Send to

Choose Destination
Benef Microbes. 2018 Jan 29;9(1):101-110. doi: 10.3920/BM2017.0023. Epub 2017 Oct 25.

Effects of a probiotic (SLAB51™) on clinical and histologic variables and microbiota of cats with chronic constipation/megacolon: a pilot study.

Author information

1 School of Biosciences and Veterinary Medicine, University of Camerino, Via Circonvallazione 93/95, 62024 Matelica, Italy.
2 College of Veterinary Medicine, Iowa State University, 1800 Christensen Drive, Ames, IA 50011-1134, USA.
3 Gastroenterology & Hepatology Section, Department of Medicine, University of Perugia Medical School, Santa Maria della Misericordia Hospital, Piazzale Menghini 1, 06156 Perugia, Italy.
4 Clinic 'St. Antonio', Strada Statale 415, km 38,50, 26020 Madignano (CR), Italy.
5 Gastrointestinal Laboratory, Texas A&M University, College Station 4474, 77843 TX, USA.


Chronic constipation (CC) and idiopathic megacolon (IMC) occur frequently in cats. The aim of the study was to investigate the effects of a multi-strain probiotic (SLAB51™) in constipated cats (n=7) and in patients with megacolon and constipation (n=3). Ten pet cats with a diagnosis of chronic constipation, non-responsive to medical management received orally 2×1011 bacteria daily for 90 days. For microbiota analysis, selected bacterial groups were analysed by qPCR. Histological samples in megacolons were evaluated for interstitial cells of Cajal (ICC), enteric neurons, and neuronal apoptosis. Biopsies were compared at baseline (T0) and after the end of treatment (T1), and with those obtained from healthy control tissues (archived material from five healthy cats). Constipated cats displayed significantly lower ICC, and cats with idiopathic megacolon had significantly more apoptotic enteric neurons than controls. After treatment with SLAB51™, significant decreases were observed for feline chronic enteropathy activity index (FCEAI) (P=0.006), faecal consistency score, and mucosal histology scores (P<0.001). In contrast, a significant increase of ICC was observed after probiotic therapy. Lactobacillus spp. and Bacteroidetes were increased significantly after treatment (comparing constipated cats before and after treatment, and control healthy cats to constipated cats after treatment), but no other differences in microbiota were found between healthy controls and constipated cats. Treatment with SLAB51™ in cats with chronic constipation and idiopathic megacolon showed significant clinical improvement after treatment, and histological parameters suggest a potential anti-inflammatory effect of SLAB51™, associated with a reduction of mucosal infiltration, and restoration of the number of interstitial cells of Cajal.


cats; constipation/megacolon; enteric nervous system; microbiota; probiotics

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon
Loading ...
Support Center