San Diego Local Community News

Carlsbad Veterinarian’s Integrative Approach and Powerful Probiotics Are Helping Pets Live Longer and Healthier Lives.
By Adrienne Moch
The day you bring home a dog or cat is full of excitement and joy as you welcome a new family member. Whether you are crazy about canines or fond of felines, you look forward to lavishing your four-legged friend with love for a long time — but you know the end may come sooner than you wish.
The average lifespan for dogs and cats is 10 to 13 years. And while U.S. pet owners prove over and over again they’re willing to go to great lengths to ensure their dogs and cats live as long as possible — spending $18.11 billion in 2018 on veterinary care — a longer life doesn’t necessarily mean a healthier life. Carlsbad veterinarian Zoran Djordjevich, known as Dr. Zoran or Dr. Z, is at the forefront of the movement to change that. With a reputation that reaches across America, Dr. Z combines Eastern and Western medicine with an integrative approach that includes advanced technology and surgical techniques, nutraceuticals, stem cells, and specific probiotics to help his patients live longer, happier, and healthier lives.


Meet Dr. Zoran “Dr. Z” Djordjevich — Carlsbad’s Thought Leader in Veterinary Care

Growing up on a farm in Serbia, Dr. Zoran Djordjevich developed his love for animals at an early age and knew he wanted to become a veterinarian. He earned his DVM from the University of Belgrade, and after serving as an associate at the Royal Veterinary College in London for many years, he immigrated to the U.S. in 1994.
Settling in the Golden State, Dr. Zoran prepared for his boards at UC Davis before obtaining his California license and practicing for a few years in Sacramento. In 1998, he moved to the San Diego area and joined Mohnacky Animal Hospitals in Carlsbad as chief medical director. Since then, he has immersed himself in researching and developing the latest techniques for veterinary surgery, including a combination of stem cells and orthopedic procedures and uses his integrative approach with animals to provide exceptional care. “Obviously, my patients can’t talk to me, but over the years I’ve developed a sixth sense that helps me to connect and tap into what is really going on for them, and from there, I become their advocate,” Dr. Zoran said. “Unfortunately, animals often believe their pain is normal; they don’t understand it’s not normal to be uncomfortable. That is why I have made it my mission to synthesize an Eastern, alternative and Western approach to help enhance and optimize the animal’s ultimate healing potential.”
Dr. Zoran is a leader in the area of emerging orthopedic surgeries and is an internationally recognized veterinarian. He was the first to introduce the smallest Helica cup for hip replacement in 2007. He has performed thousands of surgeries involving breakthrough integrative treatments with extremely high success rates that have earned Dr. Z a world-wide following of pet owners.
A healer at heart, Dr. Z has spent his entire career in the trenches of research and development for cutting-edge modalities that will help animals live longer, healthier, and happier lives. He’s been using stem cell therapy for the past 12 years and supplementing standard treatments with platelet-rich plasma, marigold oil, and probiotics to help prevent and enhance treatments for many common pet ailments.
“We’ve been fighting a tough battle when it comes to food allergies, cancer, and chronic diseases such as auto-immune disease and diabetes,” Dr. Zoran said. “But that doesn’t mean we should give up.”
Breakthrough Treatments
Dr. Z is known for his cutting-edge healing modalities and for thinking outside the box when it comes to getting the best results for his patients, starting with his integrative medical approach. When standard treatments don’t provide a solution and he reaches a dead end, he looks toward an alternative holistic approach; he doesn’t throw in the towel.
“In many instances, I have the honor of seeing my patients for their entire lives — from the day they’re born to the day they die — and I feel a huge responsibility to ensure they have the best quality of life for all their days,” he said.
Even cancer patients have benefited from his alternative approach, and animals that present with potentially fatal illnesses and disease have rebounded under his care time after time.
Dr. Zoran knows pet parents want to keep their four-legged family members alive as long as possible, but like him, they don’t want their animals to needlessly suffer. He uses stem cells to help pets with kidney problems and spinal cord issues, and he enjoys great success in treating osteoarthritis and other joint problems to help pets lead healthier and happier lives.

