iPet’s Ally Weekly Q&A Round-up 09-08-20: What are the benefits and drawbacks of Psyllium Husk in pets?

iPets Ally Q&A Round-up 09/08/20

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Hey there! I’m Dr. Ruth Roberts. Sorry for the delay. Anyway, technical issues, software just never has the chance to hold still and when they upgraded it stuff changes. Anyhow, I hope you all are well. We have some great questions today and I think we can get these answered for you pretty quickly.

Sunshine Mills Voluntary Recall of Certain Dog Foods Due to Elevated Levels of Aflatoxin:

So, first thing I want to make you all aware of is the issue about the Sunshine Mills products. Sunshine Mills, Inc. has a voluntary recall going on because many of their products are contaminated with aflatoxins and aflatoxins are a mycotoxin which is a mold toxin that’s exceeded the normal of what’s acceptable. Now, most of these are treats, there are a couple of full pet foods but again, these are lower end foods so I think these are not going to be what you’re feeding but do tell your friends and family about them.
Now, where do aflatoxins come from? Generally, they come from corn and corn is moldy so this is a big part of why we think that corn is a problem. There’s also the zein protein in corn that is similar to gluten in wheat which is an irritant of the gut and it is not discussed much. So, corn is considered to be gluten-free because indeed, it is, but it also may be quite the irritant to the gut so that’s part of why we don’t really feed much corn. Fresh corn every now and then I think, is probably a nice treat for your pets but treat it more like a starch than a vegetable. I hope that is helpful.

What is a Microbiome Test? And how does the Fecal Microbiota Transplantation (FMC) works?

Microbiome Testing is the process of sequencing bacterial genetic material from a small fecal sample. We can detect all known bacteria from your pet’s stool sample. and then provide you with a comprehensive report. It’s a very useful tool and so using this, we can tell kind of what fiber sources to add.
Now, if you’re also using the fecal transplant pills, the poop pills, microbiome testing should help correct it too. One thing to mindful of with the FMT ( Fecal Microbiota Transplantation ) pills is, it takes a while and so when I started working with AnimalBiome, we would test them 30 days after they had completed the FMT and the results essentially looked the same and so what I would suggest doing is waiting 3 to 6 months to retest, use the FMT and see what sort of improvements you’re getting and then also add in specific fibers to help increase different of these bacteria that we want to increase, such as the Bacteroides and the Fusobacterium which are two of the main ones we want to really bump up and you can do that pretty simply with things like chia seeds interestingly, and then Metamucil a ground psyllium husks, these types of fiber can be very helpful. I hope that makes sense.

What is the best thing to do when your dog is having allergic reactions due to rabies vaccine?

Suppose your dog has had two allergic reactions already due to the rabies vaccine and developed a nasty lesion, the best thing you can do is to get a titer done which is a blood test, so it is a way to know if there are sufficient antibodies against the virus and then you may need to find somebody that’s got a little bit more of a holistic approach. If you look at the American Holistic Veterinary Medicine (AHVMA) site, you can find a practitioner.
The other thing is that the AHVMA has worked out a deal with Kansas state laboratory to do rabies titers and other vaccine titers at a reduced cost, so check that site out and see if there’s somebody local to you. Look for somebody that can do a titer and have a medical waiver if necessary because unfortunately, what Dr. Schultz and Dr. Dodds saw in the rabies challenge study is that after 4 to 5 years, the rabies titer starts to decline in 20 – 30% of the dogs that had been vaccinated. Also, in the files on the group, check for the vaccine information and there’s a link to the rabies compendium there. I hope that is helpful.

How help your dog to avoid having acid reflux during fasting?

There’s a couple of ways to do these, you could do a 24 – hour fast or what you might do is intermittent fasting, the sort of gold standard is 16 hours. Assuming your dogs’ reflux tends to start early in the morning, what you might do is start with that.
What that means is they eat supper closer towards bedtime so that they don’t have that reflux issue crop up, and give whatever medication you would normally give in the evening and then try not to feed them during the day. They can certainly drink all the water they would like and see if that would help kind of get them through without the reflux. Resting the gut is also a great way to help it heal as well. We tend to want our pets to eat all the time and ourselves as well but in truth, letting the gut rest has really profound effects. There’s another kind of way to do that and that’s a fasting-mimicking diet where you use super low calories and no animal products, so that would look like butternut squash, maybe half a cup or twice a day or something like that. I hope that helps.

What are the benefits and drawbacks of Psyllium Husks in pets?

Psyllium husk can be very helpful, the problem is that there’s really no downside other than if your pet’s GI system isn’t working well or if it has SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth), that’s going to make those bacterial counts in the small intestine sky rocket and create a lot of discomfort, so what happens is there are too many bacteria present in the small intestine and they start digesting whatever fibers are there which is not supposed to happen.
On the other hand, this can be helpful in terms of improving the microbiome in the large intestine and so what I would do is start very small and see what happens, so try something like literally a pinch with each meal and see if that’s comfortable or not comfortable because the other thing about fiber is that if you add too much too quickly even if your gut function is completely normal, that can be really miserable. So, I hope that helps quite a bit.

What is or are the best topical medicine to use for wounds?

Any kind of topical medicine like lidocaine or the no pain Neosporin is a great option because the lidocaine will cool the itch and the burn and make things a lot more comfortable. You can also definitely use the Neosporin with lidocaine or you can get plain old lidocaine gel but I think, the Neosporin helps. And I would definitely take them for a walk immediately so that it will help prevent them from licking stuff right off. I hope that’s good.

