Why Your Dog’s Gut Health is So Important: Vlog 83

(calm bright music) – Hey everyone, it’s Dr. Sue, cancer vet and I am lucky to be here in
beautiful Toronto, Canada. (upbeat music) I’m here for the Hill’s Global Symposium. Why am I here? This one is all about the microbiome. Those are those little bugs
that live inside our gut, our dog’s gut and our cat’s gut too. So we’re learning so much. Today is the end of day one,
it’s been a busy, packed day. Hill’s is doing a great job. They have given us musical
entertainment in between, we’ve had lots of food,
lots of entertainment, and then we actually shifted gears and the afternoon was all
about some of my favorite stuff social media, telling stories, we were joined by three of my
favorite social media gurus, and then we had a panel. Little surprise for me, I was invited on stage
for part of that panel. So it’s been a great day. I can’t wait at the end
to wrap it all up for you and tell you about prebiotics, probiotics. We’re learning so much
about how dogs and cats each have individual microbiomes. So really exciting, I’m going to wrap it up
for you when we’re done. And for now we’re just going to enjoy some of this beautiful city. Oh I think a highlight might have been the dog fountain. Thanks for joining me, and I hope we have some
good stuff to share. So as promised I am
going to try to summarize what I learned for you at the awesome Hill’s Global Symposium on the microbiome. So I have three take home messages. So I’m going to tell you what they are now and then we’re going to break it all down and then we’ll wrap up and I’ll kind of expand a
little bit more for you. So number one, all probiotics
are not created equal. Number two, all prebiotics
are not created equal. And number three, some dogs and cats will need probiotics
and prebiotics as well. All right, so let’s break it down. And we’re going to break it down by starting to talk about
the microbiome first. All right, so what is the microbiome? Glad you asked. The microbiome is
essentially a mini ecosystem of bacteria and bugs
that live in our bodies. And that’s whether we’re
a dog, a cat, or a person. And they live together
in a given environment. And they play a significant role in balancing not only the
pet’s digestive health, and our digestive health as well, but also our well being. And we really learned a lot
about the at the conference that there’s a connection
with the gut, and the mind, and the kidneys, and
connections with obesity, and really overall health as well. So we shouldn’t just be
thinking about gut health in terms of things like
inflammatory bowel disease, or maybe if your pet has GI lymphoma, but really just overall well being. And one of the analogies that came up is thinking about the microbiome, these bacteria as a garden. And for this garden to flourish we need to pick the plants
or the different bacteria, ’cause there are good
bacteria and bad bacteria, we need to pick the good bacteria to thrive in their environment. So where do these little bugs live? So they basically live anywhere where our bodies meet the outside world. So there’s bacteria
microbiome on our skin, in the nasal area, in the mouth, in the entire gastrointestinal tract, so stomach through the
intestines to the colon. So basically anywhere that
the body is in contact with the outside world we’re
going to have bacteria there. So some interesting facts, in people there’s more than 300 times, let me make sure I get this right, 300 times more genes from bacteria than there are from human cells. And if you weighed all the bacteria in the average human person it
would weigh about six pounds. Which is twice the weight
of the average human brain which is about three pounds. So we carry a lot of
bacteria around in our body and they have good function, especially the good bacteria. And for the microbiome
we want to be focusing on these good bacteria. So each of us, and this really
came up at the conference, it’s really interesting, each person, each dog, each cat carries a very unique fingerprint. And one of the things that
came up in the conference is that pets and people will often have similar fingerprints. What do I mean by that? Similar microbiomes by living together. So our microbiome is
influenced by our diet, our experiences, where we live, and what we’re exposed to. And some of that could be the
antibiotics that you’re on, some of the things that
we’re exposed to early. So whether or not you were born as a C-section or normal vaginal birth, whether you were breastfed, or bottle fed. And this is true for
puppies and kittens as well. So all of this can really, really impact your microbiome for years to come. So things to think about, those puppies and kittens
that are born by C-section then are bottle fed,
sometimes that happens but it’s definitely possible that those pets could be at disadvantages that their microbiome could be thrown off, something called dysbiosis. So definitely something that we want to be thinking
about with the microbiome. The other thing that is
really, really interesting and I hinted about in the beginning is this microbiome isn’t
just going to effect our gastrointestinal health, but it can effect our mood,
it can effect our brain, it can effect our kidneys as well. And so we had a lot of different lectures that really covered that. And guys, they’re just too much for me to really cover in this video, but I just want you to
know that this is why, you know, I’m a cancer doctor, right? And so most of the time you’re
coming to watch my videos because you want information
