Margo Roman, DVM
MASH Main St Animal Services of Hopkinton
72 West Main St.
Hopkinton, MA 01748
Micro-Biome Restoration Therapy (“MBRT”) or Fecal Transplantation (FT) will soon become common protocol in the re-establishment of the GI tract microbiome in dogs and cats. A single human has over 100 trillion microbes throughout their body, equivalent to two-to-five pounds of varied microscopic life. Quantitatively, we are more microbes than “human” as prokaryotes are so much smaller and less complex than human cells.
When we use probiotics to support gut health we are using 1-20 species of microorganisms. According to Dr. Alexander Khorut, M.D., a gastroenterologist at University of Minnesota, he has said that we have from 300-500 species from the mouth to the anus, not including various sub-species. When significant gastrointestinal problems occur, the microorganisms need to be replaced. A technique which has the hundreds of species available at once is called MBRT. Micro-Biome Restoration Therapy may be the most efficient way to accomplish that goal. If 85 percent of our immune system comes from our gut, then a lack of these normal symbiotic microbes could be the reason for failure of the immune system resulting in disease, cancer and autoimmune issues.
In dogs, eating of feces or copraphagia is a normal behavior of dogs that is frowned about by pet owners. But it is normal. In the wild after a canine or feline kills its prey the first part of the eating starts in the abdomen where intestines and visceral organs are injested. The animal receives all this pre and probiotics with the digestion of the digested plant material that give them fiber and microbes. Is there an innate need for animals to seek out stool because they are looking to support their gut health?
There are multiple peer reviewed articles that have showed that both oral and rectal infusion of fecal material in humans has been able to reintroduce a balanced GI tract and stop a clostridium difficile overgrowth. There are so many more beneficial microbes that have yet to be discovered and appreciated.
Most recently was an article in the New York Times When Pills Fail This Option Provides a Cure. The article talks about the fecal transplant in New England Journal of Medicine Article January 16, 2013. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/17/health/disgusting-maybe-but-treatment-works-study-finds.html?pagewanted=2&ref=newenglandjournalofmedicine
Here at MASH – Main Street Animal Services of Hopkinton, we have done over 30 MBRT’s/ fecal transplants on dogs and cats. The results are so positive that we want to share these cases and encourage other veterinarians about how this is such a positive option. We have also done supportive nutrition and have included ozone therapy to increase the O2 in the body and allow more positive O2 utilization.
We always introduce the MBRT to animals that have had priming of the gut flora with digestive enzymes, probiotics, additional whole food glandulars and raw meat diets. Giving all the benefits of bringing the new microbiomes into a new home which has some of the comforts of the original host may allow the balance to survive. Some of our cases have had such a huge positive difference with one dosage, that once was all they needed.
Some have had a two week improvement and then seem to be better but not as good as the initial implant. We are thinking that like probiotic therapy it is done after two weeks and we are seeing the need to repeat the implant. Therefore, caretakers will take home the MRBT material and keep it frozen, removing pieces to be given 1-2 times a week. We are still trying to figure out how long and how much is needed to get a gut back in balance.
We give glandulars to animals to support the glands that are in need. We give prebiotics and probiotics to support the gut’s flora. But if we could give possibly the normal flora and the pre and probiotic in a form that would be consistent, that would naturally be the best method. We might simply use a healthy donor to replenish another individual’s micro ecology.