Supplemental Fructooligosaccharides and Mannanoligosaccharides Influence Immune Function, Ileal and Total Tract Nutrient Digestibilities, Microbial Populations and Concentrations of Protein Catabolites in the Large Bowel of Dogs 1, 2

Kelly S. Swanson,* Christine M. Grieshop,† Elizabeth A. Flickinger,† Laura L. Bauer,*

Hans-Peter Healy,** Karl A. Dawson,** Neal R. Merchen*† and George C. Fahey, Jr.*†3

*Division of Nutritional Sciences and Department of Animal Sciences, University of Illinois

FOS and MOS are prebiotics that are likely to have a positive influence on indices of gut health25 in dogs.  Mannanoligosaccharides tend to enhance microbial populations and modulate systemic immune function. Fructooligosaccharides decrease concentrations of putrefactive compounds measured in feces, improving gut health. The combination of  FOS _ MOS tends to enhance local and systemic immune capacity in addition to decreasing fecal protein catabolite concentrations. Therefore, FOS and MOS may be used in dog diets to improve gut health by altering microbial populations positively, enhancing immune capacity and decreasing concentrations of putrefactive compounds. The use of these prebiotics might be most beneficial in geriatric dogs, young weanling puppies or dogs under stress, all of which may have compromised immune systems or undesirable microbial communities in the gut.

The Merck Veterinary Manual

Fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) enhance colonic microflora and assist the prevention and treatment of colonic disease. These complex carbohydrates are not digested in the small intestine. They are fermented by specific colonic bacteria that use them as an energy source. FOS promote the growth of beneficial bacteria and inhibit growth of potentially harmful bacteria. They are responsible for the production of short-chain fatty acids (SCFA).