about pet cancer. But this is important and
this is important to me as a medical oncologist, you know, I use a lot of these probiotics in my patients that are
going through chemotherapy. So the microbiome is
important for our pets, but I think it’s important
for the other pets and our health as well. And again, for our well being as people and for our dogs and cats. So it’s really, really important, so that’s basically
what the microbiome is. And now the question is, how do we modulate that? How do we effect that? And to know that we really need to know what are prebiotics, what are probiotics, and what are postbiotics. Let’s start with probiotics, because that’s a term that’s not unfamiliar
to most of us, right? Most of us have heard of probiotics. They’ve been on the market for a while. So probiotics, what are they? The are bacteria and yeast
that are good for you, especially our GI health. And our body’s full of these bacteria. Probiotics are often called
good, or the helpful bacteria because they help keep our gut healthy. So how exactly do these probiotics work? Well researchers are definitely
trying to figure that out, one of the times that people
often think about using them is after you’ve taken antibiotics, because you’ve wiped out
some of these bacteria, so that might be a time
that it’s being recommended. Because probiotics can help you replace some of the good bacteria
that you’ve lost. So again, there’s always a
balance between good bacteria and bad bacteria in your gut and we’re trying to
keep that balance there. Like I said, researchers are definitely still trying to figure out
what are the best diseases, what are the best scenarios
that we should be using it. Some of the conditions that
we think would be appropriate, definitely there are some
studies in dogs and cats using it for chronic colitis,
so inflammation of the colon, inflammatory bowel disease,
some of the diarrheas, diarrhea caused by antibiotics. So those might be some situations. The things is, guys, we’re
still really learning so much about probiotics. In people, again, they’re
often used for diarrhea, inflammatory bowel disease, and for some immune disease as well. What I think is most
important about probiotics is it’s overwhelming
when you go to the store and try to figure out which ones to buy. How many bacteria do they have in there? Some have one bacteria, some have four, some have five, some have six. And so then you want to look to see how many million units of
bacteria that they have. And they’re not all created equal. And some of them, you look at the labels and they’re really colorful and flashy. And there was a great section in there just about how difficult it is, and almost entertaining it is to figure out which probiotic
you should be taking. And this is for humans mostly, but even for dogs it can
be really overwhelming. So buyers need to beware, they are not all created equal. So which one should you take for you pet? Luckily we do have some good studies, I’ve changed over that last couple years. One of the products that
I was using was good, and then one of the other products they added more bacteria in there, so there’s more bacteria. So it’s constantly changing. So I usually recommend
talk to your veterinarian about what’s the current best
one that they’re recommending. But right now, and you can
see in some of my other videos I’m using Proviable for dogs and cats because it had a few more strains than some of the other ones
and that is a good one. For people there’s This
Biome, and that is another one that you might want to be using. What is also really important
going back to the idea, is that we all have this unique microbiome is that if one probiotic is not working it may be reasonable to try
one of the other products because it may have some
different strains in there and that might work for you as well. So again, all probiotics
are not created equal, you may need to try different ones, it’s important to talk
to you veterinarian. Again, at the time of this
when you’re watching this if you’re watching is
six months in the future the products are constantly changing. This Biome now has a
product for dogs and cats which they didn’t have six months ago, so it’s an ever changing market, but you want to talk to your veterinarian. Beware of the different products out there and know that they’re good, but the recommendations are
probably going to change. All right, now let’s talk
about the second thing. Let’s talk about prebiotics. Prebiotics are different, so postbiotics are the actual bacteria that you’re taking in your supplement. Prebiotics are food ingredients
not digested by the host, so the dog, the cat, or the person, that is digested by the
microbiome by the bacteria for the host health. So a little bit different
than the probiotics where you’re taking, actually
ingesting the bacteria. And usually when you’re
taking a prebiotic, it’s going to be, it’s by fermentation. So basically we’re talking about fiber. And rethinking the way
that we think about fiber. And what, again, all prebiotics, all fiber is not created equal. There are different fibers
that have different functions. Some of them are going
to be water holding, so that might be better for
something like constipation. Some are going to be
bulking, like beet pulp, and some of it is going to be
something called polyphenols. So there’s going to be different fibers that we can recommend
for different situations. So again, just going back to
that example in the beginning, just adding some pumpkin
for a little bit of fiber may not be the best thing
