Ask Dr. Bill | Colostrum and the Immune System

Puppy

Why is Colostrum important for the immune health for dogs and cats?

An animal’s immune system is one of the most important factors in achieving and maintaining health throughout life. The immune system is made up of multiple components including lymph nodes, thymus, various blood cells, and special organs found throughout the body like the lungs and gut. Having a strong immune system protects the body from bacteria, viruses, yeasts, molds, fungi, parasites, and even cancer.

Many things throughout life can affect the immune system’s ability to self-heal and protect the body such as poor nutrition, inflammation, toxins in the environment, lack of or excessive exercise, and stress. When it comes to poor nutrition, the immune system requires a constant supply of energy and specialty nutrients in order to maintain optimum function and performance – one of these special nutrients is colostrum.

Mother’s milk contains colostrum and it is important that all newborn dogs and cats receive it during their first 18 hours of life. Colostrum is rich in antibodies, growth factors, immunoglobulins, and other special nutrients that provide temporary, passive immunity for about 8 weeks while the animal’s own immune system continues to develop to a point where it can start functioning and begin to protect itself naturally.

 

Why do you use Bovine colostrum in your supplement?

The immune system needs to be supported in order to remain strong, especially in animals that show signs of a weakened immune system or in senior pets whose immune system has begun to decline. One known supporter is Bovine colostrum, which contains the same specific immunoglobulin G (IgG) dogs and cats naturally have that protect against bacterial, viral, and other antigens attempting to enter through the gut. My Canine and Feline Immune Support supplement contains Bovine colostrum and many other essential nutrients that help maintain your pet’s immune system.

Bovine colostrum also contains Lactoferrin, a known immunostimulant, as well as colostrinin, another immunomodulatory substance. Additional benefits of bovine colostrum include the ability to “turn off” inflammation and reduce oxidative stress by providing high levels of antioxidants both known for their health benefits and life-extending properties.

 

When it comes to overall pet health, proactively supporting their immune systems will do more to keep our dogs and cats healthy than just about anything else throughout life.

– W. M. Barnett, DVM