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  • Author or Editor: Craig B. Webb x
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Objective—To determine the effect of oral administration of a silibinin-phosphatidylcholine complex (SPC) on oxidative stress in leukocytes and granulocyte function in healthy cats.

Animals—10 purpose-bred adult cats.

Procedures—Cats were administered SPC (10 mg/kg/d) orally for 5 days; blood samples were collected prior to and immediately after the 5-day treatment period. Leukocytes were incubated with monochlorobimane for detection of reduced glutathione (GSH) via flow cytometry. Leukocytes were also incubated with dihydrorhodamine 123 and mixed with Escherichia coli conjugated to a fluorescent marker to measure E coli phagocytosis and the subsequent oxidative burst via flow cytometry. Activities of the antioxidant enzymes superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase, along with the reduced glutathione-to-oxidized glutathione (GSH:GSSG) ratio and a measure of lipid peroxidation (malondialdehyde concentration [Mmol/L of blood]), were measured spectrophotometrically.

Results—The mean fluorescence intensity (MFI), representing GSH content, increased significantly in feline lymphocytes and granulocytes following 5 days of oral administration of SPC. Mean ± SD lymphocyte MFI significantly increased from 27.8 ± 9.0 to 39.6 ± 6.7, and the granulocyte MFI increased from 508.6 ± 135.6 to 612.1 ± 122.9. Following 5 days of SPC administration, the percentage of phagocytic cells that were responding optimally significantly increased (from 37 ± 11.8% to 45 ± 17.5%). Other measures of oxidative stress did not change significantly.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—In cats, oral administration of supplemental SPC appears to increase granulocyte GSH content and phagocytic function, both of which would be potentially beneficial in cats with diseases associated with oxidative stress.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research



To compare bacterial diversity and community composition among fecal, rectal swab, and colonic mucosal biopsy specimens from dogs and cats with and without chronic enteropathy (CE).


9 healthy dogs, 8 dogs with CE, 8 healthy cats, and 9 cats with CE.


In a cross-sectional study design, fecal, rectal swab, and colonic mucosal biopsy specimens were obtained by colonoscopy from healthy dogs and dogs and cats with CE. Fecal and rectal swab specimens were collected from healthy cats. Genomic DNA was extracted, the 16S rRNA V4 gene region was amplified, and sequencing was performed by use of primers 515F to 806R on a paired-end platform.


For healthy dogs and dogs and cats with CE, bacterial diversity based on the Chao1 estimate of total species richness was higher for colonic mucosal biopsy specimens than for fecal specimens. Analysis of similarities by use of the Bray-Curtis dissimilarity index revealed that the bacterial communities captured in rectal swab specimens were similar to those captured in fecal specimens for healthy dogs and dogs with CE and similar to those captured in colonic mucosal biopsy specimens for both dog groups and cats with CE.


Rectal swab and colonic biopsy specimens were successfully used to characterize the bacteriome of the intestinal tract in dogs and cats by 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Although the specimen types evaluated in this study were not interchangeable in results, rectal swab specimens were practical to collect from dogs and cats to study bacterial composition within the intestinal tract and may provide an alternative to colonic mucosal biopsy and fecal specimens.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research