in all different situations. And so there are some
really interesting studies looking at the addition
of different fibers, and the different benefits
that they have for dogs and then there’s an ongoing
study as well for cats. So what these do is then
it turns into postbiotics and these are secreted
metabolites from the microbiome that are then taken out by the host colon. And these are things like
short chain fatty acids, and some of these other released and activated fiber bound polyphenols. So again, the prebiotics
as they get digested can then become postbiotics. But again, what this showing us is that we really can rethink fiber, the different types of fibers
for different situations and there are different studies that show that this can be beneficial for certain types of GI diseases as well, which is pretty exciting. So what do I mean by rethinking fiber? What they showed in some
of the studies from Hill’s is that postbiotic
production can be influenced by the different fibers that they chose. So it’s really important that we think about the different fibers, what their benefits are, and that can induce the different types of postbiotics that are
beneficial to the host. So really, really interesting, you know, just sort of mind blowing to me the importance of thinking about the different types of fibers
and then combining that maybe with probiotics in
certain patients as well. So again, prebiotics
can become postbiotics and then probiotics are something that we’re going to supplement as well, because that’s when you’re
supplementing the bacteria. And I just have to hit on this again because there were some really, really sort of interesting things. Guys, there are connections
with gut health with the brain. There are connections with
gut health and the kidney, and obesity as well. They saw that cohabiting family members often share microbiomes
with people and dogs. So there’s so many connections
between the mind and the gut, and the kidneys and the
gut, and our family members. And again, we all have
these unique microbiomes that are shaped really
early from our lives by our experiences, by
our antibiotic exposure. So it really just got me thinking about the importance of the microbiome. And I think we’re just really
learning so much about it. I think we’re going to continue to see this probiotic market explode, so it’s really important that we as consumers are learning about it. And I think you’re going to start to see a lot about prebiotics. And guys, you’ll look at it as well, I know that there are
gummies on the markets that are prebiotics, these fiber chews. And I’ve gotten confused, is that the same as probiotics as well. So again, now that you
understand the different that prebiotics are
these fiber supplements which is different than
probiotics which is the bacteria. So I hope that that was helpful, maybe for you and in addition
for you dogs and cats. But you’re probably going to start to see some of these prebiotic diets
get on the market as well and I think they could
definitely have some benefit. And we’ll start to see
some more studies come out in the next months to years which I’m really excited about. So again, some of the diseases
that we’ll be thinking about, inflammatory bowel disease, I think for the lymphomas,
especially our kitties with low grade and high grade lymphomas, and then my chemotherapy patients, I’m really excited to have the
knowledge for this as well. And then again, just overall pet health I think this is really important as well. So thank you so much for watching, I hope that you found this helpful. So again, what were our
three take home messages? Let’s wrap it up again. Guys, all probiotics
are not created equal, buyer beware, talk to your veterinarian, do your homework, and
remember if one doesn’t work it may be reasonable to try another. All fibers, all prebiotics
are not created equal as well and they will influence
our postbiotic production and different fibers
will have different goals for what we’re doing with them. So again, we talked about water holding, we also talked about bulking, so again there’re going
to be different scenarios where we’re going to be
picking different fibers for our pets. And the last one is, again,
it’s not what is better, prebiotics or probiotics. Some pets are going to need both. We’re really just learning about it, and I think that this idea
of dysbiosis, this gut, when something is wrong with the gut we are learning so much about it and I’m excited that I
was at this conference and to share some of this
new information with you. And to keep following it
and see how we can improve the health of our pets in the future. Thanks for watching, guys. You know what to do. I know this was a little bit different than some of the other videos. Did you like it? Do you want me to stick
with pure cancer stuff? I have some good stuff planned the next couple of
videos we will be talking about hemangiosarcoma and splenic masses, so stay tuned for that. Thanks for watching, comment, like, share, and let me know if you
like what I’m doing. Thanks again. (bright music)

4 thoughts on “Why Your Dog’s Gut Health is So Important: Vlog 83

  1. I love it that you're talking about it as well as that science is looking into it. What I find funny (and sad) is that holistic veterinarians were talking about this stuff years and years earlier and were being put down as non-credible. I'm glad that science is catching up but I am not happy that they dismiss things they have not caught up with.

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