SUPERBUGS, SUPER PROBLEMS Antibiotic Resistance This is Part 4 of 5

Antibiotic resistance is among today’s largest health threats for both humans and animals:  How can you combat these ever-evolving superbugs? 

In an article written by Dr. Chloe Ross, A Veterinarian in Western Australia, she writes about how antibiotics are used when they should not be or when another treatment will take care of the problem.  She has a strong interest in preventive medicine, and is especially interested in the microbiome and its role in keeping a body healthy. 

Antibiotics resistance is one of the biggest threats to human and animal health, and the problem is getting worse.  Avoiding unnecessary antibiotic use (and making sure they’re used properly when they are essential) can help to save important antibiotics for life-threatening situations.  It can also lower your dog’s exposure to a host of potential side effects. 

After your vet has diagnosed an infection, he may prescribe antibiotics without much consideration toward the rise of the superbug.  Rather than heading straight for the pharmaceuticals, if your pooch is otherwise well, you can try other alternative treatments. 

Here are some common infections, often mistreated with antibiotics and tips for how to help fight antibiotic resistance. 

Urinary Tract Infections (UTIS)

Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex (CIRDC)

Skin Infections

Gastrointestinal Upset

Dental Disease

I will touch on each of these topics over five newsletters as to not make each article too long. 

Today we will talk on Gastrointestinal Upset


Simple diarrhea very rarely needs anything more than supportive care and a diet adjustment. However, veterinarians generally have a real concern for their patients’ wellbeing, and often feel pressured to provide quick relief. While sepsis is a life-threatening risk in certain dogs with diarrhea, and can require antibiotics, many causes of gut upset are self-limiting. Most of them aren’t bacterial either, which makes antibiotic treatment unwarranted. If antibiotics are used without reason, they could worsen the diarrhea by creating an imbalance in the gut flora.

It’s been found that at least 40 to 60 percent of dogs with inflammatory bowel disease (just one of the causes of diarrhea) respond well to elimination diets. In my experience, almost all cases of diarrhea (as long as the patient is otherwise healthy and active), respond very well to an easily digestible, high-protein, high-fiber diet with plenty of pre- and probiotics. Here are some things to try:

  • Try an elimination diet – a home-prepared, low-fat, high-protein, limited-ingredient diet, ideally based around a meat that your dog hasn’t had before.
  • Increase fiber. Try psyllium husk, pectin or sweet potato.
  • Give probiotics – again, giving the highest number of CFU you can find in a broad spectrum probiotic, and feel free to give two or three capsules a day during times of illness.
  • Feed blackberry root tea. It’s a great stomach soother.

Provide gentle outdoor exercise to stimulate the immune system in the intestines. Outdoor exercise is ideal, as it also allows access to some of nature’s naturally occurring probiotics.

Dr. Chloe Ross, “Superbugs, Super Problems” Dogs Naturally Magazine, September – October 2019, pp 9-11 

A few added notes.  Pumpkin is also a good fiber to try in the diet when needed.  Also it is not good to keep your dog on a high fiber diet for long periods of time.  So added additional fiber should only be given when needed not on continuous bases.

Also keep in mind that your dog’s poop does not have to be the same consistency and perfect every time.  Dog’s stools will vary.  I know this sounds funny, but some people panic at the slightest change in their dog’s poop.