Characterization of naturally developing small intestinal bacterial overgrowth in 16 German shepherd dogs. Academic Article uri icon


  • Sixteen German Shepherd Dogs were found, via quantitative microbial culture of intestinal fluid samples, to have small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (IBO) over an 11-month period. All dogs were deficient in serum IgA. Consistent clinical signs suggestive of an alimentary tract disorder were not observed. Serum cobalamin determinations were not helpful in detecting IBO. Serum folate concentrations had variable sensitivity and specificity for detecting dogs from which we could culture > or = 1 x 10(5) bacterial/ml from intestinal fluid samples in the nonfed state. Histologic and intestinal mucosal cytologic examinations were not useful in detecting IBO. Substantial within-dog and between-dog variation was found in the numbers and species of bacteria in the intestines. The difficulty in diagnosing IBO, the variability in organisms found in individual dogs on repeated sampling, the likelihood that intestinal fluid microbial cultures failed to diagnose IBO in some dogs, and the potential of IBO to be clinically inapparent were the most important findings in this study.

author list (cited authors)

  • Willard, M. D., Simpson, R. B., Fossum, T. W., Cohen, N. D., Delles, E. K., Kolp, D. L., Carey, D. P., & Reinhart, G. A.

citation count

  • 34

publication date

  • April 1994