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Frequently Asked Questions
What is a fecal microbiota transplant (FMT)?
A fecal microbiota transplant (FMT), also called fecal transplant, is the transfer of stool from a healthy donor to the GI tract of a sick recipient. The stool from the donor contains a diverse, well-functioning community of bacteria that take up residence in the recipient’s gut. FMT is the best known approach for restoring a balanced gut microbiome and has proven to be an effective treatment in both humans and companion animals.
FMT has been used for hundreds of years in veterinary medicine and for over a thousand years in human medicine. Though modern regulatory entities like the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are still determining how to classify it, FMT continues to demonstrate beneficial results for a growing list of human health conditions. For example, FMT is routinely used to treat Clostridioides difficile (C. diff) infections. And it provides a promising solution for the low gut bacterial diversity associated with Crohn’s disease (a form of IBD).
What are Gut Restore/FMT capsules (poop pills)?
An FMT can be delivered via colonoscopy or enema, but for cats and dogs, those procedures generally require sedation. Our Gut Restore Supplement is an oral FMT capsule that gives your dog the benefits of FMT without the need for surgery or sedation. Containing a proprietary mixture of carefully screened, cryoprotected, freeze-dried donor stool, the Gut Restore capsules (aka “poop pills”) offer a noninvasive, affordable, at-home alternative for pets suffering from digestive, skin, or immune system issues.
How can the Gut Restore Supplement improve my dog’s health?
By seeding your dog’s microbiome with all the right bacteria in the right proportions, the capsules can help reestablish balance and resolve symptoms. While it varies depending on underlying health conditions, positive results—such as better formed stool, improved appetite, and less itching.
When dogs with digestive symptoms, skin issues, or immune system problems turn out to be missing certain important gut bacteria, we need to add those missing members to the microbiome and help the new populations grow and thrive.
The Gut Restore Supplement provides a whole community of healthy dog-specific microbes. The capsule’s enteric coating prevents it from dissolving until it reaches the intestines, where the contents “seed” your dog’s gut with a diverse array of healthy bacteria, restoring any missing groups.
Where do you get the material for Gut Restore Supplements?
Our Gut Restore Supplements for dogs are derived from stool donated by healthy pet dogs that live in homes and have been carefully screened for health, age, fecal consistency, behavior, and microbiome composition (based on DNA sequencing).
Donor stool samples are submitted for parasites and pathogen screening to the Idexx Reference Laboratories, the leading veterinary diagnostics company, which has stringent quality control guidelines and well-validated standard operating procedures.
All dog donor material is regularly screened for parasites and pathogens:
- Dogs are screened for the following pathogens via PCR: Clostridium perfringens CPnetEF toxin gene, Clostridium perfringens Enterotoxin Gene, Campylobacter coli, Campylobacter jejuni, canine distemper virus, canine enteric coronavirus, canine parvovirus 2, canine circovirus, Clostridium difficile toxin A, Clostridium difficile toxin B, Cryptosporidium spp., Giardia spp., Salmonella spp.
- Dogs are screened for the following parasites via ELISA: Hookworms, Roundworms, and Whipworms
- Dogs are screened for ova and parasites using fecal floatation.
Is the supplement right for my dog?
An extremely wide range of dogs have benefited from the Gut Restore Supplement, ranging in age from 2 months to 17 years. The vast majority of dogs see improvement in their digestive issues, food allergies and intolerances, and/or skin issues.
While this supplement is natural and intended to gently repopulate the microbiome, it does contain high numbers of healthy bacteria that can be overwhelming to medically unstable dogs. If your dog is severely underweight or requires frequent hospitalization, we recommend checking with your veterinarian to see if the supplement is right for your dog.
What’s the difference between standard diet and raw diet capsules?
While dogs on raw-fed diets do tend to have slightly different microbiomes compared to their non-raw counterparts, our research does not indicate that matching the diet of the donor and the recipient will make a fecal transplant more effective. We have found that raw-fed donors are equally effective as non-raw donors, regardless of whether the recipient dog is consuming a raw diet. All of our donors are rigorously screened and held to the same standards of quality and safety.
Still have questions? Please contact us. We are happy to work with you and/or your veterinarian.