Your Dog is On Antibiotics, What Do You Do Next?

The antibiotics rollercoaster... how can you avoid it for your dog? If your veterinarian has prescribed antibiotics it is probably with good reason. But when your pet is done with antibiotic therapy, what can you do to get your pet's health stable fast? The short answer is, get your dog on probiotic therapy fast!

But first, it's important to understand the reason why your dog was put on antibiotics in the first place. If properly prescribed, antibiotics often are the best possible thing to use in an acute state (aka "emergency"). In contrast, antibiotics are not meant for chronic care. Understanding the difference between acute and chronic is important in knowing the next steps post-antibiotic therapy.

Read: Stop Diarrhea After Antibiotics 

After antibiotics, probiotic therapy is very effective to get dogs and puppies get back in balance.

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.

When dogs are put on antibiotics for chronic issues, the issues come back again and again—and usually worse than before. 

Acute Problems
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. In contrast, 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 and designed to get rid of problems now. Thus, antibiotics are designed to treat acute situations.

Antibiotics are not designed to be taken for long periods of time, as in, a chronic situation, or for prevention. This has become a problem in human health where individuals may be on numerous medications, which cause numerous side effects. Thus, the medications do not address the root or long-term care of the individual.

Chronic Problems
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 problem = Use antibiotics
  • Chronic Problem = Administer lifestyle changes, probiotic 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. An imbalanced gut is the underlying cause for multiple health issues, including, yeast overgrowth and further infections.

In short, both good and bad bacteria are killed with antibiotics. But, your dog NEEDS the good bacteria for health.

This is seen often in pets as well humans. Post antibiotic therapy, the animal suffers from diarrhea due to a pathogen known as C. dificile, that grows without check because of competing bacteria being wiped out from antibiotics. In contrast, probiotics focus on supplying healthy bacteria 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.

Probiotic Miracle® keeps diarrhea from becoming a problem for your pet after antibiotics.

How To 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 get to the root problem that created the need for antibiotics in the first place.

This means getting off the antibiotics rollercoaster. Recall, these pathogens originate in the gut, so if you can keep the gut supplied with healthy bacteria they compete and colonize the intestinal walls and do not allow the bad bacteria to flourish.

Pathogens originate in the gut. Supplying the gut with good bacteria (probiotics) is the key to keeping pathogens in check.

Are Probiotics Safe for Puppies?

Yes. In fact, a bit of probiotics during this important developmental stage is a great way to support long-term health and good immune function. Further, strong gut health is linked to fewer allergy symptoms and digestive problems later in life.*

Why Use Probiotic Miracle® After Antibiotic Therapy?

Probiotic Miracle® is an excellent choice as it is unique to other formulas. It was specifically designed to include strains of bacteria that were studied to assist dog health.

 Probiotic Miracle

In convenient to use powder form, Probiotic Miracle® is the choice of thousands of happy pet owners because of its ease of dosing and powerful influence on gut health.

Can I Give My Dog Probiotics During Antibiotics?

It's is a controversial issue, whether or not to give probiotics during antibiotics, and we suggest waiting. Because the probiotics will be killed during antibiotic therapy, it would not be cost effective nor health-effective to supply probiotics during the time that antibiotics are being administered. For this reason, we recommend waiting until your pet has completed the antibiotics, then immediately administer probiotics, and lots of them.

Wait until your pet has completed the antibiotics, then immediately administer probiotics, and lots of them.

How Much Probiotics Does My Dog Need After Antibiotic Therapy?

After your dog has completed his antibiotics, it is suggested that you provide 3-4 times the regular suggested amount of Probiotic Miracle® 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.

Related: Understanding Probiotics for Pets: CFU, Species, and Dosage Explained

Cites and References

Stokes JE, Price JM, Whittemore JC. J Vet Intern Med. 2017 Sep; 31(5):1406-1413. Epub 2017 Jul 29. Randomized, controlled, crossover trial of prevention of antibiotic‐induced gastrointestinal signs using a synbiotic mixture in healthy research dogs.

The Truth About Probiotics for Dogs: Antibiotics and Dogs. Published September 2009.

Berry AS, Kelly BJ, Barnhart D, Kelly DJ, Beiting DP, Baldassano RN, Redding LE. PLoS ONE. 2019 Aug 30; 14(8): e0215497. Gut microbiota features associated with Clostridioides difficile colonization in puppies.

PLoS One. 2018; 13(3): e0193507.Published online 2018 Mar 23. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0193507. Disentangling factors that shape the gut microbiota in German Shepherd dogs.

Probiotics for Puppies.

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