Consumer Reports is one of those places where I get a lot of questions about taking probiotics.
The good news is that probiotics are actually pretty good for most folks. The bad news is that they can be a bit messy.
In a perfect world, with a perfectly cleaned kitchen and perfect clean bedsheets, I would recommend probiotics to everyone. But that’s not a perfect world and it’s not a perfect recipe. So we have to figure out what to do with the messy stuff. We have to decide if we want to continue taking the probiotics, or we need to throw them out.
In my own experience, the worst probiotic I’ve ever had was a couple weeks ago. It was in a jar, but still pretty messy. But there was no way I was giving up on it, so I took it out and drank some of the contents with a glass of water. I then gave the rest to my dog who was sleeping on my bed. I had no idea what I was doing.
One benefit of using probiotics is that if they’re not working, you can just throw them out. I know that sounds harsh, but I’ve had some of my best probiotic experiences in the past with other people. The truth is, probiotics are a very new thing. While there are still many skeptics, the scientific research and FDA recommendations are leading the way for many who use them.
That said, probiotics are not without risk. For instance, there are several rare but potentially fatal bacterial diseases. These diseases include diarrhea, typhoid, typhoid fever, and many others. While probiotics are supposed to be great for your dog, they are also very likely to be a source of your dog ingesting bacteria.
As a veterinarian, I often see our dogs with stomach issues because they aren’t getting the right amount of fluids. We can prescribe antibiotics to get the fluids flowing, but when that doesn’t work, then probiotics may be the only option. While this is all good for your dog, if you are using probiotics for dog health, you should know that there are some bad bacteria out there. For instance, there is a bacteria called Clostridium perfringens.
Clostridium perfringens is usually a harmless bacteria, but it is also known to cause some serious health issues in humans. I am not a veterinarian, but I can tell you that this bacteria is known to cause serious (and often deadly) problems in dogs, cats, and humans alike. So yes, I have seen dogs with stomach issues caused by Clostridium perfringens.
With the exception of cats, most people are not aware of this bacteria, even though it is usually common in the digestive tract. It’s also a common finding in humans, too. So dog health is usually the first thing dogs are worried about when they start getting sick.
As someone who has worked in healthcare for over 20 years, I can tell you that this bacterial has been known to cause serious issues for both dogs and humans. And when it’s in dogs, it’s usually caused by a toxin that causes vomiting, diarrhea, and, if left untreated, often death. If you have a dog that has been diagnosed with this bacteria, the best thing you can do is to get it treated as soon as you become aware of it.