The antibiotics rollercoaster… how can you avoid it for your dog? If your veterinarian has prescribed antibiotics it probably is with good reason. But when your pet is done with antibiotic therapy, what can you do to get your pet’s health stable fast?
If properly prescribed, antibiotics often are the best possible thing to use in an acute state (meaning there is urgency to remedy the condition). Correspondingly, antibiotics are not meant for chronic care. So it is important to understand what you can and should do post-antibiotic therapy.
Differentiating between acute and chronic
(The Key to Avoiding the Antibiotics Rollercoaster)
When one does not understand the difference between acute and chronic care, it can lead to a host of problems. We hear from pet owners daily that have been put on the antibiotics rollercoaster with their pet. In this scenario, the pet is treated, yet the symptoms come back again and again, and sometimes even worse than before.
In the acute state, it is critical to have a sense of urgency and understand risk versus reward. For example, when an individual is in a live or die situation unless surgery is performed, it would not be prudent to delay the surgery because of the low possibility of incurring complications during surgery. Conversely, one would avoid surgery if a simple change in diet was all that was needed.
Let’s apply this mindset to medications like antibiotics; antibiotics are strong. They are designed to get rid of problems now; they are designed to treat acute situations. Antibiotics are not designed to be taken for long periods of time, as in, a chronic situation. This has become a problem in human health where individuals may be on numerous medications, which cause numerous side effects, but the medications do not address the root or long-term care of the individual.
For a chronic problem, a long-term approach is in order to address the root cause of the issue. Antibiotics are great for acute care, but natural approaches, such as, lifestyle changes and supplementation are bested suited for chronic and preventative care. Antibiotics would not be recommended for a chronic problem.
Acute VS. Chronic
- Acute problem = Use antibiotics
- Chronic Problem = Administer lifestyle changes, supplementation, and preventative care.
Antibiotics and Probiotics
The word antibiotic actually means “against life.” Not hard to figure out then that a PRObiotic would then mean “for life.” Antibiotics were developed to target pathogenic bacteria that originate in the gut. Antibiotics are very adept at destroying those harmful bacteria and eliminating the acute threat of the “host” (animal or human) being overrun. The problem is that that the overall microbiota (the gut bacteria as a whole) can be thrown out of its normal balance.
In short, both good and bad bacteria are killed with antibiotics.
This is seen often in pets and humans: post antibiotic therapy, the pet or human suffers from diarrhea due to a pathogen known as C. dificile, that grows without check because of competing bacteria being wiped out from antibiotics.
Conversely, probiotics focus on supplying healthy bacteria in numbers so that the microbiota maintains its favorable balance. In this balance, pathogens are kept in check, the gut flourishes and helps to produce key substances that help with overall gut function and with immunity.
How Do You Maintain Intestinal Balance?
So if your dog or cat is or has been on antibiotics it is critical that you start them up immediately on a probiotic regimen. Not only will probiotics help to restore the potential imbalance brought about by the antibiotics, but it will likely also get to the root problem. This means getting off the anitbiotics “rollercoaster”. Recall these pathogens originate in the gut, so if you can create keep the gut supplied with healthy bacteria they compete and colonize the intestinal walls and do not allow the bad bacteria to flourish.
Are Probiotics Safe for Puppies?
Yes. In fact, it is shown that puppies that are given probiotics during this important developmental stage suffer less long-term health issues such as allergies and digestive problems. (see: Probiotics and Puppies)
Why Use Probiotic Miracle® During and After Anitbioic Therapy
Probiotic Miracle® is an excellent choice as it is unique to other formulas in that it was specifically designed to include strains that were studied in pets. With 2 billion CFU x 180 servings per container (the larger size), and in convenient to use powder form, Probiotic Miracle® is the choice of thousands of happy pet owners.
How Do I Dose Probiotics During Antibiotics?
While it is a controversial issue, whether or not to give probiotics during antibiotics, we suggest the following: Because the probiotics will be killed during antibiotic therapy, it would not be cost effective nor health-effective to supply probiotics during this time. For this reason, we recommend waiting until your pet has completed the antibiotics, then immediately administer probiotics.
How Much Probiotics Do I Dose After Antibiotic Therapy?
After your dog has completed his antibiotics, it is suggested that you provide 3-4 times the regular suggested amount for 3 weeks to help stabilize intestinal flora. After 3 weeks, continue at the normal dosage per your pet’s weight. In doing this, you will reduce the risk of diarrhea, pathogenic bacteria and yeast overgrowth that may occur following antibiotics.
Cites and References
The Truth About Probiotics for Dogs: Antibiotics and Dogs. Published September 2009
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