Thursday, June 30, 2016
The kittens are now on Purina's Fortiflora probiotics thanks to #chewyinfluencer
Diarrhea continues to be an issue with the kittens. Things are starting to 'firm up', if you will, but we still have some inappropriate elimination which is incredibly frustrating. I know they don't have any concept of why I'm ripping my hair out, and it is not just because I'm sick and tired of cleaning up poop. I know that they are pooping out of the box because they aren't feeling well and that is sad.
Diarrhea happens. The stress of being captured, or moving to a new place, or from being taken away from mom, or drinking different water than you were used to, or eating new foods than you were used to all can lead to digestive upset... well that and the fact that most kittens have parasites of one kind or another (or several) can lead to one very unhappy digestive system.
Probiotics help in that regard. The gut is populated by hundreds of thousands of bacteria that all work to help you digest food properly. One reason why antibiotics cause diarrhea is because they kill off the good bacteria in your gut. Your body assumes that without the good bacteria to help there must be an abundance of bad bacteria and it starts 'cleaning house' if you will, getting rid of everything so it can start over.
Providing sources of good bacteria can help with that. There are a lot of different sources. Some people prefer to use yogurt or other fermented products, some prefer to go with probiotics you can find at your local health food store for humans because they have multiple strains of bacteria (the more the better) and vets tend to recommend FortiFloria because it is made by Purina.
I first heard of FortiFloria years ago, coincidentally enough through my vet. The boxes were much bigger back then and the powder was white and the dose contained much more powder, so when I saw the small box and the tiny packages that Chewy sent me, I was a bit surprised.
But having a more concentrated product is a good thing, it makes it easier to get it into the cat. Fortunately, the kittens were more than happy to eat the food (the Whole Earth Farm canned duck that I blogged about yesterday) and I feel better about them having a little bit of help on board.
FortiFloria is made by Purina, so it is generally recommended by veterinarians because they understand products made for pets. There are a lot of options out there and researching them all would take a great deal of time. It is also easy. Purina packages them individually, makes palatable, and it generally works. The bacteria is microencapsulated which they say helps ensure that it will make it to the gut. It also contains vitamin C, which I'm also a huge fan of.
A couple of reasons why I'm not a huge fan are because of its ingredient list. There is only one strain of bacteria, Enterococcus faecium SF68. One helps, more would be better. The other ingredient I have a problem with is "animal digest" because as the regulations stand this product is basically unregulated and could contain any number of unsavory things in it. Does it? Maybe not, but we can't know because there is no one stopping it from happening. Like a lot of products "big pet food" makes it could be better, but it is what it is.
I'm giving it to the kittens along with some digestive enzymes and fingers crossed by the time you read this, things will be much better for them and (selfishly) for me.