Thursday, September 15, 2011

Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Pets

Many pet parents have experience with a pet who has issues with a “sensitive stomach”, but could there be more to your pet's digestive upset than just sensitivity? We were recently asked if a diet of Nature's Logic could help a dog with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). This presented a good opportunity to research this all too common disease in pets – it's symptoms, causes, and what can help treat it. If you currently have or have ever had a pet who seemed to have digestive upset more often than not, there might be something more than a sensitive stomach at play.


IBD: Its Symptoms and Causes

Symptoms of IBD can range in severity from chronic intermittent vomiting and/or diarrhea and flatulence, to loss of appetite, severe weight loss, blood and/or mucus in the stool, fever and abdominal pain. IBD occurs when white blood cells enter the lining of the intestines of a dog or cat. “There are four common types of IBD, classified by what kind of white blood cells infiltrate the intestine: lymphocytes, plasmacytes, eosinophils and neutrophils. Without a doubt, the most common cause of IBD in pets is lymphocytic-plasmacytic enteritis, gastritis and colitis.”¹ In short, IBD occurs when the immune system attacks the pet's own body because it recognizes these white blood cells as foreign objects.
There are three common triggers that can lead to IBD in pets. The first is parasites. These can be present from birth if the mother is not tested and treated for parasites before breeding, or are very commonly picked up in puppy mills or by abandoned pets. A typical dewormer may not address the problem, so if parasites are suspected, it is a good idea to have your pet's feces tested for specific parasites so that they can be targeted and the issue resolved.
Another factor that can lead to IBD is overuse of antibiotics. Not only do antibiotics kill bad bacteria in the body, but they do not discriminate between the good and bad bacteria. So the good bacteria that creates a balanced, healthy gut flora in a pet is also wiped out. If a healthy balance is not restored, the pet is left very susceptible to GI inflammation leading to full blown IBD. Pets are also often treated with immunosuppressive steroids that merely serve to cover up symptoms rather than treat the cause so that the pet can truly heal. And thirdly, diet is a factor in leading to IBD. A diet that is not species – appropriate for a carnivore and is high in carbohydrates will most likely cause inflammation leading to IBD. If fed the same protein for years or even months on end, a pet can also develop sensitivities or allergies to that protein which can lead to inflammation.

Dietary Factors That Contribute to a Pet's Healthy Digestive System

Probably the biggest factor a pet parent can control is their pet's diet. Choosing a carnivore – appropriate diet that is low in carbohydrates is the basis for an ideal start, but also very important is including gut flora balancing probiotics and digestive enzymes. Nature's Logic may aid in helping a pet with IBD to recover and remain healthy with formulas that embody all of these qualities. Nature's Logic is 100% natural – all nutrition is derived only from whole foods and all natural ingredients. All our formulas are rich in protein derived from chicken, beef, duck, lamb, fish, and venison; and our variations provide an easy way to rotate your pet's diet so that they do not develop allergies to any specific protein. Nature's Logic is free of common allergens such as corn, wheat, rice, soy, tapioca, or potato; and is low in carbohydrates – ideal for natural carnivores like dogs and cats. Probiotics and enzymes increase bio-availability and aid in digestion. They are found naturally in whole food, but they are also added to Nature's Logic dry kibble after cooking. Nature's Logic never adds chemically-synthesized vitamins, minerals or other trace nutrients, to ensure that your pet is not exposed to the potential toxicities associated with these man-made substances. You can feel confident and have peace of mind when feeding Nature’s Logic. For more information about Nature's Logic, visit www.natureslogic.com.

Have you ever had a pet with digestive problems?

1.http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2010/11/02/inflammatory-bowel-disease-in-pets.aspx
2. http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=2+2090&aid=305
3. http://www.thewholedog.org/artIBS.html

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