Fecal microbiota composition changes after a BW loss diet in Beagle dogs

Anna Salas-Mani*, Isabelle Jeusette, Inmaculada Castillo, Carmen L. Manuelian, Clement Lionnet, Neus Iraculis, Nuria Sanchez, Sonia Fernández, Lluís Vilaseca, Celina Torre

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


In developed countries, dogs and cats frequently suffer from obesity. Recently, gut microbiota composition in humans has been related to obesity and metabolic diseases. This study aimed to evaluate changes in body composition, and gut microbiota composition in obese Beagle dogs after a 17-wk BW loss program. A total of six neutered adult Beagle dogs with an average initial BW of 16.34 ± 1.52 kg and BCS of 7.8 ± 0.1 points (9-point scale) were restrictedly fed with a hypocaloric, lowfat and high-fiber dry-type diet. Body composition was assessed with dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry scan, before (T0) and after (T1) BW loss program. Individual stool samples were collected at T0 and T1 for the 16S rRNA analyses of gut microbiota. Taxonomic analysis was done with amplicon-based metagenomic results, and functional analysis of the metabolic potential of the microbial community was done with shotgun metagenomic results. All dogs reached their ideal BW at T1, with an average weekly proportion of BW loss of -1.07 ± 0.03% of starting BW. Body fat (T0, 7.02 ± 0.76 kg) was reduced by half (P < 0.001), while bone (T0, 0.56 ± 0.06 kg) and muscle mass (T0, 8.89 ± 0.80 kg) remained stable (P > 0.05). The most abundant identified phylum was Firmicutes (T0, 74.27 ± 0.08%; T1, 69.38 ± 0.07%), followed by Bacteroidetes (T0, 12.68 ± 0.08%; T1, 16.68 ± 0.05%), Fusobacteria (T0, 7.45 ± 0.02%; T1, 10.18 ± 0.03%), Actinobacteria (T0, 4.53 ± 0.02%; T1, 3.34 ± 0.01%), and Proteobacteria (T0, 1.06 ± 0.01%; T1, 1.40 ± 0.00%). At genus level, the presence of Clostridium, Lactobacillus, and Dorea, at T1 decreased (P = 0.028), while Allobaculum increased (P = 0.046). Although the microbiota communities at T0 and T1 showed a low separation level when compared (Anosim's R value = 0.39), they were significantly biodiverse (P = 0.01). Those differences on microbiota composition could be explained by 13 genus (α = 0.05, linear discriminant analysis (LDA) score > 2.0). Additionally, differences between both communities could also be explained by the expression of 18 enzymes and 27 pathways (α = 0.05, LDA score > 2.0). In conclusion, restricted feeding of a low-fat and high-fiber dry-type diet successfully modifies gut microbiota in obese dogs, increasing biodiversity with a different representation of microbial genus and metabolic pathways.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3102-3111
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of animal Science
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2018


  • Allobaculum
  • Dog
  • Lean
  • Metagenomics
  • Obesity
  • Shotgun


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