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Vet Microbiol. 2004 Jul 14;101(3):161-6.

Oxalate degradation by intestinal lactic acid bacteria in dogs and cats.

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Department of Clinical Studies, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ont., Canada.


This study evaluated the ability of the lactic acid bacteria (LAB) component of canine and feline feces to degrade oxalate in vitro. Oxalate degradation by individual canine-origin LAB was also evaluated. The effects of various prebiotics on in vitro oxalate degradation by selected oxalate-degrading canine LAB was also evaluated. Canine fecal samples reduced oxalate levels by 78 +/- 12.2% (mean +/- S.D.; range: 44-97%, median: 81%). Feline results were similar, with oxalate reduction of 69.7 +/- 16.7% (mean +/- S.D.; range: 40-96%, median: 73%). Thirty-seven lactic acid bacteria were isolated from canine fecal samples. Mean oxalate degradation was 17.7 +/- 16.6% (mean +/- S.D.; range: 0-65%, median: 13%). No oxalate degradation was detected for four (11%) isolates, and 10/37 (27%) degraded less than 10% of oxalate. The effects of lactitol, arabinogalactan, guar gum, gum Arabic, inulin, maltodextrin or a commercial fructooligosaccharide (FOS) product on in vitro oxalate degradation by five canine LAB isolates were highly variable, even within the same bacterial species. Overall, in vitro degradation was significantly greater with guar gum compared to arabinogalactan (P < 0.05), gum Arabic (P < 0.05), and lactitol (P < 0.01). This study suggests that manipulation of the LAB component of the canine and feline gastrointestinal microflora may decrease intestinal oxalate, and correspondingly intestinal oxalate absorption and renal excretion, thus potentially reducing oxalate urolithiasis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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