Nutrition as a Factor with Bloat and Torsion
An article prepared for Nzymes.com by Linda Arndt, Canine Nutrition Advisor
Antioxidants - Post Surgery
I want to talk about the importance of antioxidants in the 'after care' of torsion surgery. I cannot address the topic of surgery without discussing specific antioxidant enzymes and the remarkable results we have seen using these enzymes.
First, some background on oxygen free radicals and their normal counterpart - antioxidants. What do you think "oxygen free radicals" and car exhaust have in common? They are both toxic by-products produced by the production of energy. Energy is necessary to make both the car and the body function (animal or human).
The fuels may be different, one being oxygen and the other gasoline, but the end result is the same. Both produce energy and both have a toxic waste by-product from that energy production. "Oxygen free radicals" (toxic by-products) are the bad guys and antioxidants are the good guys - because they circulate among the cells of the body and gobble up the free radicals. Think of these toxins as "body rust" and antioxidants are the rust inhibitors. Free radicals are what make us age and eventually die; antioxidants work against this degredation.
Antioxidant enzyme supplementation can help by:
Aiding in the prevention of aging and diseases such as cancer and other debilitating illnesses.
Reducing the negative effects of cancer therapies.
Reducing the negative effects of anesthetics after surgery.
Speeding repair of tissues and bone due to surgery/trauma.
Boosting the immune system.
Retarding periodontal disease and the prevention of heart disease.
Toxin reduction in soft tissues, which is great for reducing allergy problems.
Flushing other toxins from the system, from chemicals, pesticides, etc.
Aiding in reproductive problems, regulating cycles and problems with infertility and sterility (humans and animals).
Now I want to discuss a product called NZYMES® (in Treats or Granules); both forms are remarkable Antioxidant products of particular interest to me, especially in regards to bloat and torsion problems, because of their ability to:
Minimize the side effects and after effects of anesthetics.
Speed healing of soft tissue.
Reduce the inflammation and soreness of soft tissue.
Prevent "reperfusion injury" after bloat and torsion surgery.
Reperfusion injury is a condition whereby toxins, free radicals or oxygen by-products are released into the system of the animal after surgery trauma and anesthetics, which often causes death.
According to a study done at Purdue University, the majority of dogs lost after torsion surgery die from perfusion injury due to this release of toxins in the body causing heart arrhythmia.
Antioxidant enzyme supplementation, such as use of NZYMES®, is one way to help support the system in hopes of preventing "reperfusion injury". Even though torsion is an emergency surgery, start the animal on this product as soon as possible right after surgery. NZYMES® is not a drug but a food concentrate and will not conflict with any medication the animal is on at the time. During an emergency surgery of any kind the sooner you can start the animal on it the better. Also, for elective surgery such as ear cropping and potential vaccine reactions, we start puppies from weaning and leave them on NZYMES® until all inoculations are given to minimize our chances of vaccine reactions.
The dosage is for most pets is one (1) NZYMES® Antioxidant Treat -tablet per 60 lbs. of body weight or 1/2 level teaspoon of NZYMES® Granules per day (for same weight). It is recommended to double the regular dosage for the first two weeks or treatment.
This is my opinion: the disease of bloat and torsion manifests itself under stressful conditions. Sometimes the stress is external and obvious. Other times it may be triggered by one event, but is my feeling the disease is multi-factored in response to a chronic deterioration of the total system affected by environmental, physiological, dietary and psychological factors. These factors, singly or in combination, cause excessive wear on the animal's system, change the pH balance from acid to alkaline, encourage pathogenic bacteria growth (bloat), and alter the bodys' electrical and chemical balance (torsion).
I do not claim to have the answers for these diseases, but I do not believe one has to be a rocket scientist to realize we must stop looking for one cause and be more sensitive to the whole animal, how it interacts within its environment and what nourishment we are putting into these living systems.
We must replenish our physical bodies - with whatever items we choose to ingest in the form of food. If we choose junk foods and toxins, then our bodies become "junk and toxins" and we soon fall prey to disease, debilitation and death. We truly "are what we eat" and our dogs, similarly, are what we choose to feed them - since they no longer have a choice in the selection of their own diets.
I honestly believe we can minimize our chances and even prevent most diseases, including bloat and torsion, as well as better manage those who have already gone through the surgery and live without fear of reoccurrence. It is my sincere hope that you have as much luck with this program as we have had over the years. But understand, it is NO GUARANTEE; but, for myself and other breeders, it is a definite step in the right direction.
A Little History
1994 was a year of great loss at Blackwatch - the bad news is, I lost 6 of my Danes. The good news is they were all 11-13 years of age and had lived an extended life right up to the end and I am fully convinced their longevity and quality of life was due to this holistic approach of feeding these animals.
Linda Arndt - Canine Nutrition Advisor
Blackwatch Great Danes
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