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  • Author or Editor: C. A. Bremer x
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To describe the outcome of dietary management of canine noninfectious acute colitis with or without concurrent oral administration of metronidazole using a randomized controlled clinical trial.


59 client-owned dogs with noninfectious acute colitis.


Dogs with acute noninfectious colitis were enrolled in a 30-day diet trial after exclusion of parasitic infectious etiologies (fecal centrifugation floatation, Giardia/Cryptosporidium antigen testing) and systemic disease (CBC, biochemistry, urinalysis). Dogs were randomized into 3 placebo-controlled groups: group 1, easily digestible diet + placebo tablet; group 2, easily digestible diet + metronidazole tablet; and group 3, psyllium-enhanced easily digestible diet + placebo tablet. Dogs were evaluated serially using fecal scoring for time to remission, average fecal score, relapse after remission, and dysbiosis index.


Median remission time was significantly different among the 3 groups (P < .01) with median times of 5 days (range, 4 to 10) for group 1, 8.5 days (range, 7 to 12) for group 2, and 5 days (range, 3 to 6) for group 3. Metronidazole addition affected the fecal dysbiosis index negatively at days 7 to 10. No adverse effects or complications were noted throughout the study.


For canine noninfectious acute colitis, dietary management with an easily digestible diet with or without psyllium enhancement proved a superior management strategy compared to metronidazole. The omission of metronidazole reduced the adverse impact significantly on intestinal microbiota. Longitudinal clinical trials are necessary to compare the long-term response, stability, and complications associated with dietary management alone versus combined dietary and antimicrobial therapy for canine acute colitis.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association