320 – You ARE What You Eat and So is Your Dog

Owner Handler Secrets to Success (2)

You ARE What You Eat and So is Your Dog

Dr. Diane Brown, CEO of the AKC Canine Health Foundation, joins us again to talk about fascinating new research on the “gut-brain axis.” In other words, the microscopic bugs inside the dog’s body are being proven to interact with what’s going on in its brain.

From the CHF Newsletter: “The adage “you are what you eat” may be more profound than we ever realized. A growing body of evidence shows a complex system of two-way communication between the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and neurologic system in humans and dogs. The link between GI health and diseases such as multiple sclerosis, autism, and epilepsy has been studied in humans. In fact, patients with celiac disease or inflammatory bowel disease have an increased risk of developing epilepsy. Since the community of microorganisms that live in the digestive tract – known as the gut microbiome – plays an important role in GI health, what impact does it have on neurologic disease? AKC Canine Health Foundation (CHF) funded researchers are exploring the role of this microbiomegut-brain axis in canine epilepsy.”


Gut microbiome

“The bacteria that live in the gut have been shown to have importance to both health and disease,” Brown said.

CHF research is determining what type of bugs normally live in the gut (literally any part of the digestive system from top to bottom). Which ones of those bugs are pathogens and which ones prevent disease is an enormous topic.

Many of us understand, for example, that antibiotics completely change the gut microbiome. But this new research is documenting associations with other disorders, including the impact of bacterial content in the gut and how it is influencing epilepsy and anxiety.

Using proprietary probiotics to manage post-antibiotic diarrhea is one thing. But Probiotics used over the course of six weeks are showing an impact on anxiety behaviors in dogs, providing a non-drug-based treatment for this frequent issue in all dogs.

Poop is cool!

Researchers speaking at a recent CHF conference even discussed using fecal transplants, delivered as an enema, to transplant healthy flora fecal material thereby improving the health of the dog.


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