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MicroBiome Restorative Therapy For Pets

MicroBiome Restorative Therapy for pets

Image credit: Aoife Duchesne

For some people talking about poop is very uncomfortable, but in my world it comes with the territory.  After all, poop gives some interesting insight into the health of an individual.  Just this past weekend I watched an amazing interview hosted by The Two Crazy Cat Ladies with Dr. Margo Roman, DVM.  The topic?  MicroBiome Restorative Therapy.  In other words, fecal transplants!  That’s right–poop!  Not many pet parents have heard of this, and neither have many vets.  Therefore, I wanted to give you some highlights to this amazing therapy so that you can have another tool in your holistic toolkit.  

Why would your pet need MicroBiome Restorative Therapy?

Disease and illness is sadly on the rise in pets today.  Conditions like IBD, IBS, diabetes, kidney disease, obesity, cancer, autoimmune issues, allergies, and behavioral issues are more common than many pet parents realize.  Improper diet, environmental exposure, over-vaccination and overuse of antibiotics are wreaking havoc on the gut/microbiome of our pets.  This has resulted in permeability in the intestinal lining (aka leaky gut), compromised immune systems, and a disruption of the microflora balance.  Whenever the vital force in the body is out of balance this opens the doorway to DIS-ease. 

Fecal transplants and microbiome restorative therapy

What is MBRT or fecal transplant?

The microbiome has become a buzzword in the pet industry in recent years.  Considering that nearly 80% of the immune system is located in the gut, the importance of the microbiome should not be a surprise.  Therefore, doesn’t it make sense to focus on healing the gut?  MBRT does just that–it heals the gut by restoring the proper balance of microbes.  Dr. Roman’s website describes it like this:

A fecal transplant to balance and restore the microbiome of the gut is known as microbiome restorative therapy or bacteriotherapy and consists of a healthy sample being encapsulated and then taken orally, rectally, or inserted directly into the gut. By introducing a high quality healthy sample into your pets GI tract, the newly received bacteria will begin to balance and restore the natural function of their microbiome in keeping a stable and healthy environment for their bodies to maintain.

Fecal sample donors are obtained from healthy pets whose samples have been extensively screened.  In Dr. Roman’s case, her samples come from “[her] very own dogs and cats who have a strict natural diet, live in a chemical and pesticide free home & yard, have no history of antibiotics, limited vaccines, exercised regularly (up to three times a day), and are screened for intestinal parasites in addition with consistent sample examinations to ensure the best quality samples for our patients.”

Does MicroBiome Restorative Therapy work?

MicroBiome transplants are becoming more common in human medicine.  Fortunately there are now dozens of studies as well as lots of anecdotal evidence to show it works in pets, too.  However, some pets may respond better than others.  Sometimes the procedure may need repeated several times; in other cases only one therapy is all it takes.  Because every animal is unique, the outcomes are too.  It’s important to note that while MBRT may not always cure, it can improve the overall symptoms and quality of life of the pet.  In order to help promote the best outcome, pets who undergo fecal transplants are also given a healthy diet, probiotics, digestive enzymes and other nutraceuticals to support the new microbes’ environment.  

Check out Dr. Karen Becker’s and The Two Crazy Cat Ladies interviews with Dr. Roman about this amazing therapy below:

 

 

Is it available in your area?

Surprisingly, Dr. Roman started the world’s first fecal donor bank for dogs and cats!  If your vet wants to learn more about or using MBRT Dr. Roman often consults with veterinarians all over the United States and ships refrigerated capsules to their clinics.  Another option is to go the AHVMA.org website and locate a holistic vet in your area.  Types of holistic therapy each vet practices is listed by their names.  According to an article on animalbiome.com, a website offering microbiome testing kits and supplements, the cost of a fecal transplant “can very greatly depending on the type of  procedure, donor feces acquisition and screening, and other tests your vet will want to run. Most fecal transplants cost between $500-$1500, but the price can also fall outside of this range too.” 

If you’d like to learn more about this incredible therapy and get more professional insights, check out this article.  Dr. Roman also has some great articles on the subject, too. Has your cat had a fecal transplant?  Share in the comments below!

 



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