Hospital for Small Animals

From gut to gut - is faecal microbiota transplantations (FMT) the answer?

Could faecal microbiota transplant help treat difficult cases of inflammatory bowel disease in dogs?

The canine medicine service is currently offering an exciting new treatment for certain canine (and potentially feline) patients with difficult to treat inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). 

The aim of our study is to perform FMT in dogs with IBD that are refractory to other types of more routine treatment of IBD or for dogs where there are concerns about long-term administration of antibiotics FMT is performed on an out-patient basis as a retention enema. Faecal donors are healthy dogs and they have to be sourced individually for each patient. 

Dog running on beach

Clients will keep a daily record of the dogs' wellbeing and a poo diary, as well as collecting faecal samples. We are planning to perform 16S rRNA gene sequencing on those faecal samples and compare them to the before faecal bacterial profile as well as to the donor's profile to assess what type of shifts in the microbiome composition occur and how long they last. 

So far, we have performed the procedure in a number of patients, and responses have been very encouraging. So far, no side effects have been observed. We can also attempt this procedure in cats if clinically appropriate, but this will need to be performed under general anaesthesia.

Read the original research