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     Pet Digestion Problems   

DIGESTION - HOW IT WORKS

I have been researching into the process of digestion recently as I have issues personally in this area and have for many years. Digestion is a complex process that involves many organs.

Starting in the mouth, chewing helps break up the food into smaller particles and the saliva in the area has enzymes to further break it down-primarily the sugar type particles get handled here.

Then the food moves into the stomach and is met with acid there which further digests it and gets certain hormones released to get the next part of the tract signaled to start working.

The liver produces bile and it is stored in the gall bladder which contracts and empties its contents into the first part of the small intestine when food comes through, especially fats. The bile has the main job of breaking down the fats to help the body use them. Also, the liver and gall bladder and their bile help make the bowels contract to mix the food and push it along.

The pancreas secretes enzymes which help digest proteins, sugars and fats and releases these enzymes through a small duct like the bile passes and in a similar area of the small intestine.

The small bowel contains trillions of bacteria that further digest the food particles and has small finger-like projections to absorb the nutrients.

The large bowel also contains many digestive bacteria and serves to absorb water and other nutrients and then store the unusable parts until time to expel them from the body.

So, one can see that there are many areas where this process can go wrong. Not chewing food properly can cause troubles and many dogs are well known for this.

If the stomach isnít producing enough acid, the food wonít digest and the gall bladder doesnít get the hormonal signal to contract either.

If the liver is toxic or diseased it canít produce the bile as well. The gall bladder can develop stones or become blocked or just not contract well. The lack of bile then can cause fat to go through undigested and the bowels to not push the food through well. Food sitting stagnant in the guts causes the bacteria to overgrow and gas and bloating to occur.

If the bacteria are disrupted by antibiotics or disease, digestion is affected.

Certain toxins and diseases can cause the absorption process to be affected especially by destroying the "villi", the small fingerlike projections that absorb the digested nutrients.

And of course, if there is any mechanical obstruction or blockage in the guts, or cancer causes a blockage, then the food canít move on through.

There are many things that can go wrong with the digestive process, but the above are the most common. It can take a bit of searching to get to the bottom line cause in a long term situation. Fortunately, most are brief and the cause is obvious, such as the dog ate a bunch of garbage.

Feeding a good diet with adequate fiber and supplementing probiotics IF you have to put your pet on antibiotics for any reason are a good start at preventing long term disease.

I hope your pet is always healthy and happy, but if something goes wrong, the above will help you sort it out.

A great overall digestive supplement is Nutrigest. You can find it here: Nutrigest for pets

Until next time follow us on Facebook at this link FaceBook.com/Petnutritioninfocom

Best, Dr. Jan

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