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J Vet Intern Med. 2011 Jul-Aug;25(4):856-60. doi: 10.1111/j.1939-1676.2011.0738.x. Epub 2011 Jun 20.

Effect of the probiotic Enterococcus faecium SF68 on presence of diarrhea in cats and dogs housed in an animal shelter.

Author information

1
Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523-1678, USA. shawn.bybee@gmail.com

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Beneficial effects of probiotics have never been analyzed in an animal shelter.

HYPOTHESIS:

Dogs and cats housed in an animal shelter and administered a probiotic are less likely to have diarrhea of ≥2 days duration than untreated controls.

ANIMALS:

Two hundred and seventeen cats and 182 dogs.

METHODS:

Double blinded and placebo controlled. Shelter dogs and cats were housed in 2 separate rooms for each species. For 4 weeks, animals in 1 room for each species was fed Enterococcus faecium SF68 while animals in the other room were fed a placebo. After a 1-week washout period, the treatments by room were switched and the study continued an additional 4 weeks. A standardized fecal score system was applied to feces from each animal every day by a blinded individual. Feces of animals with and without diarrhea were evaluated for enteric parasites. Data were analyzed by a generalized linear mixed model using a binomial distribution with treatment being a fixed effect and the room being a random effect.

RESULTS:

The percentage of cats with diarrhea ≥2 days was significantly lower (P = .0297) in the probiotic group (7.4%) when compared with the placebo group (20.7%). Statistical differences between groups of dogs were not detected but diarrhea was uncommon in both groups of dogs during the study.

CONCLUSION AND CLINICAL IMPORTANCE:

Cats fed SF68 had fewer episodes of diarrhea of ≥2 days when compared with controls suggests the probiotic may have beneficial effects on the gastrointestinal tract.

PMID:
21689152
DOI:
10.1111/j.1939-1676.2011.0738.x
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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