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Journal of Animal Science Abstract - Nonruminant Nutrition

Influence of lignocellulose and low or high levels of sugar beet pulp on nutrient digestibility and the fecal microbiota in dogs


This article in JAS

  1. Vol. 95 No. 4, p. 1598-1605
    Received: Aug 04, 2016
    Accepted: Feb 06, 2017
    Published: April 13, 2017

    1 Corresponding author(s):

  1. S. Krögera,
  2. W. Vahjena and
  3. J. Zentek 1a
  1. a Institute of Animal Nutrition, Department of Veterinary Medicine, Freie Universität Berlin, 14195 Berlin, Germany


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 l-lactate (P < 0.001) compared with dogs fed highSBP. The concentration of i-butyrate was higher in the feces of dogs fed with LC compared with dogs fed high and low sugar beet pulp (SBP; P < 0.001). The pH of the feces of the LC-fed dogs was highest followed by lowSBP- and highSBP-fed dogs (P < 0.001). Depending on the concentration, the use of LC and SBP as fiber sources in dog feed has different impacts on the fecal microbiota and the apparent digestibility of nutrients. Therefore, different areas of application should be considered.

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