Influence of lignocellulose and low or high levels of sugar beet pulp on nutrient digestibility and the fecal microbiota in dogs
- S. Krögera,
- W. Vahjena and
- J. Zentek 1a
Lignocellulose is an alternative fiber source for dogs; however, it has not yet been studied as a feed ingredient for the nutrition of dogs. Eight adult Beagles were involved in the study, which consisted of 3 feeding periods of 8 to 12 wk each. All dogs received 3 different diets, which either had the same concentration of fiber sources (2.7% sugar beet pulp or lignocellulose) or were formulated for a similar concentration of approximately 3% crude fiber: 12% sugar beet pulp (highSBP; 3.1% crude fiber), 2.7% sugar beet pulp (lowSBP; 0.96% crude fiber), or 2.7% lignocellulose (LC; 2.4% crude fiber). Feces samples were collected at the end of each feeding period, and the apparent nutrient digestibility, daily amount, and DM content of feces and fecal cell numbers of relevant bacteria were analyzed. The daily feces amount was lower and the feces DM was higher when dogs were fed the LC diet and the lowSBP diet compared with the highSBP diet (P < 0.001). Apparent digestibility of CP, Na, and K was highest with the lowSBP diet followed by the LC and highSBP diets (P < 0.001). After feeding LC, the bacterial cell counts of Lactobacillus spp., Bifidobacterium spp., and the Clostridium leptum cluster were reduced compared with feeding highSBP and even more reduced after feeding lowSBP (P < 0.001). The bacterial cell count of the Clostridium coccoides cluster was lower in LC and lowSBP compared with highSBP (P < 0.001). The feces of dogs fed LC and lowSBP had lower concentrations of acetate (P < 0.001), propionate (P < 0.001), n-butyrate (P = 0.015), total fatty acids (P < 0.001), and
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