Snow Leopard

Snow Leopard
Snow Leopard cub (7 mos old) - Cape May County Zoo

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Sometimes There is No Substitute

Here's something that came up today. A client had a young German Shepherd (the most common breed that gets this disease) that was recently diagnosed with exocrine pancreatic insufficiency. This means that the dog's pancreas does not produce enough digestive enzymes for the dog to absorb the proper nutrients from her diet. Without treatment, the dog will have chronic diarrhea and continue to lose weight, as well as have other health issues secondary to malnutrition.

Fortunately, they can utilize pig pancreases to make a powder supplement we can give to dogs. This works extremely well.

In the case of this dog, she's gained weight, her coat looks great and there are no issues.

However, this is a not an inexpensive product. Why? It's not cheap to make. Utilizing animal organs and going through the process of purifying them and guaranteeing the proper levels of active enzymes are in EACH dosing costs a bit of money.  

The client that owns this dog came to me today with a product that he thought was "comparable." I was not familiar with it but figured I'd check into on a break. I went on line and found the ingredients, sources, etc. As it turns out, this product:

1. Lacks one of the KEY enzymes needed
2. Is not made from the very effective porcine pancreas but instead via fermentation involving fungi 
3. Does not have the vitamin support in the product we use (key because lack of ability to digest fats can lead to A,D and E deficiencies)
4. Is a nutraceutical (not an FDA approved drug) therefore, the  active ingredients are not regulated at all. It may have what it says or not. One batch may, the next not, etc. 
5. The 2 enzymes it does are MUCH lower in quantitative active units than the veterinary product.

Trust me, we want to buy the cheapest product WE can find too. Then we don't have to charge as much either. Sometimes, prevention or control of a disease, while seemingly costly, is actually cheaper than treating the myriad problems that go with going cheap or not treating.

No comments:

Post a Comment