A Comparative Study of Serum Biochemistry, Metabolome and Microbiome Parameters of Clinically Healthy, Normal Weight, Overweight, and Obese Companion Dogs

Genevieve M. Forster, Jonathan Stockman, Noelle Noyes, Adam L. Heuberger, Corey D. Broeckling, Collin M. Bantle, Elizabeth P. Ryan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The aim of this study was to compare fecal microbiome, plasma, fecal and urine metabolomes, and serum biochemistry of adult companion dogs according to body condition scores. Blood, serum/plasma, urine, and fecal samples were collected from 66 clinically healthy, adult companion dogs of either normal weight (NW), overweight (OW), or obese dogs (OB). analyses included fecal microbiome analyses via 16S ribosomal RNA gene amplicon; sequencing, nontargeted plasma, fecal, and urine metabolomics using liquid chromatography/gas chromatography-mass; spectrometry, and serum biochemistry for each dog. Few significant differences in serum biochemistry and fecal microbiome Operational Taxonomic Unit (OTU) were found between weight groups and there was high OTU variation between individual dogs. NW dogs had higher relative abundance of the genus Eubacterium (log-fold change 4.3, adjusted P value =.003) and lower relative abundance of the family Bifidobacteriaceae (log-fold change −3.6, adjusted P value =.02) compared to OB dogs. The microbiome of NW dogs had higher OTU richness compared with OB dogs. Metabolome analysis showed 185 plasma, 37 fecal, and 45 urine metabolites that significantly differed between NW and OW or OB dogs. There were notable significant differences in relative abundance of several plasma phospholipid moieties and fecal volatile fatty acids between weight phenotypes. The combinations of host and gut microbiota and metabolic shifts suggest a pattern that could help detection of early metabolic changes in overweight dogs before the development of obesity related disease. The results of this study support the need for continued investigation into sensitive measures of metabolic aberrancies in overweight dogs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)126-135
Number of pages10
JournalTopics in Companion Animal Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by a research grant from The CSU Research Council of The College of Veterinary Medicine And Biomedical Sciences, Morris Animal Foundation Predoctoral Training Grant, and CSU Department of Environmental Health and Radiological Sciences funding. We would like to thank Guy Beresford for processing the fecal samples for microbiome analysis, Ann Hess for her assistance with the statistical analysis, Kelly Santangelo for her assistance with interpreting the clinical blood panel, Husen Zhang for his help with the fecal microbiome analysis, and the Clinical Trials Core and Cadie Tillotson for her assistance with the collection of dog blood, urine, and fecal samples.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 The Authors

Copyright 2019 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • canine
  • metabolome
  • microbiome
  • obesity

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