Digestive Disorders

Digestive Disorders

Digestive Disorders in Dogs and Cats
"Misha"

“In all my 61 years, I’ve never written a testimonial, so here’s my first go at one. We consulted a month go with Susan Davis, Ask Ariel’s nutritionist, about my 5.5 month old kitten, Misha. Misha was in serious condition with hemorrhaging from her colon. Her veterinarian and I had exhausted all possibilities. You quickly identified the cause: food allergies and made some dietary recommendations which I followed. Within 24 hours, Misha’s bleeding stopped.

In addition to excellent, compassionate and concerned counsel, you also were aware of my stress and addressed this, as well as Misha’s problems. More, you wrote a personal letter of directions and support along with the products I ordered from you. I was impressed by what you did, Susan. And I thank you. You did so much more…. the over-time you spent while we talked; your willingness to be a resource; your sending samples of other products; and your personal touches, like the hand-written letter. The service you provide is essential. It’s a gift. I would recommend you to anyone, and have.”

Marg Smith Northern California

Veterinary-Approved Supplements for Digestive Disorders in Dogs and Cats
Digestive Disorders in Dogs and Cats

Digestive disorders in cats and dogs encompass a wide range of symptoms and diseases such as gas, diarrhea, vomiting, bad breath, bloat, Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), colitis and many others. Most pet digestive disorders occur because of the pet’s diet. Just because a brand is considered “premium or organic, doesn’t mean it is right for your pet.  Many of the best selling, premium brands contain grains and hidden fillers that can cause a variety of digestive problems and subsequently,  a weakened immune system.  Pets can also be allergic to some of the ingredients causing a great deal of inflammation.

In general, pets with digestive disorders should eat a grain-free, hypoallergenic diet. A frozen raw, canned or modified homemade diet combining these options is best. Most dry kibble is highly processed and the beneficial enzymes, bacteria and nutrients your pet needs are lost. Dry kibble can be especially difficult for pets to digest.  While dry kibble is convenient for pet owners, there are much healthier options for pets to eat.  While Ask Ariel advocates raw frozen diets as a portion of a pet’s diet, some pets may have such sensitive digestive tracts that their bodies are not ready for it. Also, some pets may not initially like the taste. Thus, you may need to gradually introduce the raw food and use a homemade or freeze dried diet first.  Most pet owners find that just by making some small modifications to the diet along with a powerful probiotic and digestive enzymes, their cat or dog's digestion quickly improves.

A multi-strain probiotic can benefit any pet, but especially those cats and dogs with a history of digestive problems.  If your pet has taken antibiotics, they can destroy the "good" bacteria as well as the bad.  Beneficial "good" bacteria are important for your pet's immune system because they maintain a healthy digestive tract.  The good bacteria help promote normal peristalsis (the wave motion in the intestines) and control parasites and yeast.  Ask Ariel’s Power Probiotic will restore the natural balance of intestinal flora.  Digestive enzymes help pets break down the nutrients in the food, increasing absorption and firming up the stool.  With age, your pet needs more digestive enzymes to break down nutrients and enhance absorption. Digestive enzymes are highly recommended for senior dogs especially.

If your pet shows signs of vomiting, diarrhea, bloating, pain, lethargy---please don’t hesitate to take your pet to the veterinarian immediately. Your pet could have eaten something poisonous, have gastric bloat, or parasites.  Gastric bloat for example can have minimal outward symptoms except that the pet just isn't "acting like himself" and is opening/closing the mouth.  The first step with any digestive symptoms is to get a diagnoses and then determine how best you can help your pet. 

Unfortunately, diet and nutrition issues are often treated symptomatically using "prescription" diets and medications.  Here is just one example of ingredients found in a prescription diet for pets with digestive problems:

Example of A Name Brand Veterinary Prescription Diet For Pet Digestive Disorders

Water, Egg Product, Whole Grain Corn, Chicken, Cracked Pearled Barley, Pork Liver, Powdered Cellulose, Chicken Liver Flavor, Soybean Oil, Potassium Chloride, Calcium Sulfate, Choline Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, Iodized Salt, Vitamin E Supplement, Taurine, L-Tryptophan, Ascorbic Acid (source of vitamin C), L-Carnitine, Zinc Oxide, Ferrous Sulfate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Beta-Carotene, Niacin, Manganous Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Biotin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Riboflavin, Calcium Iodate, Folic Acid, Sodium Selenite.

Prescription diets typically contain byproducts, fillers and chemicals.  While the diet may help short-term by reducing fat and adding fiber, giving your pet these ingredients (and/or giving them to another pet that doesn't have digestive problems!) can introduce other problems such as skin problems, itching, and dull coat.  Moreover, poultry, soybeans, corn and barley (shown above) for example can be potential allergens for the pet causing long-term inflammation.  Please see our detailed discussion about pet prescription diets. 

At Ask Ariel, we have achieved consistently improved long-term results using a much more natural, holistic approach.  Prescription diets typically contain byproducts, fillers and chemicals.   Using Power Probiotic, one of Ask Ariel's Digestive Enzymes (e.g. Soothing Digestive Relief, Lypozyme for Pets, K9 Digestive Enzymes) and a natural diet avoiding potential allergens can provide significant long-term health.   If your pet has suffered with digestive problems for awhile, we highly recommend scheduling a telephone or inperson appointment to get them resolved once and for all.


Symptoms of Digestive Disorders in Dogs and Cats
The following signs can be symptoms of Digestive Disorders. Be sure to check with your veterinarian if your pet is displaying these symptoms:
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Gagging, dry heaving or vomiting small amounts of bile in the morning
  • Loud abdominal noises
  • Mucous or blood in stool
  • Excessive grass eating
  • Opening/closing of mouth, licking lips as if nauseated
Steps to Treat Digestive Disorders in Dogs and Cats
  • 1) Change your pet’s diet to a hypoallergenic, grain-free food as this will reduce overall inflammation.  Feeding multiple small meals using Power Probiotic and a digestive enzyme each time will increase absorption and reduce your pet's discomfort.   Avoid dry kibble as it can be very difficult for some pets to digest.  Comprehensive, pet health consultations are available to provide your pet with a custom nutrition plan.
  • 2) Use natural, veterinary approved supplements to help improve your pet's digestion and repair the stomach and intestinal lining.  While medications may control symptoms, it is essential to support your pet's digestive process each and every time your pet eats.  Using Colostrum for Pets and/or the IBD Kit can help repair your pet's digestive tract.
  • 3) Bring your pet to the veterinarian and discuss your pet's symptoms.  Discuss getting laboratory testing even on young pets.  Kittens and puppies can have worms or parasites so a fecal test is important.  Sometimes digestive problems are secondary to other health conditions such as liver disorders, kidney problems or cancer.  Having a baseline urine and blood test on a young pet can be very helpful to not only rule out health problems but also as a reference for future health valuations.  
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