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  • Author or Editor: Catriona J. Giffard x
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Abstract

Objective—To determine whether feeding activated charcoal, Yucca schidigera, and zinc acetate would ameliorate the frequency and odor characteristics of flatulence in dogs.

Design—In vitro screening of active agents followed by a randomized controlled trial.

Animals—8 adult dogs.

Procedure—A fecal fermentation system was used to assess the effects of activated charcoal, Yucca schidigera, and zinc acetate alone and in combination on total gas production and production of hydrogen sulfide, the primary determinant of flatus malodor in dogs. All 3 agents were subsequently incorporated into edible treats that were fed 30 minutes after the dogs ate their daily rations, and the number, frequency, and odor characteristics of flatulence were measured for 5 hours, using a device that sampled rectal gases and monitored hydrogen sulfide concentrations.

Results—Total gas production and number and frequency of flatulence episodes were unaffected by any of the agents. Production of hydrogen sulfide in vitro was significantly reduced by charcoal, Yucca schidigera, and zinc acetate by 71, 38, and 58%, respectively, and was reduced by 86% by the combination of the 3 agents. Consumption of the 3 agents was associated with a significant decrease (86%) in the percentage of flatulence episodes with bad or unbearable odor and a proportional increase in the percentage of episodes of no or only slightly noticeable odor.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that activated charcoal, Yucca schidigera, and zinc acetate reduce malodor of flatus in dogs by altering the production or availability of hydrogen sulfide in the large intestine. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2001;218: 892–896)

Restricted access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To develop a noninvasive method for the in vivo assessment of flatulence in dogs.

Animals—8 adult dogs.

Procedure—Rectal gases were collected via a perforated tube held close to each dog's anus and attached to a monitoring pump fitted with a sensor that recorded hydrogen sulfide concentrations every 20 seconds. Patterns of flatulence were monitored for 14 hours after feeding on 4 days, and within- and between-dog variation was assessed over 4 hours on 4 consecutive days. Rate of hydrogen sulfide production (flatulence index) and frequency and number of emissions were evaluated as potential indicators of flatus characteristics. An odor judge assigned an odor rating to each flatulence episode, and the relationship between that rating and hydrogen sulfide concentration was determined.

Results—Flatulence patterns varied within and between dogs. Variation was most pronounced for flatulence index; mean coefficients of variance within dogs over time and between dogs on each day were 75 and 103%, respectively. Flatus with hydrogen sulfide concentrations > 1 parts per million could be detected by the odor judge, and severity of malodor was highly correlated with hydrogen sulfide concentration. Odor ratings were accurately predicted by use of the equation 1.51 × hydrogen sulfide concentration0.28.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The technique described in this report appears to provide sensitive, reliable, and relevant data and will enable further studies of the factors that influence flatulence in dogs. Use of this technique also has the potential to aid in investigations of colonic physiology and pathology. (Am J Vet Res 2001;62:1014–1019).

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research