Dog Gut Health

Cushing’s and the Science of the Gut

Microbiome

Why does dog gut health matter? Like humans, scientists are finding more and more evidence about the link between a healthy gut and a healthy animal.

The Innovative Veterinary Care Journal defines the microbiome as “the collection of the living microorganisms inhabiting the gastrointestinal tract.” These microorganisms function as wholistic helpers that contribute to everything from brain function to fighting diseases. A gut balanced with these good bacteria can effectively increase immune function and nutrient absorption, control bowel discomfort or deficiencies, help increase thinking and positive moods, and decrease inflammation. With all these benefits, the veterinary community is taking notice.

Why the Gut Matters for a Cushing’s Dog

Gut balance is especially important for Cushing’s dogs. A healthy microbiome helps combat chronic diseases like Cushing’s, and also helps control inflammation. Using a natural supplement combined with probiotics to address Cushing’s symptoms can be very effective for dog gut health. CushAway is one such supplement that utilizes adrenal-suppressing lignans (derived from flax seeds) and melatonin to balance the corticosteroid imbalances of Cushing’s. Taken with these natural supplements, the probiotics work to increase the absorption of the lignans and melatonin, as well as providing all the other benefits of a healthy gut.

Pitfalls of a Processed Diet

Pet owners know that avoiding processed foods in their own diet is the key to long-lasting health. Why should it be any different for your pet? Cushing’s dogs may benefit from a diet free from grain or at least lower in processed foods.

Compounds known as Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs), associated with cancer and chronic disease are found in higher concentration in some pet foods than any food for human consumption. The Companion Animal Nutrition and Wellness Institute (CANWI) estimates that some pet foods may contain over 122 times the AGEs found in processed human foods. It’s no wonder a chronic disease like Cushing’s can be affected by these compounds.

The Whole Food Effect

Nutritional management of Cushing’s incorporates this idea using a whole food enriched diet along with the probiotics and natural supplement of lignans and melatonin to block adrenal hormone overproduction. Since a diet of whole foods is known to cut down on inflammation, a common struggle for Cushing’s dogs, it’ important to consider supplementing kibble with fresh, unprocessed ingredients. Yogurt, fruits and vegetables, and even sardines can become part of a life-changing diet for your dog.

Probiotics and Canine Health

Since the canine gut is different than the human gut, dogs should take probiotics with bacterial strains specifically tailored to a dog’s stomach. The overall benefits of a balanced microbiome allow a dog more vitality. For a dog suffering from Cushing’s, the benefits are numerous. Coupled with a natural supplement which is more gentle on the gut than chemo drugs to halt the effects of the disease, a change in diet that fosters dog gut health can be a big step towards regaining a more vibrant lifestyle for your Cushing’s pet.