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Newsletter-March 2015

Spring is in the air...somewhere. Not here! Toronto has broken all records for low temperatures in February, yet it's been warmer here than in many areas in the U.S. I don't know about your dogs, but Tori's had more than enough of this weather. She piddles right outside the front door and turns around to come back. Now and then she takes a few gingerly steps as if wanting to survey her kingdom in person, but gives up on the idea very quickly. She's likely to give the snake-eye to anyone complaining about the heat this summer.

Acidophilus During Antibiotic Therapy

How many times have you heard and read that there's no point to taking (or giving your dog) a probiotic while also giving an antibiotic? At first glance it seems to make sense because antibiotics don't discriminate between good and bad bacteria. They just try to wipe it all out. So, if you use a probiotic, it would be wiped out too, right? No, that's not the case. I use probiotics whenever a dog is getting antibiotics (do the same for myself as well) and have always seen good results, but there have been some newer studies in this field that prove it to be true.

The study is in people, and while I recognize that we can't always transfer the results to dogs, observations in dogs for more than 15 years can't be denied. The study (Susanne Hempel, PhD; Sydne J. Newberry, PhD; et al. Probiotics for the Prevention and Treatment of Antibiotic-Associated Diarrhea A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. JAMA. 2012;307(18):1959-1969.) is quite impressive and shows a few strains of probiotics that were looked at, most of them in the acidophilus family.

Opinions about which probiotics are best for dogs have been presented and argued about for years. Few have looked at studies though. So, when you read that there should be 10 strains, or 30 strains in a product, you have to ask who came up with these numbers and which is valid. The truth is that nobody has isolated all the strains, so the number is unknown. A more important point to consider is how easily dysbiosis (microbial imbalance) can be caused, and that acidophilus is known to be prevalent (studies prove it) in the healthy canine gut. Logic suggests that feeding what is known to be healthy is more likely to benefit than if we feed a large number of strains that compete with each other. This hasn't failed in all my years of working with dogs.

Bottom line: It's a good idea to feed acidophilus during administration of antibiotics. Give the acidophilus away from the antibiotic by several hours. Mix it in food (most dogs love the taste), and if you take it yourself as I do, it can be mixed in a glass of water, or juice. One gram (1/2 teaspoon) contains a minimum of 10 billion viable Lactobacillus Acidophilus cells. It's not just the number that matters. Viability is key!

Seminar Announcement

Red Barn Events Center and is hosting me on Sunday March 29th 9 a.m - 3 p.m. A sample of topics: Nutrient-gene interactions (nutrigenomics), functional foods and how to apply this to the specific dogs owned by participants How to differentiate between advice based on facts and advice based on self-interest of other people Personal interests of attendees, so we can talk about how to help individual dogs be all that they can be. We will touch on the immune system modulation.

Registration Fee: Regular Rate - $55 = $62.15

RBEC Klub K9 Member Rate - $50 + HST = $56.60

Day of registry add $10.

Includes lunch, coffee/tea and water.

For information or tickets contact: 705-812-3467 8464 County Road 27, Barrie, ON


"The world would be a nicer place if everyone had the ability to love as unconditionally as a dog.” M.K. Clinton



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