Question: So if metronadizole (flagyl), steroids, and the highly processed prescription foods may harm my cat - how do I treat my cat's IBD???
- By using a fresh-food, anti-inflammatory diet your cat was built to metabolize
- By re-establishing a proper balance of healthy gut bacteria with the use of proper probiotics, and
- By using gentle healing therapies, such as B12 shots, enzymes, slippery elm bark powder and other approaches that support reducing inflammation and regulating the immune system.
Medicines have their place and their role, but they will not support your pet's best health long term. If they are needed, use them! But understand they are a tool in IBD management, not a treatment of the underlying causes. As we say, Start Here!
Medicines & Supplements
- Prebiotics & Probiotics for Cats - A Cornerstone in IBD Treatment - Why and Which Ones
- Probiotics for Cats - Kefir, the powerhouse you make at home and can share with your cat!
- The science of Saccharomyces Boulardii and why it has such an important role in healing the gut in IBD.
- The science of Mannan oligosaccharides (MOS) and why it has such an important role in gut health.
- Nausea in Cats - Includes Slippery Elm Bark Powder Instructions for Use
- The Medicine Cabinet: What to Have on Hand for IBD & Pancreatitis Flares and Sick Kitties
- The Problem with Pepcid and other antacids - Part 1
- The Problem with Pepcid and other antacids - Part 2: The importance of food, not just what is fed, but how it is fed, and when it is fed
- The Problem with Pepcid and other antacids - Part 3: Medicines and supplements
- Flagyl - Metronadizole - is Genotoxic, Neurotoxic, and Potentially Cancerous Please consider asking your vet if Tylosin is an appropriate alternative. If not, please bear in mind that Metro is not meant to be used long term.
- Antibiotics: Killing Off Beneficial Bacteria ... For Good? Martin Blaser, MD PhD 2011. Gut dysbiosis is at the heart of IBD. *Especially* for IBD cats, please avoid using antibiotics prophylactically ("just in case").
- Saccharomyces Boulardii - Review of the Science - why it's not just for diarrhea, and why it should be considered an essential part of treatment and management of IBD. S. boulardii is a yeast that does not colonize the gut, but it has direct anti-inflammatory action, and supports healthy colonies of bacteria.
- Curcumin in Treating GI Disease (IBD and Pancreatitis)
- The Golden Paste - Unsafe for Cats?
- Steroids - by Dr Karen Becker. Steroids can go a long way to improving the quality of life for your pet. The problem? Steroids treat the symptom, not the underlying problem. Dr. Karen Becker discusses the problems with steroids: "Traditional medicine for both people and animals is about treating symptoms with prescriptions – not treating the cause of those symptoms." "My greatest concern about overuse of steroids is that the underlying condition causing your pet’s symptoms, which is typically inflammation, is usually left untreated." We note that some kitties are in such bad shape, a course of steroids to reduce the inflammation while you transition to an anti-inflammatory diet and repopulate healthy gut bacteria is in order. Some may need a low dose for life depending on the severity of the disease, and steroids are an important tool in the management or treatment of cancer. But as Dr. Becker points out, steroids are associated with the development of diabetes and pancreatitis. So please make an informed choice.
- Steroids: Budesonide. Budesonide is a steroid that works topically when taken orally (or inhaled). Yes, it has less side-effects than prednisolone because it does not work systemically (though when used long term, it can still produce the same side effects). However, because it works topically, it must come into contact with the inflammation to do its job: it cannot penetrate intestinal layers. This means it can only be used in cases of moderate-to-mild IBD. It is also important to note that it only works in certain parts of the intestines, basically limited to the lower small intestine and upper large intestine, as it isn't released until it reaches the terminal ilium.
B12 (Cobalamin) in IBD
Enzymes - The importance of enzymes
- Raw or Cooked? Which Should I Feed and Why?
- Digestive Enzymes - (Use for pets) Featured in IVC Journal, Spring 2012
- Enzyme Protocol for Treatment of Diarrhea. Article title "Giardia Natural Treatment Protocol" by Dr. Jean Hofve. "This protocol utilizes digestive enzymes on an empty stomach. With no food in the system, the digestive enzymes go to work on anything else that might be in the intestines–including parasites. Although it has not been tested with other protozoal parasites, it could theoretically work for Coccidia, Toxoplasma, Cryptosporidia, Neosporum, Tritrichomonas foetus, and similar protozoal parasites."
- Controlling Inflammation with Enzymes - Lane Leonard, PhD, Ward Dean, MD, and Jim English. Nutrition Review April 2012. Enzymes play a critical role in inflammation and other immune system functions.
Probiotics in Cats
****NEW***** Fecal Microbiome Transplants - the ONLY species-specific "probiotic" (as that's really what it is) that has the ability to colonize and restore a healthy diversity of microbiota essential for health!
- You can restore a healthy - cat-specific, colonizing - microbiome in your cat using a fecal microbiota pill, created by AnimalBiome. There is NO better probiotic, though this should NOT be given with antibiotics. AnimalBiome has Fecal Microbiota Transplant pills ("Gut Restoration" pills a.k.a. "FMT Pills," in our Facebook group, also referred to in the group as "poobiotics" and "Poo pills"). For more information please see Healing Your Pet With A Microbiota Transplant
Probiotics for Cats - A Cornerstone in IBD Treatment - Why and Which Ones
Probiotics for Cats - Kefir, the powerhouse you make at home and can share with your cat!
S boulardii - Review of the Science
Jarrow S boulardii: why this brand (with MOS) is your best choice: The science of MOS
- On the Use of Human Probiotics in Cats:
- Suchodolski, JS 2013. The use of probiotics in small animal medicine [Polish Vet Journal].
- L-acidophilus in cats:
- Marshall-Jones ZV et al 2006. Effects of Lactobacillus acidophilus DSM13241 as a probiotic in healthy adult cats, Am J Vet Res. 2006 Jun;67(6):1005-12.
- Wynn, S. G. (2009). Probiotics in veterinary practice. JAVMA 234(5): 606-613.
- On L acidophilus and its role in B12 / Folate uptake:
- Mohammad et al. 2006. Plasma cobalamin and folate and their metabolic markers methylmalonic acid and total homocysteine among Egyptian children before and after nutritional supplementation with the probiotic bacteria Lactobacillus acidophilus in yoghurt matrix. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2006 Nov-Dec;57(7-8):470-80.
- Article: Woodward et al. 2009, Stanford Medicine News. Probiotics help gastric-bypass patients lose weight more quickly, Stanford study shows.
- Study: Woodward et al. 2009. Probiotics improve outcomes after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery: a prospective randomized trial. J Gastrointest Surg. 2009 Jul;13(7):1198-204.
On the Importance of Proper Motility in Cats:
- "Normal intestinal motility is a major defense mechanism against attachment of pathogenic bacteria in the small intestine, and subnormal intestinal motility has been associated with small intestinal dysbiosis." J.S. Suchdoloski 2011, Microbes and Gastrointestinal Health of Dogs and Cats, J. Anim. Sci. 2011. 89:1520–1530.
On Low B12 and Diarrhea:
- Article: Kook 2012. Cobalamin in Gastrointestinal Disease.
- Study: Kook et al. 2012. [Evaluation of serum cobalamin concentration in cats with clinical signs of gastrointestinal disease]. Schweiz Arch Tierheilkd. 2012 Nov;154(11):479-86.