By Dr. Karen Burgess
Brand name and formulations
- Proviable-DC, FortiFlora
- Capsule, paste, powder
What are probiotics used for?
Probiotics are used in the treatment of acute diarrhea associated with stress, change in diet, travel, and antibiotic usage. There have been promising results seen also with the use of probiotics in the treatment of conditions causing chronic diarrhea.
What are probiotics?
Probiotics are good live bacteria or microorganisms that provide a health benefit to an animal. They are considered live bacteria similar to those found naturally in the intestinal tract. In cases of diarrhea, imbalance in the intestine occur often causing bad bacteria to outnumber good bacteria. When given orally to pets, probiotics can help restore intestinal and overall health. Prebiotics are also included in products such as Proviable and serve as food for the probiotics.
What is the difference between a product like Proviable and yogurt?
The bacteria found in yogurt is often not life or in the numbers necessary to help with diarrhea.
Is there a difference between probiotic products?
Yes. Because probiotics are a nuetraceutical and not a drug therefore they are not regulated by anyone including the FDA. This means that manufacturers can sell an inferior product with little to no live bacteria or benefit to a patient. Proviable and FortiFlora are both produced by reliable companies and contain appropriate strains and numbers of bacteria.
How are probiotics given and what if a dose is missed?
Probiotics are typically prescribed for once daily dosing. If a dose is missed and it is less than 12 hours late, go ahead and give missed dose. If it is within 12 hours of the next dose, skip a dose and resume regular schedule with next dose. Use is typically continued for several days beyond resolution of symptoms at a minimum. Probiotics are often nice for owners to have on hand to administer at the first sign of diarrhea or prior to a known stressful situation in hopes of prevention.
Are there any common adverse effects with the use of Probiotics?
Who should not take probiotics?
Avoid use of probiotics in patients that are vomiting, severely dehydrated, or immunocompromised.
What drugs should not be given with probiotics?
Antibiotic efficacy can be affected by probiotics; separate administration times by two hours to avoid this as a concern.
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