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Clinical Trial ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Vet. Sci. | doi: 10.3389/fvets.2019.00163

A Randomized Double Blinded Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial of a Probiotic or Metronidazole for Acute Canine Diarrhea

  • 1Department of Comparative, Diagnostic, and Population Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, United States
  • 2Department of Animal Medicine, Production and Health, University of Padua, Italy
  • 3Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, United States

Acute diarrhea is a common, often self-limiting, cause of presentation for veterinary care, yet there is a paucity of data on frequently-prescribed treatments. The purpose of this randomized, double blinded placebo-controlled clinical trial was to compare two anecdotally-recommended treatments: a probiotic combination and metronidazole. Sixty dogs without concurrent comorbidities were randomized into three treatment groups. The time to resolution of diarrheal signs was evaluated using owner surveys and fecal scoring charts. Dogs presenting with acute diarrhea achieved acceptable fecal consistency after 3.5±2.2 days when receiving probiotic, 4.6±2.4 days with oral metronidazole, and 4.8±2.9 days with placebo; statistically significant differences were not identified between treatment groups (p=0.17). These findings failed to provide evidence for the common use of metronidazole in this cohort of dogs with acute canine diarrhea, and a larger study population would be required to identify a statistically significant effect of probiotics.

Keywords: probiotic, Diarrhea, Metronidazole, Colitis, canine (dog), dietary indiscretion, Acute diarrhea, randomized clinical trial (RCT)

Received: 11 Jan 2019; Accepted: 13 May 2019.

Edited by:

Kris Gommeren, University of Liège, Belgium

Reviewed by:

Sophie Adamantos, Langford Vets, United Kingdom
Lisa Smart, Murdoch University, Australia  

Copyright: © 2019 Shmalberg, Montalbano, Morelli and Buckley. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Justin W. Shmalberg, Department of Comparative, Diagnostic, and Population Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, 32610-0123, Florida, United States,