Holistic Bowel Program

The nerves that control the bowels of the animal come off the spinal cord in the lower region of the back. When the lower back is injured, the disc will swell (become larger due to the accumulation of fluid) and the swollen area can then put pressure upon the nerves. This pressure then causes a pinching or irritation of the nerve and this causes the bowel function to slow down or stop (constipation).

As the constipated animal strains to pass a bowel movement, the straining puts more pressure on the disc. The increase pressure causes the disc to swell even more and there is a vicious cycle developing. Dr. De Grasse has discovered the following methods to control the amount of straining (hardness of the stool) in the animal and this ease of passing a bowel movement allows the disc to heal.
1. Olive or vegetable oil (drops in the food). The amount of oil is determined on a daily basis by inspecting the bowel movement. The stool should be "mushy" not hard like a "Tootsie" roll candy. Once the appropriate consistency of stool is reached, then the same amount of oil is added on a daily basis.
2. Green beans are fiber and can be added on a daily basis. They can be presented in any manner such as fresh, french cut or shredded, or steamed.
3. Pumpkin filling ( the filling used to make a pie) can be added to the animal's meal and has been found to soften the stool quite well. It has been surprising as to how many animals like the taste.
4. Stool softeners can be obtained from your veterinarian. However, please note that cheese, banana and rice are stool hardeners and should not be used to administer the stool softener pill.
5. Beneficial bacteria can easily be added through yogurt. In Dr. De Grasse's opinion, Mountain High, plain, non-fat yogurt is the brand of choice. I do not recommend any added chemicals or sugars be added to the yogurt.
6. Tuna in oil can be used a treat and the included oil helps to lubricate the bowel movement is constipation is suspected.

*The owner must always check with the animal's veterinarian for any contra-indications to the above mentioned program.

One item or any combination of items can be used on a daily basis to keep the bowels moving regularly and easily. The ease of movement of the bowels is imperative in any animal suffering from a bulging disc. And the ease of movement must be continued throughout the animal's life. Undue strain can cause the bulging disc to rupture (the contents or water comes out beyond the disc wall) and this condition requires surgical intervention to remove the disc material from against the spinal nerve or spinal cord wall.

Please note: Some animals may not tolerate dairy products. Probiotics (beneficial bacteria) may also be obtained in a freeze-dried, liquid or capsule form, for the lactose intolerant. In these products, Dr. De Grasse recommends purchasing "human" rather than "animal" grade, as the potential additives may not be in the best interest of the animal.