Bovine colostrum has developed a reputation for being a super-supplement for conditioning and weight gain in human beings. However, bovine colostrum can also provide benefits to newborn puppies that are doing poorly, as well as being a conditioning supplement when used for adult dogs.
What is bovine colostrum?
Drugs.com states that colostrum is the fluid that a cow produces prior to regular milk production, lasting for approximately two to four days after the calf is born. Colostrum has no known toxicity and is "a rich natural source of nutrients, antibodies and growth factors for the newborn."
General Uses of Bovine Colostrum
According to Drugs.com, bovine colostrum shows some efficacy in treating diarrhoea and heliobacter, a bacteria that colonises the stomach lining and is responsible for gastritis, gastric ulcers and possibly gastric cancer. Bovine colostrum is also used to boost the immune system and shows some potential for enhancing protein production.
Bovine Colostrum Use for Puppies
Veterinarian Stephen Blake states that "failure to thrive" puppies can be supplemented with powdered bovine colostrum mixed with water up to four times a day while they are at risk. Older puppies may benefit from once daily supplementation as well.
Bovine Colostrum for Mature Dogs
Mature dogs can benefit from the immune support bovine colostrum provides. It might also act as a conditioning agent, as it does in humans.
Difficulties in Using Bovine Colostrum
Bovine colostrum doses are inconsistent, due to the natural variation in antibody content between supplies. Flatulence, mild diarrhoea and nausea may accompany initial use. The effects of bovine colostrum on developing puppies are unknown.