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BMC Vet Res. 2013 Dec 5;9:246. doi: 10.1186/1746-6148-9-246.

Effects of a synbiotic on fecal quality, short-chain fatty acid concentrations, and the microbiome of healthy sled dogs.

Author information

1
Department of Clinical Sciences, Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, Ithaca, NY, USA. jw37@cornell.edu.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Sled dogs commonly suffer from diarrhea. Although multiple etiologies exist there are limited field studies using synbiotics as a supplement to prevent or treat diarrhea. The objective of this study was to examine alterations in fecal quality, short-chain fatty acids (SCFA), and the fecal microbiome in two groups of training sled dogs fed a synbiotic or microcrystalline cellulose placebo. Twenty clinically healthy training sled dogs randomized into two cohorts (9 synbiotic-fed, 8 placebo-fed) for a 6 week prospective study were examined. Fecal pH and fecal short chain fatty acid (SCFA) concentrations were measured and tag-encoded FLX 16S rDNA amplicon pyrosequencing (bTEFAP) and quantitative real-time PCR were performed at baseline (10 d prior to the study) and after 2 weeks of treatment with a total treatment time of 6 weeks. Fecal scores for all dogs were assessed at baseline and every day for 6 wk after initiation of treatment.

RESULTS:

Alterations in the fecal microbiome were observed with a significant rise in Lactobacillaceae in the synbiotic group (P = 0.004) after 2 wk of treatment. A positive correlation was found between Lactobacillaceae and overall butyrate concentration (R = 0.62, p = 0.011) in all dogs. After 5 wk of treatment, there was an improved fecal score and fewer days of diarrhea (Χ2 = 5.482, P = 0.019) in the dogs given synbiotic, which coincided with a presumed contagious outbreak shared by all dogs in the study.

CONCLUSIONS:

Use of this synbiotic results in an increase in presumed beneficial bacterial flora of the host colon which was associated with a decrease in the prevalence of diarrhea in training sled dogs.

PMID:
24313995
PMCID:
PMC4029452
DOI:
10.1186/1746-6148-9-246
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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