This study was designed to test the hypothesis that in cats with chronic diarrhea the daily administration of a proprietary synbiotic (Proviable-DC) would result in an improvement in stool character, as assessed by the owner. Adult cats with chronic diarrhea were recruited for the study and screened for systemic diseases. Fecal flotation, wet mount, immunofluorescence assay (IFA) for Giardia and Cryptosporidium species, and Tritrichomonas species polymerase chain reactions (PCRs) were used to screen for intestinal parasitism. The synbiotic was administered for 21 days; otherwise, no changes were made to ongoing treatment(s) or diet. The severity of the diarrhea was assessed using a standardized fecal scoring system and the owner's subjective perception before, and after, supplementation. The mean fecal score for the 53 cats completing the study decreased from 6.0 to 4.4, representing a significantly (P <0.001) firmer stool character. Seventy-two percent of owners perceived an improvement in their cat's diarrhea following a 21-day course of synbiotic supplementation.
"Probiotics use in cats with diarrhoea has shown an improvement in faecal quality (Hart et al. 2012). Studies of Lactobacillus acidophilus in dogs and cats have shown a decrease in clostridial species. "
"Chronic enteropathies, such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) have been associated with changes in the proportions of specific bacterial groups, especially Enterobacteriaceae and Desulfovibrio spp. in some studies (Inness et al., 2007; Janeczko et al., 2008). Conversely, some recent clinical studies suggest that the administration of specific bacterial strains or products intended to alter the intestinal microbiota (i.e., probiotics, prebiotics, or synbiotics) have the potential to improve the frequency and/or duration of diarrhea in a subset of cats with specific acute or chronic GI diseases (Bybee et al., 2011; Hart et al., 2012). While the cat is an obligate carnivore, most commercial feline diets contain moderate quantities of carbohydrates. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The close relationship between gastrointestinal (GI) microbiota and its host has an impact on the health status of an animal that reaches beyond the GI tract. A balanced microbiome stimulates the immune system, aids in the competitive exclusion of transient pathogens and provides nutritional benefits to the host. With recent rapid advances in high-throughput sequencing technology, molecular approaches have become the routinely used tools for ecological studies of the feline microbiome, and have revealed a highly diverse and complex intestinal ecosystem in the feline GI tract. The major bacterial groups are similar to those found in other mammals, with Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, Actinobacteria and Proteobacteria constituting more than 99% of intestinal microbiota. Several nutritional studies have demonstrated that the feline microbiota can be modulated by the amount of soluble fibers (i.e., prebiotics) and macronutrients (i.e., protein content) in the diet. Initial clinical studies have suggested the presence of a dysbiosis in feline inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Recently, metagenomic approaches have attempted to characterize the microbial gene pool. However, more studies are needed to describe the phylogenetic and functional changes in the intestinal microbiome in disease states and in response to environmental and dietary modulations. This paper reviews recent studies cataloging the microbial phylotypes in the GI tract of cats.
Animal Health Research Reviews 06/2012; 13(1):64-77. DOI:10.1017/S1466252312000060
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Approximately 15% of foster kittens die before 8 weeks of age, with most of these kittens demonstrating clinical signs or
postmortem evidence of enteritis. While a specific cause of enteritis is not determined in most cases, these kittens are often
empirically administered probiotics that contain enterococci. The enterococci are members of the commensal intestinal microbiota
but also can function as opportunistic pathogens. Given the complicated role of enterococci in health and disease, it would
be valuable to better understand what constitutes a “healthy” enterococcal community in these kittens and how this microbiota
is impacted by severe illness. In this study, we characterized the ileum mucosa-associated enterococcal community of 50 apparently
healthy and 50 terminally ill foster kittens. In healthy kittens, Enterococcus hirae was the most common species of ileum mucosa-associated enterococci and was often observed to adhere extensively to the small
intestinal epithelium. These E. hirae isolates generally lacked virulence traits. In contrast, non-E. hirae enterococci, notably Enterococcus faecalis, were more commonly isolated from the ileum mucosa of kittens with terminal illness. Isolates of E. faecalis had numerous virulence traits and multiple antimicrobial resistances. Moreover, the attachment of Escherichia coli to the intestinal epithelium was significantly associated with terminal illness and was not observed in any kitten with adherent
E. hirae. These findings identify a significant difference in the species of enterococci cultured from the ileum mucosa of kittens
with terminal illness compared to the species cultured from healthy kittens. In contrast to prior case studies that associated
enteroadherent E. hirae with diarrhea in young animals, these controlled studies identified E. hirae as more often isolated from healthy kittens and adherence of E. hirae as more common and extensive in healthy kittens than in sick kittens.
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