Effects of dietary fructooligosaccharide on selected bacterial populations in feces of dogs.
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OBJECTIVE: To evaluate fecal concentrations of selected genera of colonic bacteria in healthy dogs, and to investigate effects of dietary fructooligosaccharides (FOS) on those bacterial populations. ANIMALS: 6 healthy adult Beagles. PROCEDURE: Dogs were randomly assigned to 2 groups of 3 and fed an unsupplemented diet for 370 days. After 88 days, fecal samples were collected. Another fecal sample was collected from each dog 282 days later. Group A then received a diet supplemented with FOS, and group B continued to receive the unsupplemented diet. Twenty-eight to 29 days later, fecal samples were collected. Diets were switched between groups, and fecal samples were collected 31 and 87 days later. Concentrations of Bifidobacterium spp, Lactobacillus spp, Clostridium spp, Bacteroides spp, and Escherichia coli in freshly collected feces were determined. Effects of diet and time on bacterial concentrations were compared between groups. RESULTS: Bifidobacterium spp and Lactobacillus spp were inconsistently isolated from feces of dogs fed either diet. Sequence of diet significantly affected number of Bacteroides spp subsequently isolated from feces, but diet had no effect on numbers of Clostridium spp or E coli. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Some genera of bacteria (eg, Bifidobacterium) believed to be common components of colonic microflora may be only sporadically isolated from feces of healthy dogs. This deviation from expected fecal flora may have implications for the effectiveness of supplementing diets with prebiotics.
author list (cited authors)
Willard, M. D., Simpson, R. B., Cohen, N. D., & Clancy, J. S.