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Ignored Veterinary Medical Ethics


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  1. Rhonda

    Thank you, thank you.
    Your awesome angel for our babies.

  2. Kathleen

    This email is very timely for my dog BenE. I have spent the last 4 days at the vet trying to determine why he has been vomitting and excessively drooling. After spending $1,200 on X-rays, barium treatments, antibiotics and Pepcid we were advised to give him the probiotics you mentioned in this article. I agreed to the probiotic since he is also receiving an antibiotic, but was advised that he should remain on this probiotic for life. This was and is disturbing to me. I feed him human grade food and I’m careful with what goes into his system, but was at a loss of what to do after 4 days of stomach upset. Is their a safer alternative for probiotics? Any comments are suggestions are appreciated.

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      Go to a health food store and purchase human probiotics. Your veterinarian can tell you dosage.

      1. Holly

        I was told that human probiotics are not as good, for dogs and cats, due to them having a more acidic stomach. Honest Kitchen makes a powdered probiotic that a dog trainer told me worked wonders for her dog’s sensitive stomach. Make sure you separate the antibiotics from the probiotic by at least an hour.

      2. darlene

        Susan, I love ya, but dogs and cats have different strains of bacteria in their gut than humans ( a few may be the same… but overall a different profile). While human probiotics won’t really cause any harm, there are many formulated for just dogs and / or cats with strains more commonly found in their gut so they are more beneficial. I have no affiliation, but Dr Mercola’s Complete Probiotics for Pets is a powder containing 14 bacteria strains that can be used for both dogs and cats….but that is just an example as there are other good brands out there, just usually not sold in the big box pet stores. You want to look for as many different strains as possible and and a high # of bacteria per serving ( ie 2 billion is on the very low side) .Also look for just bacteria in the ingredients… no additives or flavoring agents if possible.

        As for Forti Flora, it contains only one strain but it is the strain effective for loose stools. I am NOT a fan of Purina and animal digest, and yes, Forti Flora contains animal digest, however sometimes a very small amount of Forti Flora is effective as a great help for diarrhea for fussy eaters , and also importantly as a flavor enhancer getting cats to eat wet food which they NEED, yet often reject in favor of dry. ( Dry cat food is totally species inappropriate for cats….they evolved to get their moisture from prey and never drink enough water to make up for eating dry food…plus way too high in carbs) . Animal digest is sprayed on virtually ALL dry food ( hidden in the ingredient list as ‘natural flavor’ …another scam of the pet food industry…yes, even premium brands use it…. it is sprayed on the surface of all dog and cat food that have ‘natural flavor’ in the ingredient list….otherwise nearly all cats and many dogs would never eat a dry cereal ) . Although animal digest is a disgusting ingredient, anyone feeding dog or cat dry food should check their bag, and if ‘natural flavor’ is listed they are feeding way more animal digest than
        pets would get through Forti-Flora….that is where most of the outrage should be directed and another reason not to feed commercial kibble to dogs and cats.

    2. Dr. Laurie Coger

      My preference is Total Biotics, from NWX Naturals. High quality, designed for animals, multiple strains of beneficial bacteria. It has been extremely effective in my practice.

    3. Judy

      Kathleen, my Annie (cockapoo) had the same symptoms a few years ago. After numerous vet trips, then seeing a internal med specialist and hospitalized for a week, a presumptive diagnosis of pancreatitis was made and I was told to feed her only Hills prescription diet food and nothing else. She has since also developed diabetes so she is on Hills W/D. She does well on this but I often wonder if there isn’t something out there that’s better for her. I don’t want to rock the boat so I’m sticking with it. I feel for what you are going through with your little one. After a week of IV feedings, Annie came out of it and was able to come home. Good luck.

    4. Kathleen

      Thank you for all the great responses today about my question to alternative probiotics. I feed my dogs human grade food from Just Food For Dogs and they seem to do well off of kibble. I do live in a city that has a small business called Marty’s Meals that produces raw and semi cooked food for dogs. One of the items they provide is green tripe from grass fed local lambs. Does anyone have experience with tripe as a probiotic? It seems straight forward, but giving a completely raw product is somewhat concerning. Any tripe users out there?

      1. Jeri

        We have fed tripe before. The green tripe is what you need to look for, not the white/bleached kind. Feeding raw does not concern me since that’s all we do, lol! As a probiotic approach, no, I have not done that. For those we have used the one on Mercola, Transfer Factor, or the one from Herbsmith. All three are recommended by holistic vets and two were created by holistic/integrative vets. Our dogs enjoyed tripe, but I can’t say I saw particular health benefits from it. I know it’s good for them, but as a probiotic? Not sure about that. The one slight “cautionary” tale which I found from reading Dr. Karen Becker’s newsletter is that parasites come from the guts when feeding raw and she recommends freezing any “guts” foods for at least two weeks prior to feeding. Here’s something on “fermented foods” which do have a probiotic effect:

  3. Christina

    I know it’s wiki, but it has the most amount of links to Carrageen studies I’ve found anywhere! – Animal studies
    Last count 27 direct study links.

