Vitality as Medicine: Cultivating Healthy Immune Systems in Pets

Louis Pasteur, French chemist, microbiologist and founder of the field of medical microbiology, was said to have declared on his deathbed, “I was wrong. The microbe (germ) is nothing. The terrain (milieu) is everything.” While his exact phrasing is unknown, the intent of his statement is clear: the health of an individual plays a key role in determining who gets sick after exposure to infectious agents.

Much of medicine focuses on the prevention of disease transmission (hygiene, vaccinations, quarantine) and combating illness. While those strategies have merit and can be life-saving, bringing the focus back to individual vitality is the only path to true health—for people and pets.  Continue reading

Restoring Good Gut Flora In Dogs: You Are What You Eat

Ask any veterinarian and they will most likely tell you that their phone is filled with pictures of poop. Clients text and email photos, and they engage their veterinarian in lengthy discussions about frequency, color, consistency and odor.

Poop is the end product of the complex digestion process that starts with food and requires the assistance of trillions of microorganisms that rent space in the gastrointestinal (GI) tracts of our companion animals. In exchange for nourishment and a place to live, these organisms provide essential elements needed for regulating our metabolism, healthy digestive functioning and a competent immune system. It is estimated that one-third of the microbiota in humans is common to most people, and the remaining two-thirds constitute a sort-of individual fingerprint; each dog likely has its own unique microorganism populations.

Continue reading