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Effect of a Commercially Available Electrolyte Solution on Acute, Non-Specific Diarrhea in Dogs

DOI: 10.4236/ojvm.2023.134004, PP. 33-39

Keywords: Diarrhea, Electrolyte, Giardia, Coccidia

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Abstract:

Purpose: To determine if a commercially available electrolyte solution is safe and lessens the duration and severity of diarrhea in shelter dogs in stressful situations. Methods: In Experiment 1, six healthy beagles were administered the protocol-approved dose of the electrolyte solution to evaluate clinical, biochemical, or fecal microbiome changes. In Experiment 2, 22 dogs with small or large bowel diarrhea were randomized into one of three groups: the electrolyte solution and a prescription veterinary diet, a placebo and a prescription veterinary diet, or the electrolyte solution and a standard diet. A fecal score was assigned by trained, masked observers through Day 5 using the Purina 7-point fecal scoring system. All dogs were screened for enteric parasites by fecal flotation and the use of a fluorescence antibody assay for Giardia spp. cysts and Cryptosporidium spp. oocysts and all dogs that were parasitized were administered fenbendazole for five days. Results: In Experiment 1, all dogs tolerated the electrolyte solution with no vomiting or diarrhea noted and there was no evidence of negative effects on the gastrointestinal microbiome. In Experiment 2, 16 of the 22 dogs enrolled in the study had a normal stool the day after the first dose of the electrolyte solution, prescription diet, or placebo. All six dogs with the first day of normal stool detected after Day 1 were parasitized. When the days to normalcy were compared, the parasitized dogs had a significantly slower resolution (P = 0.018) than dogs with no parasites regardless of the other treatment group. Conclusions and Relevance: The results of the study suggest that this electrolyte solution is safe for use in dogs and that adding the electrolyte solution to a standard diet is equivalent to using a therapeutic diet alone or the electrolyte solution combined with a therapeutic diet.

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