This free Veterinary CPD is produced by the Pure Animal Podcast. Dr Sue Armstrong, a founding member of the British Holistic Veterinary Medicine Association, discusses the role of a healthy microbiome within veterinary medicine in this Pure Animal Podcast.
Dr Armstrong talks about how current dietary habits are often incompatible with good digestive health and stresses the importance of species appropriate food which is a rarity in processed pet food. Have dogs and their microbiome adapted to not require a species appropriate diet?
Dr Armstrong explains that the aim is optimal health, not merely coping with current diet, and argues that even though dogs have developed salivary amylase they are still fundamentally not well equipped to eat large amounts of vegetable matter. A discussion ensues covering dentition in dogs and what sort of levels of fibre and plant matter they would have been exposed to in the wild.
Next we hear more about the application of prebiotics and probiotics, and given the widereaching influence of the microbiome, their potential benefits in all areas of clinical practice. Studies have shown links between mental health and the microbiome.
Dr Armstrong discusses some of the latest research in this area along with the production of neurotransmitters in the gut.
There is still a shortage of veterinary specific evidence around gut health and how to improve it, but research in this area is rapidly growing and should inform our future clinical decision making.