I have a 14 year old dog that caught kennel cough last summer. It seemed to pass within a few days, and all the other dogs are 100% recovered. Except for slowing down a little, he was fine over the winter, but since the start of summer, he’s had ongoing respiratory problems. It started with a URI in early June, which was treated with antibiotics without much improvement. That led the Vet to believe it could have been fungal in origin, but the antifungal meds made him very sick, so we were forced to discontinue it. I was given Veterinary permission to try echinacea as a last resort, which helped more than I expected it would. I started cooking for him too, but had to stop that because for some reason, he urinates rivers and was leaking urine in the house on a homemade diet – his kidney values were normal, btw. So he’s back on Purina and still hasn’t shaken off this infection 100%.
Now, I was recently told by another dog owner who thinks she Knows Everything that food is to blame and only expensive kibble with probiotics would cure him. I thought maybe the probiotics and “extras” might be a help in this instance, considering he’s old and his immune system seems to be run down. I started looking at dry food with pre/probiotics added, and realized two things.
First, many of the probiotics are not beneficial bacteria but aspergillus niger, which I know can balance out intestinal flora, but is essentially giving the dog black mold. Incidentally, the Vet believes the dog initially got sick in the first place not from kennel cough, but from eating sticks and grass growing in a section of my yard that became contaminated with green/black mold after a neighbor’s sick tree dropped mold spores on my property. This is a common cause of blastomycosis, in fact, which my dog was checked for. I can’t understand how giving fungus to a dog with a system overrun with it could ever be beneficial. I would even think it dangerous to give on a long term basis, lest an overgrowth ever occur. Secondly, I realized after looking through at least a dozen foods that every time one or more of my dogs had a noticeable change in temperament after a food switch (this occurred on three different brands over the years), it happened to be one that included pre or probiotics. Could there have possibly been a connection?
So my long winded way of asking a question is could a food change help a dog battling chronic systemic fungal infection, and would one with probiotics help or hurt this condition? Thanks!
Quote: “So my long winded way of asking a question is could a food change help a dog battling chronic systemic fungal infection, and would one with probiotics help or hurt this condition? Thanks”!
Hope these articles help (note comments also), you can use the search engine there to look up other topics of interest.
“The risks of probiotics are probably very low. Individuals with compromised immune systems are at greatest risk and should not be exposed to probiotics. There is some limited potential for these products to cause disease even in healthy individuals.”
Thank you VERY MUCH!!! This was exactly the type of evidence based information I was looking for! I think I might try changing his food just to see if that helps, but think I’ll steer clear of the ones containing any sort of probiotics, just to be on the safe side.
Thanks for the feedback. I wish you the best, I know how hard it is to keep a senior comfortable.
You can ask questions over there, of course he can’t give you specific advice as he has not examined your dog. Sometimes he doesn’t answer.
Anyway, I have found the site helpful and I am glad that you have too 🙂
It’s best to give your dog a probiotic without any food, dog foods with probiotics are sprayed over the kibble, then these kibbles are shipped in hot containers, hot trucks, stored in hot pet shops the probiotic bacteria die…….
Heat kills any live bacteria/cultures in the probiotic, have a look at “Purina Florti Floria” dog probiotic, when they tested 10 dog probiotics only 3 came back with live cultures the rest of te dog probiotics were a waste of money…..I was adding 1 teaspoon probiotic powder to 10-15ml water swirl water around to dissolve the powder probiotic & then let your dog drink the probiotic when stomach is empty, normally 3-4 hours after eating a meal the stomach empties..as a dog or human ages it’s stomach takes longer to empty & we dont make as much Hydrochloric Acid like we did when we were younger so immue system starts to suffer, I think giving him a daily liquid probiotic drink will help strengthen his immune system..
Purina Fortiflora has live cultures, when tested Fortiflora came 1st with live cultures.. also a probiotics shouldn’t be given with a meal/food as Hydrochloric Acid (stomach acid) kills the live bacteria cultures in the probiotic, it’s best to take a probiotics on an empty stomach, inbeween meals or first thing of a morning 30mins before eating… I give my boy 1/2 of my “Yakult” probiotic drink around 11am inbetween his meals… https://www.chewy.com/purina-pro-plan-veterinary-diets/dp/50000
With his diet can you go back to home cooked meals? but change the ingredients you were feeding & look for recipes with ingredients that are for dogs with urinary problems…
If your on face book join “Monica Segal” f/b group called “K-9 Kitchen” she has a few recipes for dogs with urinary problems… also “Dr Judy Morgan DVM” has easy to recipes.
Even if just 1 of his meals is a cooked meal then the other meal is a dry kibble, if feeding any dry kibbles that are grain free make sure it’s has no more then 20% Legumes, stay away from any dog foods that are high in Legumes, (Peas, Lentils, Chickpeas, Beans) expecially if you have medium to large breed dogs…
Vitamin C streghthens the immune system, High Potency vitamin C for dogs but make sure you slowly introduce over 1-2 weeks…
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