Leaky Gut Syndrome

Your pet’s gut is responsible for more than 70% of the immune system and is directly responsible for the absorption of the food you are feeding it and no amount of healthy food will benefit your dogs’ health, if it has an unhealthy gut.

What is Leaky Gut?

Inside your dog or cats’ digestive tract (and yours) is something called a microbiome. This is a colony of bacteria that live throughout your pets’ body. The largest and most important colony lives in your dog or cats’ intestines and plays a vital part in their immune system function. If the microbiome isn’t healthy, your pet can’t be healthy.​ The bacteria in your dog or cats’ gut are responsible for producing much of their Vitamin K as well as some of the B vitamins. They help to absorb vitamins and other micronutrients that are vital to health and play an important part in regulating the immune system as well as producing fatty acids to keep the intestinal lining strong.

If the harmful bacteria are allowed to proliferate, holes can develop in the lining of the gut, allowing bacteria and undigested food to start to leak into the bloodstream. When undigested food and toxins enter the bloodstream, the immune system spots the foreign protein matter and goes into battle mode to fight the invaders. The liver then tries to remove the toxins from the body but because the attack is constant, it can’t keep up and the undigested protein and toxins are soon absorbed into the body’s tissues - causing inflammation throughout the body. This inflammation is increased every time your dog eats and over time the inflammation causes the intestinal holes to become bigger, allowing even more undigested food to enter the body. In time, the foreign proteins can start to look like the body’s own tissue proteins.

How does diet play a role with Leaky Gut Syndrome?

The main dietary contributors to Leaky Gut are highly processed, grain-based foods and food additives such as preservatives and coloring. The ingredients that can most often damage your dog’s intestinal lining are the proteins found in non-sprouted grains, sugar (this includes sugary food items such as fruit and carbohydrates), genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and conventional dairy products. Unsprouted grains in conventional dog foods contain large amounts of lectins. Lectins are sugar-binding proteins that attach to the intestinal lining and damage the gut, causing inflammation. Wheat, rice, spelt and soy commonly contain lectins, although they can be found in many grains and plants. Carbohydrates with a higher glycemic load can also cause Leaky Gut. They are the preferred food source of many patho-genic bacteria.

You may be thinking “This is mainly kibble ingredients, I don’t feed kibble anymore.”

Even if you don’t feed any of this, most food animals are fed these foods so they will be in your dog’s food too. Also, are you feeding any fruit, veg and/or carbohydrates? Over time, dogs eating a diet high in carbohydrates will suffer from unbalanced bacteria in the gut (dysbiosis). Dysbiosis is one of the leading causes of Leaky Gut.

Other Causes of Leaky Gut Syndrome:

  • Antibiotics (which kill both friendly and harmful bacteria)

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (many pain and arthritis drugs), which inhibit the growth of friendly bacteria.

  • Steroids

  • Antihistamines

  • Vaccines

  • Flea and tick treatments

  • Years of feeding dry commercial dog food.

  • Stress

How to repair a Leaky Gut?

We highly recommend purchasing the Leaky Gut Protocol from Adored Beast<<Link. However, if this is not available in your country {yet} you can follow the steps provided in this article to get your companion back on track to optimum gut health.

In order to repair a leaky gut you must follow the 3 R’s-Remove. Replenish. Restore. Remove the cause. Replenish with foods and supplements. Restore the gut with pre and probiotics.

Step one, Remove the Cause:

  • Stop feeding any fruit, veg, and any carbs. This also means in the form of treats and supplements that may contain these items. Feed a 100% PMR (Prey Model Raw) diet.

  • Stop routinely vaccinating and titre test instead if you can.

  • Stop giving flea and tick preventatives. These are pesticides which will further damage their immune system. Use natural alternatives.

  • Stop or reduce medication when possible but ONLY under the consultation of your holistic or homeopathic vet!

  • Stop or try to reduce your dog or cats stress.

Step Two, Replenish with Foods and Supplements:

Now that the cause has been removed you now need to start to repair the damage. These foods will help aid in the healing process.

Foods that Replenish:

  • Once again a raw PMR diet- cuts out the sugar and carbohydrate source.

  • Kefir-a good source of probiotics. For small dogs: 1tsp-1tbsp. Medium dogs: 1-2tbsp. Large dogs: 2-3tbsp. This is per day. For cats: 1tsp-1tbsp. Start by introducing kefir extremely slowly to your cat. Begin with ⅛ tsp and increase every few days until you've reached the recommended amount.

  • Green Tripe- Contains digestive enzymes that help break the food down into smaller particles making them easier to digest.

  • Bone Broth or Meat Stock- contains two key amino acids Proline and Glycine. Proline tightens and restores cell structure and Glycine supports the production of collagen, which will hold the gut lining together. Bone broth and meat stock also contain their own collagen to help repair the gut lining. Bone Broth should be made with grass fed and grass finished bones.

  • Phytoplankton-This is a marine antioxidant super-food that can be very helpful for leaky gut and will supply amino acids, micronutrients and protein while your dog or cats’ gut is healing. It is very important to choose a reputable source that is not GMO, grown on land and watered with Atlantic ocean water that has been filtered for heavy metals – and no fillers. If a good source can be found, you need only feed 1/16 to 1/8 of a tsp per day.

Supplements that aid in the healing power of the food:

  • Probiotics-Not only can you get probiotic benefits through kefir, there are other forms that are extremely beneficial such as soil based probiotics and blends that have multiple good bacteria strains.

Read more on Biotics of Gut Health>>

  • Prebiotics-Without prebiotics any probiotics you may be giving won’t work. Prebiotics help “feed” the probiotics making them thrive. The most recommended prebiotic is Larch Arabinogalactan. This is a larch tree extract and it supports colon health. It’s also often used as an effective adjunct to cancer treatments due to its ability to stimulate the immune system and block metastasis of tumor cells. Dose:-Under 25 lbs: up to 1000 mg daily. 25 to 50 lbs: up to 2000 mg daily. 51 to 100 lbs: up to 3000 mg daily.101 lbs and over: up to 4000 mg daily

  • Ginger Root-stimulates digestive enzyme activity and increases the production and secretion of bile. Dose: 15 to 200 mg per kg daily

  • L-GLUTAMINE: L-Glutamine is an amino acid that is essential to the healing of Leaky Gut. It supports the strength of the mucosal lining and the proper functioning of the gastrointestinal tract. It also protects against irritants that can cause inflammation of the cells. Dose: 1 mg per lb daily.

  • SLIPPERY ELM: Slippery elm soothes the mucous membranes of the digestive tract and reduces inflammation. Dose: 50 to 400 mg per kg daily

The above supplements are meant to be rotated. Do not give them all at once.

**Disclaimer-This article is for informational purposes only. Should you have any medical concerns, speak with your vet.**

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