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Re: [FH] FortiFlora question

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  • Pat
    Hi Marianna; ... From: Mmayer11 ... Pepper had chronic diarrhea because fluids were spilling into the GI tract somehow. This was how we
    Message 1 of 6 , Apr 5, 2009
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      Hi Marianna;

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Mmayer11" <mmayer11@...>
      > Can any member on the List tell me about FortiFlora?

      Pepper had chronic diarrhea because fluids were spilling into the GI tract
      somehow. This was how we found his heart condition. After trying pumpkin,
      rice bran, and every other thing that had been suggested we were offered Pro
      Pectalin by the vet, which tempered his feces so that he was getting soft
      stools. When FortiFlora was introduced, he very quickly changed to having a
      little string of 'pearls' once a day. It got to the point that he was
      producing stools that looked a little hard so we had to back off and have
      taken him off the FortiFlora completely........we had thought he would need
      it for his lifetime.

      FortiFlora has also worked well for a couple of our other cats with one or
      two doses of 3 #3 capsules full.

      Needless to say, we swear by it in this house. (-:

      Pat and all the boys.
      http://felinenutritionalnotes.blogspot.com/
      http://petfoodpitfalls.blogspot.com/
    • savionna@aol.com
      Hi Marianna, ... It s a probiotic product made by Purina. See http://www.purinaveterinarydiets.com/FelineProductDetail.aspx?prod=240 The concept of using
      Message 2 of 6 , Apr 10, 2009
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        Hi Marianna,

        In a message dated 4/5/09 2:36:16 PM, mmayer11@... writes:

        > Can any member on the List tell me about FortiFlora?
        >
        It's a probiotic product made by Purina. See
        http://www.purinaveterinarydiets.com/FelineProductDetail.aspx?prod=240

        The concept of using beneficial bacteria to help balance the ecosystem of
        the digestive tract is sound. But there are a few drawbacks with FortiFlora
        that make it less desirable than the other options available to achieve the
        same end.

        FortiFlora contains only one type of bacteria: Enterococcus faecium. B/c
        the cat's digestive tract contains many species of bacteria (at least 129 were
        identified by 1977), it could be considered desirable to support more than
        one bacteria...esp considering that we can't readily determine which
        bacteria remain viable in a commercial product and which bacteria in the particular
        cat's system need support/replenishment/balancing.

        And use of E. faecium is controversial. A few references:

        From "Bacteriological evaluation of dog and cat diets that claim to contain
        probiotics" by Department of Clinical Studies, Ontario Veterinary College
        in the Canadian Vet Journal (2003): "...[C]oncern has been expressed over the
        use of enterococci, because they can be opportunistic pathogens and
        probiotic strains of enterococci are able to transfer the vanA gene; the gene
        responsible for vancomycin resistance."

        From a thesis entitled "The Use of a Probiotic in Captive Cheetahs" (2004)
        for the Dept of Veterinary Tropical Diseases at University of Pretoria:
        "Even though not all strains of enterococci are considered a health risk, the
        use of enterococci as probiotics is controversial."

        Also, FortiFlora is relatively low potency, containing only 100 million
        organisms per gram. Since we don't know how many organisms remain viable in a
        product...and since we also don't know the typically effective amt for cats
        in general or an individual cat...it makes sense to provide more rather than
        fewer. This isn't always the case...in fact with cats it often isn't...but
        with something as generally benign, and as fragile, as probiotics, it
        applies. Another advantage of a higher organism count is that you can give less of
        the product. Say a typical target dose for a cat is 2 billion organisms.
        That would require 20g of FortiFlora (about 3/4 oz). But it would require only
        0.5g of a product with 4 billion organisms per g. Which would make it easier
        to administer for those cats who don't readily tolerate an alteration in
        food or having remedies administered.

        And, FortiFlora contains a number of questionable ingredients, incl, for
        example, animal digest as ingredient #1 (which is basically "predigested"
        unspecified animal tissue) and beta-carotene (which has a limited role for cats,
        since it cannot be converted to Vit A...and it's particularly egregious in
        this case since Purina promotes the product as containing "high levels" of
        Vit A).

        And, there is no indication of source of the bacteria. Some cats cannot
        well tolerate dairy-source probiotics and do better on nondairy or trace-dairy.
        So it would be helpful to have source specified.

