective celiac disease / gluten intolerance awareness campaign. Relatively few people actually have celiac disease, requiring them to abstain from grains, yet many people (who are unaffected) have applied this diet restriction to themselves. Since pet owners are more conscientious than ever about what they feed their pets, the grain-free trend has shown up in pet food.

Pet food manufacturers are constantly monitoring trends to give the consumer what he or she wants. Does this mean the pet is getting something it needs? Not necessarily. The pet food companies are in the business of selling food. These days, that means hopping on hot topics in order to differentiate themselves in a crowded market. And although pets have been shown to benefit from antioxidants, glucosamine, and probiotics, there is “no credible evidence…showing grain-free diets are better for pets, nor do any nutritional foundations support this claim,” according to veterinary nutrition expert Kara M. Burns.

[End of part 1]

Coming up next: Part 2 – Is there a grain of truth behind the health claims of grain-free pet foods? And should you change your pet’s diet?

This article is based on the peer-reviewed article researched and written by Kara M. Burns, MS, MEd, LVT, VTS — “Grain-Free Pet Foods: Fact vs. Fiction” published in Veterinary Team Brief, Vol. 5, No. 2.

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From anxiety issues to urinary tract infections, we’ve got natural nutritional supplements for pets that can reduce reliance on pharmaceuticals and help your pet feel better.

At Little Creek Veterinary Clinic, our line-up of nutritional supplements supports dog and cat health in these areas: liver, gastrointestinal tract, joints, urinary tract, skin, and emotional health.

Our favorite nutritional supplements for pets include Cranberry Plus, Dasuquin, Denamarin (not shown), Free Form Snip Tips, Solliquin, Vetri DMG, and Vetri Mega Probiotic.

Nutritional supplements often are used alongside traditional medications and other supportive treatment. At Little Creek Veterinary Clinic, we use supplements to promote good health and reduce symptoms and lessen the chance of recurrence of certain medical problems.

Always consult your pet’s veterinarian before starting your pet on a nutritional supplement. Unless directed otherwise, stick to supplements specially formulated for pets (skip the human products).

Nutritional supplements can enhance your pet’s health, but often are not sufficient to treat or cure a particular disease or disorder. Be sure to partner with your pet’s veterinarian to determine if a nutritional supplement can help your dog or cat.

Contact Us to schedule an appointment at Little Creek Veterinary Clinic to discuss your pet’s health today.

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This article is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease or disorder and is not a substitute for veterinary care or a client-doctor-patient relationship.

Always check with your pet’s doctor before adding any supplement to your pet’s diet.

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Feeding time at the zoo

  Is it time for a change?

There are a number of good reasons you might change the food your pet is eating, including:

  • Pet enters a new stage of life, such as going from puppy/kitten to adult to senior
  • Pet develops a food allergy
  • Pet requires a prescription diet to manage health issues, such as obesity or liver disease
  • Pet refuses to eat its regular food
  • Pet could benefit from a higher-quality food than the one it currently eats

Before changing your pet’s diet, consult with your veterinarian.
In the case of prescription diets, your pet may need to be
on a strictly measured amount, rather than free-choice feeding.

The key to making the switch is to gradually introduce the new food, in order to reduce the possibility of digestive upset. 

This is the trick to introduce a new food to your pet:

Days 1 and 2: Feed 3 parts old food and 1 part new food*

Days 3 and 4: Feed 2 parts old food and 2 parts new food (i.e. half and half)

Days 5 and 6: Feed 1 part old food and 3 parts new food

Day 7: Feed only the new food

*Be sure to calculate how much of each food to give, so that you are not overfeeding.

If your pet experiences loose stools during the transition, your veterinarian may recommend adding probiotics to the diet.

Est. 1973

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