Why is my pet’s microbiome so important?
Gut bacteria are essential for proper digestion. They also affect mental health and shape the immune system. Every pet has a unique population of bacteria and the diversity of this population helps keeps your pet healthy. AnimalBiome allows you to observe the current state of your pet’s gut bacteria, and provides you with an online tool to help you decide if there are steps you can take to improve your pet’s gut health.
My pet has great digestion. What can AnimalBiome do for my pet?
Your pet could have a bacterial imbalance that you may not know about. Early detection of imbalances in your pet’s microbiome is crucial in identifying potential chronic illnesses before they develop.
If your pet already has healthy gut bacteria, it’s still important to test your pet’s gut bacteria. Your pet’s gut bacteria can be disrupted by things like antibiotics, infections and disease, and having a baseline profile of your healthy pet is the best way to ensure your pet’s gut health returns to its optimal level.
What are chronic digestive disorders and how might they affect my pet?
Chronic digestive disorders are very common. More than 10% of pet owners have a cat or dog suffering from a chronic digestive disorder like irritable bowel disease.* Most of these disorders are directly linked to imbalanced gut bacteria and can cause life-long discomfort for pets (and their owners). There is no cure for chronic digestive disorders, and owners can spend thousands of dollars annually to manage the conditions once they develop. AnimalBiome is currently testing treatments to prevent these conditions before they ever develop. We also have planned clinical trials of our FMT pills available for pets with digestive disorders linked to low microbial diversity.
*According to statistics gathered from our surveys of the general American population.
My companion has good digestion, but your test indicates their gut bacteria is similar to unhealthy pets. What can I do for my pet?
The science of gut bacteria treatment is still in its infancy. Until we have developed a more comprehensive database of pet microbiomes, we will not be selling treatments for pets that fall into this category. By purchasing an AnimalBiome kit, you will help us generate the data needed to pioneer new treatments for your pet and others.
Some people suggest giving your pet a probiotic, prebiotic or a raw food diet to restore diversity. We don’t have enough evidence yet to back this advice, although we are working on testing these treatments. If you’ve already had your pet tested and want to try an intervention, contact us and we will provide you with a discounted kit for follow-up testing.
My pet has digestive issues. Will this help?
Chronic digestive disorders are defined by their symptoms, not their source. Our test can help you determine if your sick pet has an imbalanced gut. Fecal transplants are growing in popularity as a treatment to restore gut bacteria diversity. If your veterinarian does not currently offer fecal transplants, we’re happy to work with your veterinarian to provide you with our fecal transplant pills from pre-screened donors.
What’s in the box?
- Two collection tubes (one is a backup)
- Sterile cotton swabs to sample your pet’s fecal matter
- Surgical gloves
- A small plastic bag for enclosing the collection tube
- An addressed package to return your collection tube to AnimalBiome (pre-paid shipping within the continental US)
Can you explain the sampling process?
Once you receive your kit:
- Record your sample vial number. You will need this in order to register and track your pet’s sample.
- Collect a stool from your pet. Make note of its consistency.
- Take out the enclosed sample vial, remove the lid and place it on a stable surface. Open the package containing sterile cotton swabs.
- Wearing gloves, break open the stool to expose a cross-section that was previously unexposed to litter or other contaminants.
- Take a sterile cotton swab and scoop a sunflower-seed-sized bit of material from as close to the center of the cross-section as possible.
- Transfer the material from the swab to the sample vial.
- Cap the tube and shake it.
- Remove gloves; dispose of gloves and swabs in any trash receptacle where you would typically dispose of your pet’s stool.
- Place the sample vial in the small clear plastic bag and put into mailing envelope.
- Fill out the online survey. You’ll have your results back in 4-6 weeks.
Note: The fresher the stool sample, the more accurate the results.
How long will it take to get my pet’s results?
Once we receive your pet’s sample, it will take 4-6 weeks for us to process it and analyze the data.
What will I learn from my pet’s assessment?
We provide your pet’s results in an interactive online dashboard. Using this web platform, you can:
- Compare your dog or cat to healthy and sick animals.
- Track your pet’s gut health over time with multiple samples.
- Learn more about your pet’s microbiome and the different kinds of bacteria it contains.
- View an individualized report which summarizes our findings and includes any dietary and therapeutic advice that might be relevant to your pet.
- Stay updated with the latest research and health-related treatments for your pet.
- Personalized pet-data diary app for tracking details about your pet.
I’ve seen my pet’s dashboard. What now?
As we keep signing up new pets, your pet’s results will continue to grow. We have new features in the pipeline, so check back regularly or read our monthly newsletter for updates.