German Shepherd Dogs are at high risk of developing a life-threatening illness called toxic bowel syndrome. Within a few hours after the condition begins, your dog could die. While it is more prominent in German Shepherd dogs, other breeds are also at risk, both from this condition and several related ones.
Fortunately, you can take steps to help prevent your dog from contracting this devastating disease.
Use Yogurt to Help Prevent Toxic Bowel Syndrome in German Shepherd Dogs
German Shepherd Dogs are especially susceptible to toxic gut syndrome for a number of reasons, dating back to the 1980s when breeders began breeding German Shepherds closely. This was done to bring out the best and strongest characteristics of the dogs. Such close breeding is known to suppress a dog’s immune system.
The compromised immune system can cause a high level of intestinal bacteria that is normally present in small amounts. However, when the bacteria gets out of control, it can cause dangerous toxins to enter the dog’s bloodstream. In a very short time, it can cause death from toxic poisoning.
There is a minor form of this intestinal infection that can affect other dog breeds as well, however German Shepherd dogs are more prone to clostridial enterotoxemia or toxic bowel syndrome.
In total, there are three similar conditions that are common: swelling / torsion, mesenteric torsion, and toxic bowel syndrome. In bloat / torsion, a rapid build-up of gas in the stomach can cause the dog’s stomach to twist. In mesenteric torsion, which causes the dog’s small intestine to twist, the accumulation of gas is not as serious.
Bloating / torsion can be recognized by a sudden and rapid expansion of your dog’s stomach. A dog with mesenteric torsion presents with a strange stooped posture. These events cause the intestine to lose its blood supply and lead to death.
By design, German Shepherd dogs have a unique high chest, which means that their intestinal profile is different than dogs with lower chests. The breed also has a lower than normal production of pancreatic enzymes. This enzyme provides an early defense against disease by slowing the growth of bacteria in the intestines.
Since German Shepherd Dogs do not have sufficient enzyme production, it is important to monitor this buildup of bacteria on a daily basis to help prevent toxic gut syndrome.
Yogurt is the ideal solution
One of the best ways to combat the threat is to introduce more friendly bacteria and enzymes into the dog’s system. Yogurt contains the necessary enzymes and lactobacilli, the good bacteria, in healthy amounts. This bacteria helps fight bad bacteria in the intestinal tract and promotes intestinal health through natural cleansing.
While yogurt is easy and convenient to use, German Shepherd Dogs and other breeds love the taste and eat it easily. If given daily, it can help prevent these dangerous intestinal diseases.
For a higher concentration of beneficial bacteria and enzymes, you can purchase supplements that will do the trick. Check with your local veterinarian or pet food retail store for more information on how digestive enzymes and live acidophilic bacteria supplements can help save the lives of your German Shepherd dogs.