        For all these reasons, if it's desirable for a cat to have probiotics, the
        money is more wisely spent on a high-quality human product with
        nondairy-source (or trace dairy), mixed-strain, high-potency probiotics. There are a
        number of products available that fit that description, such as, for example,
        UAS Labs DDS (with 5 billion organisms/g, nondairy, 2 species).

        One other thing. I think it's important when selecting a remedy to evaluate
        why it's needed. In theory, a cat should be able to maintain a healthy
        balance of digestive system flora and produce healthy stool. That can be upset
        by, say, antibiotics...as well as by species-inappropriate diet (particularly
        dry food, with grains and other starches and lack of moisture), which
        contributes to inflammation, which contributes to diarrhea, which is the main
        reason probiotics are used with cats. So if the cat, for example, is eating dry
        food and has diarrhea from that...probiotics are going to help to some
        extent in bringing in beneficial bacteria to balance the pathogenic ones. But
        the real goal would be for the cat to be on a species-appropriate food that
        doesn't provoke inflammation. This is particularly important with heart cats,
        b/c any health problem becomes magnified...and b/c problems such as chronic
        diarrhea contribute to dehydration. // Rosemary




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      • Mmayer11
        Thank you, Rosemary. I did receive some kind responses to my question. I am grateful for the carefully researched detail you have provided. Earlier I googled
        Message 3 of 6 , Apr 10, 2009
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          Thank you, Rosemary.
          I did receive some kind responses to my question. I am grateful for the carefully researched detail you have provided. Earlier I "googled" the product name. I saw who the manufacturer is. I concluded that I would not be interested in FortiFlora should any of my cats need a probiotic. They don't. They on a home prepared raw diet. However I have on hand for this purpose a product named Ultra Probiotic for dog and cats. The manufacturer is Bert's Naturals,
          www.b-naturals.com
          I think it meets a higher standard than FortiFlora. I would be interested to learn what you think of it.






          Marianna







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        • Mmayer11
          Thank you, Rosemary. I did receive some kind responses to my question. I am grateful for the carefully researched detail you have provided. Earlier I googled
          Message 4 of 6 , Apr 11, 2009
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            Thank you, Rosemary.

            I did receive some kind responses to my question. I am grateful for the carefully researched detail you have provided. Earlier I "googled" the product name. I saw who the manufacturer is. I concluded that I would not be interested in FortiFlora should any of my cats need a probiotic. They don't. They on a home prepared raw diet. However I have on hand for this purpose a product named Ultra Probiotic for dog and cats. The manufacturer is Bert's Naturals,

            www.b-naturals.com

            I think it meets a higher standard than FortiFlora. I would be interested to learn what you think of it.













            Marianna













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          • savionna@aol.com
            Hi Marianna, ... I m with you. I think there are better choices, with fewer ingredients, higher potency, and more than one species of beneficial bacteria. ...
            Message 5 of 6 , Apr 20, 2009
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              Hi Marianna,

              In a message dated 4/11/09 1:35:52 AM, Mmayer11 writes:

              > Thank you
              >
              > You're welcome.

              > I concluded that I would not be interested in FortiFlora should any of my
              > cats need a probiotic.
              >
              I'm with you. I think there are better choices, with fewer ingredients,
              higher potency, and more than one species of beneficial bacteria.

              > They don't. They on a home prepared raw diet.
              >
              Ah, ok. I didn't know if you were looking into this to address a current
              problem.

              > However I have on hand for this purpose a product named Ultra Probiotic
              > for dog and cats. The manufacturer is Bert's Naturals,
              > www.b-naturals.com
              > I think it meets a higher standard than FortiFlora. I would be interested
              > to learn what you think of it.
              >
              I think it's somewhat a step ahead of FortiFlora, as you said. But there
              are a few little boogers in there to think about. It does contain mixed
              strain, which is useful...but it also contains whey, which might (repeat: might)
              be a problem for some sensitive cats who react with milk proteins, and yeast
              (S. cerevisiae), which can also be problematic with some cats (tho S.
              boulardii is a yeast-based type of probiotic that some cats respond to when they
              don't respond to the usual Lactobacillus, Bifido, etc). This is also kinda
              low potency, at 100 million organisms/g...and I think it's useful to have a
              higher potency so we can administer less. // Rosemary





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