The Intestinal Microbiome in Dogs with Chronic Enteropathies and Cobalamin Deficiency or Normocobalaminemia-A Comparative Study. Academic Article uri icon


  • Cobalamin deficiency is a common sequela of chronic enteropathies (CE) in dogs. Studies comparing the intestinal microbiome of CE dogs with cobalamin deficiency to those that are normocobalaminemic are lacking. Therefore, our aim was to describe the fecal microbiome in a prospective, comparative study evaluating 29 dogs with CE and cobalamin deficiency, 18 dogs with CE and normocobalaminemia, and 10 healthy control dogs. Dogs with cobalamin deficiency were also analyzed after oral or parenteral cobalamin supplementation. Overall microbiome composition (beta diversity) at baseline was significantly different in CE dogs with cobalamin deficiency when compared to those with normocobalaminemia (p = 0.001, R = 0.257) and to healthy controls (p = 0.001, R = 0.363). Abundances of Firmicutes and Actinobacteria were significantly increased (q = 0.010 and 0.049), while those of Bacteroidetes and Fusobacteria were significantly decreased (q = 0.002 and 0.014) in CE dogs with cobalamin deficiency when compared to healthy controls. Overall microbiome composition in follow-up samples remained significantly different after 3 months in both dogs receiving parenteral (R = 0.420, p = 0.013) or oral cobalamin supplementation (R = 0.251, p = 0.007). Because cobalamin supplementation, in combination with appropriate therapy, failed to restore the microbiome composition in the dogs in our study, cobalamin is unlikely to be the cause of those microbiome changes but rather an indicator of differences in underlying pathophysiology that do not influence clinical severity but result in a significant aggravation of dysbiosis.

published proceedings

  • Animals (Basel)

author list (cited authors)

  • Toresson, L., Suchodolski, J. S., Spillmann, T., Lopes, B. C., Shih, J., Steiner, J. M., & Pilla, R.

citation count

  • 0

publication date

  • April 2023