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Comparison of the Therapeutic Effect of Treatment with Antibiotics or Nutraceuticals on Clinical Activity and the Fecal Microbiome of Dogs with Acute Diarrhea

Comparison of the Therapeutic Effect of Treatment with Antibiotics or Nutraceuticals on Clinical Activity and the Fecal Microbiome of Dogs with Acute Diarrhea

Giulia Pignataro 1,*, Roberta Di Prinzio 1, Paolo Emidio Crisi 1,* , Benedetta Belà 1, Isa Fusaro 1 , Carlo Trevisan 2, Luigi De Acetis 3 and Alessandro Gramenzi 1

Simple Summary

Acute diarrhea in dogs is one of the most common reasons for veterinary visits. Although this disorder is generally self-limiting, antibiotics are still frequently used as treatment for acute diarrhea in clinical practice. Antimicrobial resistance represents a major challenge for public health and requires immediate and drastic solutions. To date, the emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistance has been attributed to the misuse or indiscriminate use of antibiotics. The aim of this study is to compare the effects on clinical activity and fecal microbiota of the administration of an antibiotic combination in comparison to a nutraceutical product in dogs with acute non- hemorrhagic diarrhea. The results of the present study suggest that this nutraceutical treatment had a similar clinical effect compared to the antibiotic formulation and may represent an alternative to commonly used antimicrobial therapy.

Abstract

Dogs with acute diarrhea are often presented to clinical practice and, although this generally represents a self-limiting condition, antibiotics are still frequently used as treatment. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects in dogs with acute non-hemorrhagic diarrhea of the administration of an antibiotic combination in comparison to a nutraceutical product. Thirty dogs were enrolled and randomly assigned to two groups: 15 dogs (group A) received a nutraceutical commercial product while 15 dogs (group B) received an antimicrobial combination of metronidazole and spiramycin. For each dog, the Canine Acute Diarrhea Severity Index, the fecal microbiota and the Dysbiosis Index were assessed. Both stool consistency and frequency decreased on day 2 in the dogs of group A compared to baseline, while in group B, these parameters significantly decreased at days 3 and 4. The global concern for rising antibiotic resistance associated with indiscriminate use of antimicrobials, in both humans and animals, suggests the necessity of avoiding empirical and injudicious use of these molecules in diarrheic dogs. These results suggest that the nutraceutical treatment had a similar clinical effect compared to the antibiotic formulation, representing a valid antibiotic-sparing therapeutic approach in canine acute diarrhea.

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