We started AnimalBiome just a little more than one year ago. In the past year, we've been fortunate to learn from many of you about your pets and how our efforts to understand the gut microbiome has contributed to improve your pet's well being. I've had the opportunity to reflect on my own experiences with my dog, Yuki.
Yuki is 15 years old and after 13 years of having what I consider a "cast iron stomach," she started having bouts of sometimes bloody diarrhea. The first time it happened, I didn't think much of it because an occasional bout with diarrhea is a part of life. I left for work and when I returned, I found her terribly dehydrated and she’d been vomiting and enduring diarrhea for a few hours. She was hospitalized overnight and given fluids. As a microbiologist, I wasn't impressed when the attending emergency veterinarian suggesting her condition was caused by an "accumulation of bad bacteria" common in older dogs.
After this incident, she developed all kinds of food sensitivities. We got her off of the high protein food (Taste of the Wild) and could only give her one kind of chicken and rice kibble (NutriSource) and one kind of treat (Plato Chicken). Other treats and food would result in another couple of weeks of diarrhea. We learned to avoid them and to manage the condition so she didn't need fluids or hospitalization. We tried to get her on a raw diet but she was too old to switch (she prefers cooked food). I tried everything to prevent these bouts without avail and when she didn't have diarrhea, she was constipated and her poo was hard little nuggets.
Developing our Gut Restoration System for dogs became more urgent. Just before I wanted to start her on the capsules, she had another flare up and I struggled to get it under control. She did yet another course of metronidazole and I added pumpkin to her diet When she stabilized, I started her with one capsule per day. After she did well for a few days, I started giving her two capsules per day (one with each meal) and I did this for three weeks. During that time, her poop became firmer (but not rock hard like before) and it shifted in color from yellow to dark brown. There was a period of time where it was two tone until it became consistently dark and began to glisten with lipids.
After all that we've been through, I consider these golden poos. She continues to have them, now more than eight months since completing the pills. These are her golden years and she’s happy to be back to enjoying her favorite foods. Though I can’t keep from worrying about how long we will have together, mostly I focus on appreciating each moment I have with her.