Original Research

The use of a probiotic in captive cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus)

K.N. Koeppel, H. Bertschinger, M. Van Vuuren, J. Picard, J. Steiner, D. Williams, J. Cardwell
Journal of the South African Veterinary Association | Vol 77, No 3 | a359 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jsava.v77i3.359 | © 2006 K.N. Koeppel, H. Bertschinger, M. Van Vuuren, J. Picard, J. Steiner, D. Williams, J. Cardwell | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 08 June 2006 | Published: 08 June 2006

About the author(s)

K.N. Koeppel,
H. Bertschinger,
M. Van Vuuren,
J. Picard,
J. Steiner,
D. Williams,
J. Cardwell,

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Abstract

Juvenile captive cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) often present with diarrhoea that is commonly associated with bacterial infections. A species-specific probiotic containing Lactobacillus Group 2 and Enterococcus faecium was prepared from healthy adult cheetahs. Juvenile cheetahs (n = 27) between 8 and 13 months of age were included in the probiotic trial. The animals were observed prior to and after feeding of the probiotic which was made available for 28 days. Feeding of the probiotic resulted in a significantly increased body weight in the treatment group (P = 0.026), while there was no increase in the control group. A relative improvement in the faecal quality in the probiotic group during the treatment period compared with the pre-treatment (P = 0.0363) and post-treatment (P = 0.004) period was observed. This was accompanied by an absence of blood and mucus in the faeces during the treatment period in the probiotic group.

Keywords

Acinonyx Jubatus; Cheetah; Diarrhoea; Enterococcus; Lactobacillus; Probiotic

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