Sponsored by AnimalBiome
Did you know that dogs who start life with a nursing mother develop stronger immune systems? It’s true! But unfortunately, not all dogs get this advantage, and that was the case of Emmy, a stray Pit Bull mix from Arizona. Her chronic digestive issues eventually became life-threatening. But a simple health test completely turned her life around. Here’s her story!
Emmy was found at 8 weeks of age on the streets of Tucson. While she was readily adopted into a loving home, it was already too late for her gut health. A mother dog’s milk contains a bunch of beneficial bacteria that are passed along to her puppies. These bacteria build the gut microbiome — a complex community of thousands of different kinds of bacteria that live in the digestive tract and affect nearly every aspect of a dog’s health.
Because of her unstable “puppyhood,” Emmy never got these bacteria through her mother’s milk. As a result, she had a compromised immune system and suffered from chronic diarrhea and vomiting. She had no strength or energy and was dangerously underweight. Emmy’s pet parents tried numerous medications and tests, but nothing worked and her health got worse. She was eventually diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), meaning her intestines were so irritated and inflamed that she couldn’t digest food properly.
Emmy Gets a Microbiome Gut Health Test
After trying several medications with no success, Emmy’s pet parents had her take a simple Microbiome Gut Health Test. They just had to send a small sample of Emmy’s poop to the folks at AnimalBiome. From that small poop sample, AnimalBiome extracted and sequenced Emmy’s DNA to identify all of the gut bacteria.
Microbiome gut health reports tell you which kinds of bacteria are present in your pet’s gut, as well as the proportions of each population. By identifying any imbalances early, you can help prevent or alleviate a variety of symptoms and health conditions through changes in your dog’s diet or lifestyle.
Emmy’s gut health report showed that she was missing a bunch of important dog-specific gut bacteria: In other words, her microbiome had low diversity and was out of balance. Without all the different kinds of bacteria that should have been there, Emmy’s microbiome couldn’t function properly, so her digestion faltered, her weight declined and her mood sank.
Fixing the Imbalance in Emmy’s Gut
AnimalBiome didn’t just help pinpoint what was wrong with Emmy’s microbiome — they also provided the solution! To supply the sick pup with the bacteria she was missing, Emmy’s people gave her AnimalBiome’s Gut Restoration Supplements for dogs. Within three days, Emmy’s poop started to firm up. She started gaining weight and she had more energy.
Because IBD is an autoimmune disorder that continues to influence Emmy’s microbiome, she still receives maintenance supplements to help keep her digestive health stable. But she is now a happy and energetic dog who loves kissing her family and romping with her doggy friends. She even participates in obedience and agility competitions!
Why Test Your Pet’s Microbiome?
More than 50% of all dogs and cats will suffer from a medical condition related to a microbiome imbalance at some point in their lives. Besides a rough start in life, other factors that can cause imbalances in the microbiome include diet, illness and medications (like antibiotics).
Taking proper care of your pet’s microbiome throughout their life can help prevent or improve health issues like:
- Digestive disorders like chronic diarrhea and IBD
- Skin conditions like atopic dermatitis
- Psychological conditions like anxiety and aggression
- Skin and coat issues, like itchiness, redness and dryness
- Food intolerances and allergies
- Poor appetite, low body weight or obesity
- Poor oral health, including bad breath
Looking closely at Emmy’s gut microbiome made all the difference in her recovery. And reassessing her gut health periodically helps keep her digestion and immune functions stable and supported.