Dr. Z at home in his clinic

The Power of Probiotics
Many of us are familiar with probiotics being marketed to humans as a way to fortify our digestive systems with healthy bacteria — promoting health and wellness. In fact, the word “probiotic” means “for life.” “The gut is like a second brain,” Dr. Zoran said. “Think about it — it’s not uncommon to have a gut feeling about something — and issues like leaky gut can lead to any number of serious health problems.”
Through years of research, Dr. Z has found pets can benefit from probiotics just like humans do, and regulating their gut health can have a significant effect on the health of their immune system. Like us, our pets’ good bacteria that lead to a healthy gut have been under attack from some of the same things — antibiotics, surgeries, food additives, stress, and pain — plus early spaying and neutering, which affects their hormones.
Many pets can benefit from probiotics, which aid in digestion and modulate the immune system. Probiotics produce short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), which inhibit the growth and activity of harmful bacteria such as E. coli, Salmonella, and Clostridium perfringens and provide other benefits to the intestines.
“We’ve seen the use of probiotics have a very positive effect on animals with a variety of health issues,” Dr. Zoran said. “When they require surgery, we see a significant improvement in the final outcome and shorter healing times when we pre-treat with probiotics.”
Dr. Z also uses probiotics as an addition to treatments for skin allergies, infections that don’t respond to antibiotics alone, and cases of irritable bowel syndrome that don’t respond to corticosteroids or diet changes. He believes their widespread use will have a significant effect on the health of many pets, but especially those with high stress levels like shelter animals and those frequently boarded, who often experience diarrhea. However, he cautions that all probiotics are not created equal.
Service dog Sheba in the operating room with Dr. Z

The Dr. Z Line of Pet Probiotics by Natren
While conducting in-depth research into the use of probiotics for pets, Dr. Zoran came to the conclusion that a certain live strain of probiotics was most effective for treatment protocols. Additionally, there was only one company in the world that was manufacturing live probiotics in the manner he concluded was best.
Based in Westlake Village, Calif. since 1982, Natren, Inc. is known as the global leader in human and animal probiotics. The founders of Natren come from a long family tradition of probiotic excellence and a cultural heritage stretching back more than 750 years.
“In my selection process, I researched more than 30 different probiotic manufacturers and their manufacturing facilities and process,” Dr. Zoran said. “Today, I have my whole family, including my pets and my patients, on Natren. I trust Natren because I have been working with their probiotics and generating consistently excellent outcomes for my patients for
years. The founders of Natren are true pioneers of probiotics and pride themselves on quality that delivers results I count on.”
“When it comes to live probiotics, purity, potency, and special technology, as well as how they are made, shipped, and stored, are some of the most important components,” Dr. Z continued. “I obviously wanted to get the best results for the dogs, cats and horses I work with every day, and I knew that some strains and manufacturing processes were more reliable than others. In the final analysis, Natren, the mother of modern probiotics, offers a clearly superior choice when it comes to these important live products.”
Fortunately, access to the same probiotics Dr. Zoran uses professionally does not require a prescription from a veterinarian. Z Line is the exclusive authorized distributor of Natren’s live probiotics for pets and animals.All orders are cold packed and shipped cold directly from Natren’s pharmaceutical-grade manufacturing facility in Westlake Village, Calif. You can learn more about them and order online at

One Patient’s Story

Local rescue dog owner, C. Christie Craig, has a Shar-Pei who has benefited greatly from Dr. Zoran’s care — including his use of probiotics. “Dr. Zoran Djordjevich helped transform the life of my dog,” Christie says. “When I rescued Sheba, her health had been severely compromised. She had growths on her eyes, skin problems, and the worst case of diarrhea that wouldn’t go away. She developed an ear infection and the last vet I had taken her to had damaged both of her eardrums.
“At my wit’s end, a horse trainer friend of mine referred me to Dr. Zoran and he did his magic. When I brought Sheba home, she had beautiful eyes, her ears had been carefully cleaned with a special tool and she was out of pain. Plus, for the first time, she had normal poop behavior and was no longer shaking her head from her ear pain. She was happy and healthy. “Sheba has been on the pet probiotics for about four years now. They replaced what
was missing — the good gut bacteria — and now she rarely gets infections, skin issues or diarrhea. “Sheba went on to become a trained PTSD service animal for my grandfather, a World War II veteran, and now she is my service dog. I may have rescued Sheba, but Sheba ended up rescuing our whole family — thanks to Dr. Zoran’s expertise and the phenomenal probiotics!”
If you live in the San Diego area and know what it means to love your pet as part of the family, you might want to meet Dr. Z in person. The next time your furry family member is under the weather or needs a checkup, you can find Dr. Z at Mohnacky Animal Hospital in Carlsbad. You and your pet will be glad you did!
Mohnacky Animal Hospitals, Carlsbad, CA (760) 729-3330. Learn more about probiotics at

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