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Inulin versus Antibiotics - how antibiotics affect the microbiome of dogs.

Tylosin is an antibiotic commonly used to manage antibiotic-responsive diarrhea (not sure how this is determined prior to treatment), inflammatory bowel disease, or treat cryptosporidiosis and colitis. How do antibiotics affect the microbiome?

The effect on the microbiome is gut bacteria dysbiosis (imbalance), a rapid and significant decline of diversity (ie the number of species and the richness of each within the microbiome).

Biodiversity within the microbiome correlates to health, stability and a healthy immune response.

Following treatment with antibiotics, some bacteria species recover but many don’t, and return to the pretreatment status is rarely achieved. Many good gut bacteria species are reduced including those with specialist jobs such as bifidobacteria and verrucomicrobia, linked to metabolism and the endocrine system.

a dog sittng in a basket
antibiotics can alter the microbiome

To support of the microbe community and/or recovery post-treatment or during treatment with antibiotics is as follows.

Increase the amount of non-digestible fibre (prebiotic) such as beet pulp to increase the biome percentage of Firmicutes ( responsible for vitamin production and making minerals available) and Clostridia (immune response and function) whilst decreasing Erysipelotrichi (biofilm formation), and Fusobacteria (associated with inflammation).

Psyllium husk is also as effective, 10g soaked per day for a small dog, double that for a large dog.

Increase inulin to increase SCFA production (energy, vitality, gut health, and immune function), inulin will also decrease pathogenic bacteria.

Worth then trying the inulin before the antibiotics?

Inulin supplements contain fructans from chicory roots or artichokes, a teaspoon per day can be safely added to the diet of all dogs.

chicory root with flowers
inulin from chicory root

Hall, Edward, and Alexander German. “Diseases of the Small Intestine.” Textbook of Veterinary Internal Medicine, Elsevier, 2017.

Shang, H In vitro and in vivo antioxidant activities of inulin. Public Library of Science. Jan 2018; 13 (2): e0192273.

Simpson, Kenneth W, and Albert E Jergens. “Pitfalls and Progress in the Diagnosis and Management of Canine Inflammatory Bowel Disease.” Veterinary Clinics of North America: Small Animal Practice, vol. 41, no. 2, 2011, pp. 381–398.

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