Clinical effect of probiotics in prevention or treatment of gastrointestinal disease in dogs: A systematic review

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Gastrointestinal diseases are prevalent in dogs, and probiotics could provide safe alternatives to conventional treatments.

To evaluate the clinical effects of probiotics when used in the prevention or treatment of gastrointestinal disease in dogs compared with no treatment, only symptomatic treatment, or conventional treatment.

A systematic review was preformed searching AGRICOLA, AGRIS, CAB Abstracts, Embase, Ovid MEDLINE, and Web of Science to identify articles published before April 1, 2017. Selection criteria were original research report, those published in peer reviewed journal, and study investigating in vivo use of probiotic for prevention or treatment of gastrointestinal disease in dogs. Studies were rated based on the level of evidence, and methodological quality was evaluated by the following variables: similarities between groups at baseline, risk of bias, and study group size.

One hundred sixty‐five studies were identified, of which 17 met the inclusion criteria—12 concerned acute gastrointestinal disease and 5 concerned chronic gastrointestinal disease. The level of evidence ranged between randomized controlled studies and crossover uncontrolled trials; estimated risk of bias was generally moderate to high; and sample sizes were small. Feces consistency was the most frequently evaluated clinical variable.

Conclusions and Clinical Importance
The current data point toward a very limited and possibly clinically unimportant effect for prevention or treatment of acute gastrointestinal disease. For chronic gastrointestinal disease, dietary intervention remains the major key in treatment, whereas probiotic supplement seems not to add significant improvement. However, studies were often underpowered, underscoring the need for future larger, preferably multicenter studies.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Number of pages16
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2019

ID: 224335654