Depression is a common psychiatric disorder that can be continuous or recurrent. Intestine probiotics play an essential role in the bidirectional communication of the intestine and brain. The antidepressant effects of kefir, can help your pet(whatever the make or size) cope with depression and recover from illness; a probiotic supplement, and Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG and their potentials in depression-like behaviour treatments. Probiotics are particularly good for dogs and cats(any animal), who recently had a course of antibiotics or had a recent bout of diarrhoea. Because antibiotics and diarrhoea can both cause an imbalance of good bacteria in your pets gut, and an unhealthy bacterial balance can lead to longer-term digestive problems and health issues. Probiotics are excellent at helping to restore balance and getting your pets gut back on track.
The process of fermentation, removes most of the lactose in milk is actually transformed into lactic acid. For this reason, it is largely suitable for people (and cats) who are lactose intolerant. It’s a great health drink for dogs, who are naturally lactose intolerant. It is best to start with low doses then slowly increase, to make sure that you and your pets do not get stomach upsets. For pets, and people who are lactose intolerant, a double fermentation process is recommended to further reduce the amount of lactose in kefir. During the second fermentation, more lactose is being transformed. The yeasts further break down lactose into small amounts of ethanol and carbon dioxide.
Give one teaspoon to one tablespoon of kefir to small cats/dogs per day.
Medium size dogs – 1 – 2 tbsp.
Large dogs – 2 – 3 tbsp.
Cats start with 1/8 tsp, and increase every FEW days by doubling the amount, up to one-half teaspoon. Give your cat only 1/2 of the dosage (one-half teaspoon) for at least one to two weeks before increasing to 3/4 and so on.
If your pet has any reactions to Kefir, you can try two things:
1- Do a double fermentation (48 hrs instead of 24 )
2- Change the milk for goat milk
3. Use water Kefir instead
If reactions continue, stop giving it.
Remember you can introduce water kefir instead of milk kefir, this may suit certain pets better, again doing the double fermentation and keeping in the fridge is a good idea.
A healthy balance of bacteria in the gut is absolutely critical to ensure a strong gastrointestinal tract. The gut in humans and pets contains flora and different types of mucosa that function as protection against various threats to the health of the tract such as that from pathogens.
The gut also removes different toxins, ensuring that only positive microorganisms survive. They also have an effect on the digestion and as a result the appetite of the pet.
Probiotics work to keep the gut biome balanced. As the health of the gut can affect the wellbeing of a pet or human in such a drastic number of ways, probiotics work by ensuring the best functions of the gut work properly and aid in increasing the positive functions. Benefits include the prevention of diarrhoea as well as improvement to appetite and mental health.
Probiotics which are traditional used in the human food have been extended to animals by developing fortified feed with intestinal microbiota to benefit the animals. The microflora in the gastrointestinal tracts of animals plays a key role in normal digestive processes and in maintaining the animal’s health.
Probiotics can beneficially improve the intestinal microbial balance in host animal. Commercial probiotics for animal use are claimed to improve animal performance by increasing daily gain and feed efficiency in feedlot cattle, enhance milk production in dairy cows, and improve health and performance of young calves and in improving growth performance of chickens. Probiotics can attach the mucosal wall, adjust to immune responses, and compete with pathogenic bacteria for attachment to mucus.
Probiotics provide the animal with additional source of nutrients and digestive enzymes. They can stimulate synthesis vitamins of the B-group and enhancement of growth of nonpathogenic facultative anaerobic and gram positive bacteria by producing inhibitory compounds like volatile fatty acids and hydrogen peroxide that inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria enhancing the host’s resistance to enteric pathogens.
Probiotics stimulate the direct uptake of dissolved organic material mediated by the bacteria, and enhance the immune response against pathogenic microorganisms. Probiotics can inhibit pathogens by competition for a colonisation sites or nutritional sources and production of toxic compounds, or stimulation of the immune system.
‘firefighting’ with antibiotics is not a scientifically-sound or appropriate approach, and the realisation that the holistic promotion of gut microbiome health, and the enhanced immunity arising therefrom, is a new and effective way forward.
A significant number of international peer reviewed publications in human and veterinary medicine are now supporting and endorsing this concept. The gut microbiota, the largest symbiotic ecosystem with the host, has been shown to play important roles in maintaining intestinal homeostasis.
Dysbiosis of the gut microbiome is caused by the imbalance between the commensal and pathogenic microbiomes. The commensal microbiome regulates the maturation of the mucosal immune system, while the pathogenic microbiome causes immunity dysfunction, resulting in disease development. Therefore, even when used to target susceptible pathogens, treatment with oral broad-spectrum antibiotics that effect a larger proportion of the gut microbiome and bacterial community may be detrimental to long-term host health via impedance of the immune system or, indeed, AMR development.
Probiotics can play a key role in disease avoidance, but only if given on a prophylactic basis, ideally from birth. Acting as a pre-emptive strike to seed the gut with beneficial commensals, effective probiotics can tilt the balance away from a likely pathogenic infection. Additionally, by augmenting the animal’s general immunity it provides not only for gut health, but also protection from infection in other tissues such as the respiratory tract.
Probiotics are not therapeutic agents and will not replace therapeutic antibiotics. They can, however, act as suitable non-antibiotic prophylactics to prevent disease when given to neonatal animals, or at periods of stress.
Just like people, cats/dogs(most animals) can be lactose intolerant, it’s actually completely normal “The only time most animals are exposed to lactose is when they’re babies, in their mother’s milk”. To digest lactose, a milk sugar, the human and animal digestive systems must contain the enzyme lactase. We have plenty of this enzyme in our systems at birth, as we grow up, it’s normal for people and animals to produce less lactase. Less lactase means less ability to digest lactose. The result may eventually be lactose intolerance.
When a lactose-intolerant animal/human drinks milk, the undigested lactose passes through the intestinal tract, drawing water with it. Bacteria in the colon also ferment the undigested sugars, producing volatile fatty acids. All this activity can lead to an upset tummy or induce vomiting. But the most common symptom of lactose intolerance is diarrhoea.
Cats, like any other mammal (inc, dogs and humans), are inherently lactose intolerant. After the breast feeding period, they slowly lose the enzyme to break down lactose, some faster than others. Lactose in milk, is a sugar or carbohydrate that needs to be broken down into smaller single sugars for digestion.
It’s very important to start Slowly. Very slowly. Kefir is a potent probiotic, like any other substance your pet has never consumed. Introduce it slowly to their diet.