    From my knowledge of acids in general and the medical industry, Human Probiotics are made to tolerate VERY high acids and should work within tolerances in a cat/Dog, as their acid levels are higher, but within said tolerances. (remember this is why some people are said to have a cast-iron stomach)

    As long as the dog as a functional immune system, after the cessation of antibiotics, he/she will produce their own and will not require ‘probiotcs’ for the ‘rest of their life’ if fed the proper natural diet. (If their immune system is comrpomised, then I give a hug and comiserate with you)

    1. Holly

      Carrageenan. It can cause inflammation. Definitely worth eliminating from the dog’s diet. May help, may not, but worth a try.

    2. Debbie D

      Wikipedia is ran by Big Pharma and Doctors..FYI..

      1. ACH

        You’re absolutely right…they don’t like Mercola because of his stance on Monsanto and GMO’s…even Snopes goes after Mercola…

        I’m wary of what Wiki puts out there…I know for a fact that their information isn’t always correct because they said something completely false about a family member of mine…

        1. Janie

          Thank you Obama for appointing one of former VP of Monsanto to commissioner at the FDA. That is going to be a very difficult thing to undo. Shame on Michelle for all the get moving – health programs. All was a mask to cover up their relationship with Monsanto. If you love Obama, I am sorry. Just read about the facts.

  4. Sherrie Ashenbremer

    should every dog every age have these probiotics

  5. Dianne & pets

    You are correct, they really should attend, but perhaps the rep for vet nutritionists as well. Not sure what it would accomplish though. Vets are not following the current vaccination protocols as it is.

  6. Jeri

    Herbsmith is a Chinese herb line forumalated by a vet. We have used their probiotic. Dr. Karen Becker has a probiotic as well on the We have also used others like Transfer Factor for animals, recommended by Dr. Will Falconer, homeopathic vet. There are some great options out there formulated for animals. Hope this helps.

  7. Mikey & Molly

    Thank goodness our new vet in NYC not only supports raw feeding (he told us where we could get good quality raw duck meat at a local farmers market in NYC), but he also said he does “everything possible so as *not* to recommend the RX diets.

    Finally, after years of dealing with different vets singing the Hills mantra, we scored a winner.

  8. Pat P.

    I would love to find a vet that does not carry “prescription” foods, that recommends against carrageenan and Fortiflora, that does not feed cheap quality foods, when my cat has an overnight stay, knows the pathetic facts0 of many pet foods and prefers it raw. I would trust them a lot more. I haven’t located one that does ANY of the above!

  9. Janie

    The biggest problem is that these ingredients “MIGHT” be from the 4 D’s.
    That’s a huge loophole. Unless these “food” manufacturers are required to disclose sourcing, we will never know for sure. They would have to provide proof of adequate testing, and even then, who knows? The government protects these manufacturers. It is so sickening.

  10. Gwen G.

    I haven’t responded to this website in several years, because I was always criticized for promoting raw feeding for our dogs. If only people would read ingredients in the dry (especially prescription diets), and canned foods out there, they would think twice before feeding their dogs such garbage. It’s no wonder we have so many sick animals. If raw food isn’t your thing, try cooking for your dog or cat. I highly recommend through Dr. Mercola’s website, Dr. Becker’s “Real Food for Healthy Dogs & Cats”, or any of the other good books out there on raw and cooked diets. I also use Dr. Becker’s “Complete Probiotics for Dogs & Cats”. I think the reason people are turned off by raw or cooked food is because it takes time and most people won’t give that extra effort for their 4-legged pets. It’s so easy to put down dry food or open a can. I have fed raw for years. There are companies out there that prepare frozen raw food which is easy to feed. Do some research and your pet will love you for it.

    1. Holly

      I don’t think people are turned off from raw or home cooked because it’s time consuming. I think the pet food companies have brain washed pet owners into thinking that, if they don’t feed commercially prepared food, then their pets will not be healthy. Many vets think the same thing. I work, part time, for a holistic pet food company. I can’t tell you how many times a customer has told me that their vet has told them to not feed their dog ‘people’ food. And that any dry food is fine for their cat, as long as the cat eats it. It’s disgracefulness. As far as raw goes, many pet owners think that their pet will get sick eating raw food.

  11. Lynne

    We use yogurt to provide probiotics for our dogs.

  12. Dr. Oscar Chavez

    Totally Agree. More to the point, we have a specialty in Veterinary Medicine that monopolizes the research conducted on nutrition at most vet schools. They decide what gets studied, what gets funded, what gets published, and what the “language” is surrounding veterinary nutrition. They are the ACVN (American College of Veterinary Nutrition) and are closely partnered with the AAVN (American Academy of Veterinary Nutrition), which is a forum (listserv) that essentially bans any discussion that challenges the notion that commercial prescription diets are safe. How do I know? Because I have email after email from them asking me to stop my line of questioning when I did so.

    If the very specialty us veterinarians rely on to research these issues refuse to even have a discussion, what chance do vets have of doing the right thing?

    I’m glad I eventually saw the light – but there are still many, many vets out there – white coats and all that are the equivalent of doctors on tv smoking cigarettes saying that they are safe in the 50’s and 60’s.


  13. Peter

    Well, vets also prescribe medications to which it is not possible to know the “inert” ingredients (the ingredients that are not the active ingredients), because they are protected industry “trade secrets.” Many times these unidentified ingredients (excipients, etc.) comprise most, even 90% of the product.

    1. Christina

      That’s true. The difference is the testing that all medicines, INCLUDING animal medications are required to go through before they are allowed to be used.

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