We cherish our pets like they are our children, but unlike children, they’re not always able to tell us when they’re sick. Your pet could feel unwell for weeks or days before showing any signals. Depending on their condition, they may not show any obvious signs at all.
Still every pet owner has picked up their fair share of number twos, and your pets’ poop can be a useful indicator of your pet’s health. If your pet has ever experienced consistent diarrhea, it’s a distressing and frustrating issue – especially if you haven’t made any material changes in their diets or lifestyles.
My dog, Mr. Darcy, a two year-old dachshund, beagle, and terrier-mix, suddenly developed digestive issues late in 2017 that persisted for several weeks. He had loose stool that eventually turned into diarrhea, and then eventually turned into bloody diarrhea. He became lethargic, and despite weeks of various treatments, exams, and even an ultrasound, our veterinarian was unable to pinpoint the cause. He was given a regimen of antibiotics, steroids, and prescription food to combat the digestive issues, and while they helped, they took a toll on him physically and made him ravenous for food.
This January, I had the fortune of meeting the awesome founding team behind AnimalBiome, a company dedicated to curing chronic digestive disorders in our pets. For years, Holly Ganz, PhD and CEO of AnimalBiome was among the top researchers studying gut bacteria at UC Davis, before founding the company with the goal of helping the millions of pets with digestive disorders. More than one in ten dogs suffer from chronic digestive disorders, many of which may be caused by an imbalance in the composition of bacteria and other microbes (like fungi) in their microbiome. The same regimen prescribed to my pet Mr. Darcy – antibiotics, steroids, et al – will often kill off large portions of your pet’s healthy microbiome, exacerbating digestive problems and adversely affecting your pet’s health in the long run.
In order to learn more about what is going on with Mr. Darcy’s gut microbiome, I ordered a Doggy Kit (pictured above), and sent a stool sample from Mr. Darcy back to the AnimalBiome lab for analysis. They have a handy online app where I registered his sample and I will receive a breakdown of how Mr. Darcy’s gut bacteria compare to healthy dogs in their ever-growing database.
I also received their Gut Microbiome Restoration Supplement for Dogs which is their proprietary remedy for designed for dogs with chronic diarrhea, vomiting, and digestive issues. It’s a natural product, containing fecal material sourced from the gut microbiomes of healthy dogs, and is more powerful than current probiotics or prescription diets. I’m excited to give the remedy a try and I’ll be writing a follow-up post about Mr. Darcy’s progress over the next few weeks!