What is the most effective form of collagen for dogs?

Now, here’s a couple of things I want you all to know about collagen as well, so I’ve been using Great Lakes for a long time and because it says it’s great for hair, skin, joints, all of that good stuff, well, turns out that it is not the best choice for joint care because it does not include Type 2 collagen.
So, the Multi Collagen Protein Powder is a Type 1, 2, 3, 5, 10 and if you all remember, I went trough what all of that means. Type 2 collagen is the one that is more specific to the joints and it turns out that Type 5 and Type 10 collagen seem to help the fibers align more easily, so I’m trying this out myself and for my pets. The one downside is in order to get all those different collagens, we’ve got different multiple protein options and the thing that is not cool is that it does include chicken. I was trying to find a product that was more shellfish based and there’s just not a way to do that so again, we’ve got Type 1, 2, 3, 5, and Type 10. And then we’ve got grass – fed beef, chicken bone broth and then some collagen peptides from fish and eggshell membrane, protein, all that good stuff. We’ve got multiple different protein sources but it’s a good one. I hope that helps.

How to make a low – fat or a medium – fat diet version of the CrockPet diet?

Suppose that you’re concerned about pancreatitis and so if you have had pancreatitis or elevated triglycerides, it’s reasonable to go to a medium – fat diet. If you want to go to a medium – fat diet, just drop 2 tablespoons of oil from the recipe and that will put it back to right below what the conventional kind of foods are. Here’s the upside of a higher fat diet in an older dog; One is that the brain is made of fat and the central nervous system neurons and the peripheral neurons are also wrapped in myelin which is made from fat, so there’s a great deal of evidence in people that are older that if they have Parkinson’s disease, if they are on a high – fat diet or even moderate fat diet, they can by human terms, this is a high fat – diet, it’s not keto but it’s pretty high, their symptomatology goes down dramatically, they experience something like 86% less symptoms than their peers. And people that have things like Alzheimer’s, dementia, things of that nature, they have fewer symptoms as well and more importantly, for instance, if your cholesterol is actually elevated, your chances of developing Alzheimer’s and dementia are something like 75% less than the rest of the population.
Now, if you’re concerned about the energy source, then I would just feed less food because it’s going to keep those ratios kind of in perspective or in sort of normal value. Again, if you really want to go medium fat, drop 2 tablespoons of fat from the diet but I think you’ll find that they continue to do well not to mention that their skin and coat will be much healthier and the gut tends to process things a bit better as well. The most profound change I ever saw in a dog, was a dog that had been eating kidney diet for probably 5 years and came in just dried out. Dry hair, dry skin and started eating CrockPet diet and in 2 weeks his coat shined up so again, fat’s been vilified if you’re really having trouble keeping the weight down drop it but I would encourage you to keep it at that normal level.

Mucus in Dog Stool: What does it mean?

When a dog poops mucus is this made when the irritating food enters the tummy and bothers it or is it already in the tummy lining and released when the irritating food bother it?
So, what happens is this, the mucus is made in the large intestine. What the large intestine is supposed to do is two things; one is to absorb water from the digestive that’s come into it and then second is that the probiotic organisms are supposed to digest the fibers that are coming in. So, if the small intestine hasn’t done it’s job and absorbed all of the nutrients and all these nutrients hit the large intestine, the bacteria do not want to know what to do and so they start doing all sorts of crazy things including making mucus and also, the lining of the large intestine is now irritated because stuff is in there that’s not supposed to be there and so it produces mucus to help protect itself. And then some of the bad bacteria, so if there is a dysbiosis present, those bugs produce mucus as well and that’s why it stinks.
I think, to most of you guys, the presence of mucus is normal but it’s actually not normal specially to have it come out in big clumps. One of the best things you can do to help kind of get things back in balance without using an antibiotic. The other medication is to use either bentonite clay or charcoal to help kind of absorb some of the yucky stuff and then 2 hours away from that, use a high dose of probiotic. I hope that makes sense.

Trim Your Dog’s Nail Safely: Using a dog nail grinder

Suppose your pet’s quicks are really long, what I would suggest doing is getting a grinder. Now, we went to Amazon and got one for Mona and Hiyo because Hiyo is really freaked out about having its nails done and Mona’s not especially fond of it. We got a rechargeable one and what was really cool about the one we got is the little cap. The upside is that this little cap let’s you stick the toenail right here so that the chances of something getting out of hand and burning the dog or quacking the nail is limited. What Dr. Busby and a lot of chiropractor are saying is not just this but actually come this way because what it does is angle the nail so that it makes it easier for the dogs’ foot to move further forward. What I would do is start with just letting them listen to it and feel the buzz that’s going on there and then gradually, just 2 to 3 seconds at a time and then if you can use treats to kind of coerce them into accepting the grinder a little bit better to keep them focused on that, I think that will help you quite a bit too.
That’s what I’ve got for today. So, next week I’m going to take off. I’m having a procedure tomorrow to get some stem cells injected in my lumbar spine which I’m really looking forward to and hopefully we’ll get some relief with it and so we’re going to take the week off. I’ll check back in here, Hanna can let me know if you’ve got any super burning questions so I’ll see you guys in 2 weeks until then, give everybody a big hug and take good care. Thanks!