Although studies are ongoing, some research shows that when your cat or dog experiences digestive problems, probiotics can be beneficial, says Ann Wortinger, BIS, LVT, program chair of veterinary technology at Sanford-Brown College in Dearborn, Mich. Probiotic "good" bacteria can lower intestinal pH, helping to not only boost their own numbers, but to lower the numbers of disease-causing bacteria in your pet's gut, while making it harder for potentially disease-causing pathogens to set up shop in the small intestine, Wortinger explains.
Probiotics might potentially help in many ways, Wynn tells WebMD, such as boosting poor immune function, addressing bacterial imbalance, or by enhancing the health of the cells in the tissue of your pet's gastrointestinal tract that produce digestive enzymes. "They may also help with digestion by providing their own digestive enzymes," she adds.
Marla J. McGeorge, DVM, a Portland veterinarian specializing in cat care, uses probiotics in the management of antibiotic-associated diarrhea, as well as in patients she feels could benefit from general immune system support, such a cat fighting an infection. (WebMD)