Cool New Product – “Gut Guard” Probiotics

Does your dog have itchy skin and frequent ear infections?
Do they lick their feet?
Does your dog have an odor to them that smells somewhat like Fritos, especially in these irritated areas?
Have you had to use steroids or medications to help these symptoms? Do you have to keep switching foods to keep inflammation at bay, or have you gone on to expensive prescription hydrolyzed proteins?
Read On!

Photo by Christine Mallar

The primary use for this product will be for chronic yeast infections of the ears/skin and for food allergies. Yeast problems and reactions due to food sensitivity are likely systemic, so treating just the ears or the skin won’t easily eliminate it. Eliminating yeast may be a long term project, and is most effective when supplements are combined with changes in diet. This is largely due to the fact that starchy carbohydrates feed yeast, so a carbohydrate-rich diet like kibble will definitely work against you.
Problems like yeast are often intertwined with damage to the lining of the gut, often referred to as “Leaky Gut”. Also called “increased intestinal permeability”, leaky gut is a digestive condition in which the delicate lining of the small intestine is damaged. This lining is of course designed to be permeable already, as this allows digested nutrients to enter the bloodstream. This lining is constantly being repaired by the body, but toxins, stress, etc can increase the normal amount of damage, resulting in larger partially digested proteins being able to “leak” through the intestinal wall and into the blood stream. These proteins are recognized as invaders by the immune system which then mounts an immune response that can result in inflammation and a continued sensitivity to that protein. This is what’s happening with food “allergies”.
Your vet might encourage you to switch to a new protein which may actually result in a temporary improvement in allergy symptoms. However, the same mechanism is still in place if the gut wall hasn’t been repaired, resulting in the same process as before, allowing undigested proteins from the new food to again enter the bloodstream and a “new allergy” is in place.
Dog owners often find themselves in a cycle where eventually there are no more novel proteins to use. Hydrolyzed protein prescription kibbles can similarly reduce symptoms for a time, but it absolutely is not designed to enable healing, leaving you dependent on a prescription food. The first ingredient is often corn starch (which would feed yeast), and the lack of any quality whole food ingredients isn’t ideal for long term feeding, in our opinion. (We often see new nutritional problems the longer customers are on them, yeast infections being one of them).
Yeast is able to flourish under these damaged conditions and get more deeply established, and the inflammation can result in terrible skin and ear infections, discomfort, painful joints and fatigue. Unfortunately, mainstream medical professionals do not recognize leaky gut as a real condition. However, there is quite a bit of scientific evidence that leaky gut does exist and may be associated with multiple health problems, especially food sensitivity. This formula is designed to help repair the lining of the gut, reducing inflammation and encouraging healing. This can eventually help a great deal with food sensitivities and reduce the overgrowth of yeast and its resulting symptoms. 
We also strongly recommend switching off of starchy highly processed food (ie: kibble, which is very high in starchy carbohydrates that feeds yeast, and processed with high heat and pressure that damages heat sensitive amino acids that are critical for healing. Getting rid of dry foods also eliminates many ingredients that might be more difficult to digest and could contain contaminates (like corn which likely contains glyphosate residue and aflatoxins.) We recommend switching to a fresh whole food diet, or at least replacing a percentage of your kibble with fresh. Raw diets in our freezers are safe, nutritionally complete and a wonderful way to eliminate inflammatory ingredients and add ingredients that are rich in important naturally occurring amino acids, digestive enzymes, and human quality ingredients that are often more humanely raised. Setting up your dog with this sort of diet would be an ideal way to support even faster healing when you use “Gut Guard”


Image courtesy Four Leaf Rover

Gut Guard Ingredients:
– L- Glutamine is an amino acid that plays an important role in immune function and repairing the lining of the gut. .However, during illness or injury, the body may not be able to produce enough of it. It is an important energy source for intestinal and immune cells, and can help to repair and fortify the damaged intestinal barrier.

– N-acetyl glucosamine possesses a unique range of anti-inflammatory activities that can help inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), colitis and other chronic intestinal issues.

– Licorice Root Extract is a fast acting and effective anti-inflammatory, similar to the effects of corticosteroids, helping to relieve pain and inflammation. It’s also an immuno-stimulant (and good for the liver).

– Organic Aloe Vera extract is useful for healing injury and irritations of the digestive tract. It’s also antibacterial, antioxidant, and an immuno-stimulant.

– Organic Marshmallow root soothes irritation of the mucous membranes and provides a soothing, lubricating, protective barrier between mucous membranes and substances that cause irritation. It also has antimicrobial and immune stimulating properties.

– Organic Slippery Elm is a soothing, protecting, and lubricating demulcent (relieving inflammation) and a general astringent (causing the contraction of skin cells and other body tissues.), tightening digestive mucosa. It’s also very nutritious, containing A, B complex, C, and K, and high amounts of calcium (which is good for reducing inflammation in joints) and magnesium (low magnesium may contribute to chronic inflammation and joint issues and it’s also an important part of collagen synthesis.)

HumicSure –  contains more than 70 micro nutrients in biologically available form. The deficiency of minerals and micronutrients block the function of enzymes and vitamins responsible for transforming nutrients into energy and biochemical building molecules. Humic substances were formed during the decomposition pathway of plant biomass over millions of years. Humic acid cannot be absorbed from the intestinal tract but plays a very important role in buffering the pH, in the absorption matrix preventing the absorption of toxins, bacteria stimulation, and nutrient uptake. In short, Pure Humic Acid is very effective at cleansing the colon, where the Humic acid blocks the absorption of toxic materials into the body.

– Organic Chamomile is anti-spasmodic, expels intestinal gas, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, heals wounds, and can expel worms.

– Organic Dandelion Roots are a great way to strengthen your dog’s liver. It is also good source of magnesium, (low magnesium may contribute to chronic inflammation and joint issues. It’s also an important part of collagen synthesis.) It also contains calcium (which is good for reducing inflammation in joints), iron, and zinc (to help collagen synthesis). It’s also a good prebiotic.

– Organic Burdock Root  contains active ingredients in its root system that can remove toxins from the bloodstream. Studies show “potent inhibitory effects” on cancer growth caused by cancers like pancreatic carcinoma. Another study found burdock root significantly interfered with cancer cell growth. It’s also a great source of trace minerals and is a good prebiotic.

– Organic ginger root has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, according to research. For instance, it may help reduce oxidative stress, which is the result of having an excess amount of free radicals in the body. It can also help treat chronic indigestion and nausea
With any new supplement, we always encourage starting with a pinch, and slowly building up to the proper dosage.

– It’s an excellent idea to pair this probiotic with Bifido for Fido, or to go through one of them and then alternate to the other. Bovine Colostrum is also an amazing gut repair tool.
– For serious long term systemic yeast issues, 4 leaf Rover makes a “Yeast Free Fido” kit with three products meant to be used together. It’s a significant savings over purchasing them separately.
– Read the reviews about Gut Repair on their website click here and scroll down towards the bottom.

The other two probiotics that Four Leaf Rover makes are neat for other reasons:

  1. Does your dog suffer from occasional or chronic loose stool?

    Photo courtesy K. Luna

    Does your dog eat dirt?
    Does your dog eat poop?
    Has your dog been on antibiotics or metronidazole recently?
    You might need “protect” soil-based probiotics! Read More Here

  2. Does your dog have chronic digestive upset?
    Does your dog have frequent constipation?
    Does your dog have chronically poor gut health?,
    Does your dog have chronic bowel diseases like IBD?
    You might need “Bifido for Fido” probiotic/prebiotic blend. Read More Here