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Fecal transplants can be a rather confusing subject. Gut bacteria is a very important factor in digestion in animals. These bacteria oversee the proper absorption and digestion of essential nutrients. They keep the digestion healthy. The microbiota, which is the community of these essential bacteria, are made up different things. Their overall composition depends on various factors such as environment, genetics, as well as diet.
What are fecal transplants?
Fecal transplant is the common term for Fecal Microbiota Transplantation or FMT. It’s the procedure where fecal matter is taken from a healthy candidate and given to an unhealthy candidate with digestive problems in order to restore the balance in their digestive system and resolve any problems. It’s a very promising treatment that can help treat many illnesses. Both in humans and animals alike.
Cats and dogs with intestinal problems also benefit from this kind of treatment. FMT is believed to help pets who have bouts of diarrhea that goes on for weeks on end. Dogs that suffer from diarrhea are believed to have an imbalance of healthy gut microbiota. That’s why only healthy animals can be donors. There are systems put in place to ensure that the donor is indeed healthy. These systems include thorough testing and scanning. These tests will prove whether the microbiota needed for transplant are well-balanced and healthy.
Does FMT really work?
Simply put, yes it does work. The treatment involves collecting fecal samples from a healthy donor and transplanting it in small amounts throughout the intestinal walls of the unhealthy dog, through a tube inserted through his rectum. The unhealthy dog who had not responded to diet changes or other, more traditional treatments, responds to the FMT. Chances of your dog experiencing diarrhea after the transplant is very little. Although the overall procedure is not harmful to either the donor or the recipient, the procedure requires the administration of anesthesia to keep the dog docile. The dangers of your dog experiencing allergic reactions to the anesthesia is the only foreseeable danger.
Since cats are obligate carnivores, doctors are still not sure whether the FMT is an effective therapy for them as far as feline chronic diarrhea is concerned. The treatment shows no problems in omnivores like dogs and humans. Cats have different digestive systems than dogs and humans and as such require different kinds of treatments.
Is your pet a good candidate for the FMT?
Most cats and dogs suffering from chronic diarrhea have more conventional methods of treating the disease. If those methods fail, then FMT should be considered. Although the gross factor makes you understandably hesitant to go ahead with the procedure, the health of your pet should be the priority.