Dog microbiome analysis

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Dog microbiome analysis

Postby marenw on Mon Jan 08, 2018 6:08 pm

Hello fermenters! Warning: this post includes discussion of dog bodily functions and waste products. :shock:

For over a year now, I have been feeding my dog Lola 1 TBSP of home-fermented kefir per day. Although she is generally healthy at about 12-13 years old, I started the kefir because she had very occasional (every few months) unexplained bouts of diarrhea and vomiting that would last for a few days each time. Those problems have almost disappeared since she's been getting the kefir, although to be honest it has returned a couple times after an abrupt change in diet.

I bought my kefir grains from a seller on Amazon who seemed knowledgeable and included an extensive guide for getting started and troubleshooting. I live in a mid-sized city in Louisiana and don't really have access to anything fancy as far as milk goes, so the milk that I use is just regular store brand 2%. (Not organic--I know the UHT milk doesn't play well with grains.) I also drink a cup of the kefir per day myself.

This year I came across an interesting crowdfunded research project at [url][/url] that aims to analyze the stool of a large sample of healthy dogs, in order to develop fecal transplant capsules to treat other dogs suffering from chronic digestive issues. The owners of the healthy dogs receive a report on their pet's gut microbiome, and I was interested to see how Lola's compared to the general canine population.

So here's her report:

As you can see, 100% of her gut microbes apparently come from the Firmicutes phylum. If you click on "Firmicutes" it will break down into classes, orders, etc. Unsurprisingly based on that, the comparison at the bottom shows that her intestinal flora are much less diverse than other dogs'.

Is this a sign that our kefir grains need to be diversified? I saw the other recent post about ensuring biodiversity of your grains, and I might try crushing up some probiotic capsules in there as suggested.

If Lola and I both generally have no digestive complaints though, do I need to put in the effort to diversify the grains? I suppose more microbial diversity would necessarily mean we'd both be more resistant to any given "bad bacteria" that we may encounter.

Thanks for any wisdom you can offer! I tried emailing the AnimalBiome people about this, as they said they would gladly consult one-on-one...but I never received a reply. Then I thought to look for a forum such as this!
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