Fecal microbiota transplantation in puppies with canine parvovirus infection

J Vet Intern Med. 2018 Mar;32(2):707-711. doi: 10.1111/jvim.15072. Epub 2018 Feb 20.


Background: Diarrhea associated with parvovirus infection is common in dogs. Supportive care is the mainstay of treatment, but recovery may be prolonged and mortality rate can be high. Modification of the intestinal bacterial microbiota has been promising in human and veterinary medicine as an adjunctive treatment of various enteric diseases.

Objectives: To investigate the safety and efficacy of fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) on the clinical recovery of puppies with acute hemorrhagic diarrhea syndrome.

Animals: Sixty-six puppies with parvovirus infection were evaluated at 2 veterinary hospitals.

Methods: Randomized clinical trial. Puppies were randomly distributed into 2 groups: standard treatment (STD) and standard treatment + FMT (STD + FMT). The STD puppies (n = 33) received only treatment with IV fluids and antimicrobials and the STD + FMT puppies (n = 33) received FMT in addition to standard treatment. For FMT, 10 g of feces from a healthy dog diluted in 10 mL of saline were administered rectally 6-12 hours post-admission.

Results: Among survivors, treatment with FMT was associated with faster resolution of diarrhea (P < .001) and shorter hospitalization time (P = .001; median, 3 days in STD + FMT; median, 6 days in STD) compared to standard treatment. Mortality in STD was 36.4% (12/33) as compared to 21.2% (7/33) in puppies treated with FMT, but there was no statistical difference between groups (P = .174). Polymerase chain reaction indicated that all animals carried canine parvovirus, strain CPV-2b.

Conclusions: Fecal microbiota transplantation in parvovirus-infected puppies was associated with faster resolution of diarrhea.

Keywords: FMT; bacteriotherapy; diarrhea; dog; microbiome; stool transplant.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Diarrhea / therapy
  • Diarrhea / veterinary*
  • Dog Diseases / therapy*
  • Dog Diseases / virology
  • Dogs
  • Fecal Microbiota Transplantation / veterinary*
  • Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage / therapy
  • Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage / veterinary
  • Parvoviridae Infections / microbiology
  • Parvoviridae Infections / therapy
  • Parvoviridae Infections / veterinary*
  • Parvovirus, Canine / classification
  • Treatment Outcome