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Because of an accidental dog scratch in the wrong place on my body, and subsequent nasty infection, I have spent much of the last 6 weeks on heavy duty antibiotics, including some that were administered intravenously in the ORMC emergency room.
I’m almost healed but taking such strong antibiotics for a lengthy period of time has taken its toll on my body. Because they kill both good and bad bacteria, I’m certain they temporarily ruined my immune system. I caught a cold, and I just didn’t feel good because my whole body was completely out of whack.
I recently stopped taking the antibiotics, and now I’m working hard to rebuild my immune system and using a high quality probiotic supplement to replenish the good bacteria my body needs to function properly.
The same is true with dogs – giving them antibiotics has a negative effect on their immune and digestive systems, creating an overgrowth of harmful bacteria. This can cause or exacerbate a number of symptoms and conditions, such as:
Unfortunately, antibiotics seem to be routinely prescribed by veterinarians these days, even to very young dogs, often given for minor conditions when alternatives or simply doing nothing would work to clear the problem. We see dogs all the time who are on antibiotics for conditions as simple as a rash. The antibiotic may temporarily clear up the rash, but the long term effect can be more damaging to the body.
When a dog’s immune system is healthy, the body is able to fight off viruses, infections, parasites, and even fleas. One of the ways to ensure the immune system stays healthy is to regularly give your dog a high quality probiotic supplement.
Also called digestive enzymes, probiotics are living beneficial bacteria and yeasts that are found primarily in the digestive tract. They are also sold as supplements. There are a number of species of probiotics, some that live in the small intestine only, while others live in the large intestine. They work by producing special enzymes and other chemicals that support immune functions on many levels.
All dogs, even healthy ones, benefit from a good quality probiotic supplement, which works to aid digestion by moving food through the intestines, and improve and help maintain the immune system. Research has shown that probiotics inhibit the growth and activity of harmful bacteria, help prevent certain infections, reduce and control inflammation, and can even reduce allergic reactions.
Keep in mind that you can also give your dog yogurt products with live bacteria, but the amount of bacteria will be less than will be found in a supplement.
If your dog has been on an antibiotic at any time, I encourage you to get him on a probiotic supplement. It’s certainly worth a try to improve his health now and in the future. Your dog is worth it.