On Probiotics and Treating a Cat's Arthritis

Pros and cons of probiotics: The use of probiotics is pushed as a super additive for dog and cat foods.

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Claims are made that these beneficial bacteria can bestow many health benefits on the pets that eat these foods. As it turns out — not so much.

Certain strains of Lactobacillus acidophilus can help dogs and cats recover from inflammatory bowel disease.
Diarrhea, chronic renal disease and pancreatitis respond to the use of the right probiotics. Not a cure, but helpful.

When puppies receive probiotics after weaning, the distemper vaccinations are more effective. So it might seem logical that foods containing probiotics would be beneficial to the animals.

The problem with this theory (and advertising device) is that the 13 dog foods and 6 cat foods containing probiotics actually bestow no special benefits at all — because, according to the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association , "only 7 of the diets contained at least one of the listed species, and none contained all of the probiotics listed on their labels."

And those present were ineffective because somewhere in the kibble manufacturing process, the microorganisms are lost. Those products in which the probiotics are applied as a coating to the foods after they are extruded retained some of the benefits listed. But not all.

If you really want to feed probiotics to your pet, consult your animal's doctor to learn the best, and most economical, source to use. Meanwhile, save your money and stop buying foods because of their supposed probiotic benefits.

Dietary therapy for feline arthritis: Degenerative joint disease, or arthritis, often causes pain and decreased mobility.
A study reported in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine (2010) tested a diet high in eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid, plus green-lipped mussel extract and glucosamine/chondroitin sulfate for its pain-relieving and activity-enhancing effects.
Outcomes were evaluated both by the cat's owners and by veterinary assessment.

Results showed that the diet had a significant effect when compared to a control group. It is also believed that a variation on this diet may prove helpful in weight control by creating an appropriate physiological environment. One study — two very good effects.

October 24, 2010