Amazing Artwork by: (http://jmirman.deviantart.com/)
I love my dog. There are no ifs, ands or buts about it. He makes me smile, cry, excited and scared at times but at the end of it all, he is one of my closest friends. How would you feel if one of your best friends was really sick? You would be worried and concerned and want to help them in any way you could right? That’s exactly how I felt when my family and I found out that my dog, Ares, had worms. Yes worms. Ew.
Worms are one of pet owner’s worst nightmares but are also the most common health problem for dogs. How did we know he had worms? He habitually kept rubbing his butt on the ground also known as “scooting”. At first, watching him do it made me giggle a little but then I realized he wasn’t doing it for my amusement but rather he seemed to get some kind of relief from it, like he was getting rid of an itch. From that moment, there was no hesitation and straight to the vet we went.
Ares’ favourite vet explained to us the various non-toxic worm remedies that we could use such as common herbs, ground pumpkin seeds as well as pureed carrots. But what fascinated me the most was that she suggested digestive enzymes such as bromelain and papain to take care of the problem.
Figure 1 showing the structure of Bromelain
Figure 2 showing the structure of Papain
In my Biochemistry class, we are learning more and more on the topic of enzymes which has always been interesting to me, especially since they are so amazingly powerful and efficient. In the lecture (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qcA57r2gBL8) my teacher defined enzymes as biological catalysts that speed up a chemical reaction by providing an alternative pathway with a lower activation energy.
Bromelain and papain are proteolytic enzymes, this means that they break down proteins. Bromelain comes from pineapple while papain is derived from papaya plants. These enzymes can be taken as supplements to aid in the battle against intestinal worms as well as digestive issues. The supplemental enzymes are corrosive towards the outer coating of the worms thus making them weak and forcing their grip away from the intestines. Once their protective outer “skin” is gone, they can then be burned by the body’s digestive juices. Yes, those parasites can turn into mush!
Bromelain and papain are not only useful for getting rid of those intruders but they also promote muscle contractions, reduce inflammation from wounds and reduce swelling.
Once we finally gave Ares his meds, a week later he was back to his normal self again, running, jumping biting O.O… but no more butt rubbing YAY! Once again, superheroes bromelain and papain save the day and all is well in the world of Ares.