Cats and dogs can develop digestive upset that is unpleasant for the pet and their caretaker. Colitis, gastroenteritis, inflammatory bowel disease, bloating, flatulence, and constipation can be common signs of gastrointestinal problems in pets. Luckily, many natural products can heal the intestinal lining, ease symptoms, and prevent symptoms from recurring when used in conjunction with our traditional prescription medications. Our new associate, Dr. Sara Sammons, has a strong interest in managing gastrointestinal diseases in pets by combining traditional medications with a variety of herbs and supplements.

The digestive system is comprised of several organs including the stomach, intestine, pancreas, and liver. Enzymes and bacteria are responsible for the breakdown of food into beneficial nutrients. When digestive organs become unhealthy, constipation, diarrhea, vomiting, flatulence, and other issues can result.

Our doctors can help determine if parasites, bacteria, or food allergies are the cause of gastrointestinal distress. Your pet may benefit from supplementation with probiotics, prebiotics, or digestive enzymes to heal a damaged gut quickly, restore proper balance of good bacteria, and improve digestive capabilities. Probiotics are useful in helping to repopulate the gastrointestinal tract with healthy bacteria, which are essential to proper digestion. Prebiotics such as dietary fiber and fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) can feed the healthy bacteria in the gut to improve their function. The addition of dietary digestive enzymes such as protease, lipase, amylase, and cellulase can help break down and absorb nutrients from food. Several herbs such as ginger, slippery elm, and licorice can soothe the mucous membranes of the gastrointestinal tract, support healing of the intestinal lining, and provide more immediate relief.

Working with patients that have several causes of digestive upset has driven Dr. Sammons to educate herself about a variety of products available to enhance digestion when used in conjunction with a healthy, anti-inflammatory diet. In addition to helping pets improve their digestive abilities, Dr. Sammons also enjoys all aspects of patient care at Two Rivers, including providing acupuncture and chiropractic treatments to pets of all ages.