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Support of the intestinal function

For optimal intestinal function and faecal consistency, the balance of the intestinal microbiome, i.e. all the microorganisms that have settled in the intestine, is very important. The intestinal microbiome is considered to have many important functions in addition to helping to utilise food, such as the synthesis of certain vitamins, the production of short-chain fatty acids to supply energy to the mucosal cells and the detoxification of foreign substances.

If the gut microbiome is out of balance, undesirable changes in normal gastrointestinal function can result. Prebiotics and probiotics can help restore the balance of the microbiome and thereby support normal gut function.

Prebiotics are feed components that cannot be digested in the upper gastrointestinal tract (stomach, small intestine) because in dogs and cats the necessary enzymes are lacking. Instead, they can be fermented by certain strains of bacteria present in the large intestine. The fibres are used as food for intestinal bacteria. Short-chain fatty acids are produced in the process, which helps the intestinal mucosal cells to regenerate.

Probiotics are products that contain living microorganisms in more or less large quantities. They are used to supplement the diet with specific strains of bacteria.

The addition of prebiotics

For example, the following prebiotically effective additives are recommended:

 

Cellulose, such as that contained in Optiballast Cellulose, does not count as prebiotic fibre. However, due to its high water-binding capacity, it causes an increase in faeces volume and thus supports intestinal peristalsis and the course of normal intestinal activity. For animals that refuse vegetables, cellulose is also a possible tasteless fibre substitute.

In order for the intestine and the intestinal bacteria to make optimal use of the prebiotic fibres, they should be introduced slowly in quantity over a period of time. If the full amount is given from the beginning, the faeces consistency can deteriorate due to the suddenly increased fibre content. In addition, the amount that can be tolerated varies somewhat from individual to individual. If the individual tolerance is exceeded, the feeding quantity must be slightly reduced again.

For pectin-rich apple pomace and Optiballast Enteral (as well as Optiballast Cellulose) you will find a plan for the feeding phase below. This refers to a feeding quantity of 0.5 g per kilogram of body weight. If other products are used, the respective feeding recommendations should be observed.

Feeding schedule for Pectin, Optiballast Enteral and Optiballast Cellulose with a feeding amount of 0.5 g per kg body weight as target amount (amounts in grams per day):

 body weight

Day 1 

Day 2 

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Day 7

Day 8

Day 9

Day 10

final target  amount

2 kg

0,5

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1,0 g

4 kg

0,5

1

1,5

2

 

 

 

 

 

 

2,0 g

5 kg

0,5

1

1,5

2

2,5

 

 

 

 

 

2,5 g

10 kg

1

2

3

4

5

 

 

 

 

 

5,0 g

15 kg

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

7,5

 

 

7,5 g

20 kg

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

10 g

25 kg

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

10

12

12 g

30 kg

1

2

3

4

5

7

9

11

13

15

15 g

35 kg

1

2

3

4

6

8

10

12

14

17

17 g

40 kg

2

4

6

8

10

12

14

16

18

20

20 g

45 kg

2

4

6

8

10

12

14

16

19

22

22 g

50 kg

2

4

6

8

10

13

16

19

22

25

25 g

55 kg

2

4

6

8

10

13

16

19

23

27

27 g

60 kg

3

6

9

12

15

18

21

24

27

30

30 g

65 kg

3

6

9

12

15

18

21

24

28

32

32 g

70 kg

3

6

9

12

15

18

22

26

30

35

35 g

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Concrete example 30 kg dog: Final target amount = 15 g

Day 1: 0,5 g in the morning and evening
Day 2: 1 g in the morning and evening
Day 3: 1,5 g  in the morning and evening
Day 4: 2 g in the morning and evening
Day 5: 2,5 g in the morning and evening
and so on...until 15 g are reached.                                                                                 

Up to 30 kg body weight, dividing the indicated daily fibre amount over two meals is sufficient - regardless of further meals. Above 30 kg body weight, we would divide the fibres over at least three or more meals.

The fibres are well accepted when mixed in with the food. With wet food, you can simply mix the fibres in. For fibres with a high water binding capacity (e.g. psyllium husks, Optiballast Enteral), swelling in water is additionally necessary before mixing them into the feed. In the case of cooked and BARF foods, it is advisable to mix them in with pureed meat or dairy products. Dry food should be soaked in water to facilitate mixing. If your pet does not accept the soaked dry food, you can alternatively mix the fibres into e.g. a small amount of yoghurt or curd.

The fibres can generally be given permanently. As a treatment, 1 to 3 months are sufficient.

Addition of probiotics

When the final target amount of the prebiotic is reached, an additional probiotic can be added for approx. 3 to 6 weeks for optimal support of the intestinal function. This should contain the bacterial strain Enterococcus faecium, which is approved for dogs and cats. Other bacterial strains are not approved for dogs and cats.

Probiotics for dogs and cats are available in capsule and powder form. They often already contain prebiotic fibres as a carrier substance and thus also count as so-called synbiotics, as they provide both the "food" for the intestinal bacteria and the bacteria themselves.

The probiotics Optinature DarmPlus 150g and Optinature Probiotic, for example, also belong to the group of synbiotics, as they also contain prebiotic fibres in addition to the bacterial strain Enterococcus faecium and Lactobacillus acidophilus (contained in Optinature DarmPlus). Do 

 

Futtermedicus - Feeding dogs and cats individually

Do you have questions about the digestion of your dog or cat? You would like to check out an individual feeding plan for dogs and cats? Our experts specialised in nutrition and dietetics will be happy to advise you - personally & individually!

 

 

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