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Effects of probiotic bacteria in dogs with food responsive diarrhoea treated with an elimination diet*


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    In part presented at the 59th Annual Meeting of the Society for Nutrition and Physiology, Stuttgart, Germany, 8–10 March 2005.

Stephanie Sauter, Division of Animal Nutrition and Physiology, Institute of Animal Genetics, Nutrition and Housing, University of Bern, Bremgartenstrasse 109A, CH-3012-Bern, Switzerland. E-mail:


We evaluated whether a probiotic supplementation in dogs with food responsive diarrhoea (FRD) has beneficial effects on intestinal cytokine patterns and on microbiota. Twenty-one client-owned dogs with FRD were presented for clinically needed duodeno- and colonoscopy and were enrolled in a prospective placebo (PL)-controlled probiotic trial. Intestinal tissue samples and faeces were collected during endoscopy. Intestinal mRNA abundance of interleukin (IL)-5, -10, -12p40 and -13, tumour necrosis factor-α, transforming growth factor-β1 and interferon (IFN)-γ were analysed and numbers of Lactobacillus spp., Bifidobacterium spp., Enterococcus spp. and Enterobacteriaceae and supplemented probiotic bacteria were determined in faeces. The Canine Inflammatory Bowel Disease Activity Index, a scoring system comprising general attitude, appetite, faecal consistency, defecation frequency, and vomitus, decreased in all dogs (p < 0.0001). Duodenal IL-10 mRNA levels decreased (p = 0.1) and colonic IFN-γ mRNA levels increased (p = 0.08) after probiotic treatment. Numbers of Enterobacteriaceae decreased in FRD dogs receiving probiotic cocktail (FRDPC) and FRD dogs fed PL (FRDPL) during treatment (p < 0.05), numbers of Lactobacillus spp. increased in FRDPC after when compared with FRDPC before (p < 0.1). One strain of PC was detected in five of eight FRDPC dogs after probiotic supplementation. In conclusion, all dogs clinically improved after treatment, but cytokine patterns were not associated with the clinical features irrespective of the dietary supplementation.