Thursday, April 2, 2015

Microbiome Restorative Treatment (Fecal Transplant)

Microbiome Restorative Therapy (aka “Fecal Transplant”) is the transfer of stool from a healthy patient into an unhealthy recipient patient.

What are the indications for this treatment?
Many dogs and cats suffer from chronic gastrointestinal (GI) problems, like persistent poor appetite, weight loss, chronic vomiting, and chronic diarrhea/soft stools. When an underlying diagnosis is not found, or when a patient fails to respond to other therapies, the dog or cat may benefit from receiving the stool from a healthy dog or cat.

What may cause an imbalance from the normal bacteria in a pet's intestines?
A few of the known causes include antibiotic therapy, anti-inflammatory therapy (arthritis medications, steroids, metronidazole), GI parasites like giardia and coccidia, viral infections, and any other causes of poor health.

What is involved in the treatment?
The recipient spends a few hours at our hospital. Initially, the pet will receive a rectal ozone treatment (which takes a few seconds to administer) as well as an infusion of 10 ml of Quinton, a liquid containing over 80 minerals. Quinton offers nutrients that dogs and cats lack in their diets, and enables them to jumpstart the healing process. Immediately following the ozone and Quinton infusions, the pet is given a rectal infusion of feces from a healthy donor. The pet stays with us for a few hours to make sure he does not immediately defecate.

How safe is this treatment?
All patients must first be seen by Dr. Epstein to be evaluated for this treatment. Each batch of feces is obtained from a healthy donor who has been fed a species-appropriate diet and appears to be in excellent health. Each batch of feces is tested for intestinal parasites, including coccidia, giardia, hookworms, whipworms, roundworms, tapeworms, and more. A PCR (DNA) test is run on each batch to check for the presence of parvovirus, coronavirus, Clostridium (2 species that are found in unhealthy stool), Salmonella, Campylobacter, Cryptosporidium, Coronavirus and giardia in dogs, and panleukopenia (Feline Distemper), Tritrichomonas, Campylobacter (2 species), Cryptosporidium species, Salmonella, giardia, and two species of Clostridium in cats.

What should be expected after the treatment?
Immediately after the treatment, the pet should be discouraged from defecating for at least a few hours. Improvements in health can sometimes be seen immediately, and include more energy and a better appetite. Sometimes the improvements can be more gradual. Patients are encouraged to receive further natural therapies, like homeopathy and acupuncture, to address underlying imbalances in their health.
While recovering, it is possible that a patient may need an additional treatment (or more) if the improvement slows or starts to reverse.
If the patient is not improving, further diagnostics may be indicated to search for underlying problems.
Our donor dog, Baxter


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