What is microbiome testing and what are the benefits?
Microbiome testing is the process of sequencing bacterial genetic material from a small fecal sample. We can detect all known bacteria from your patient’s stool sample and then provide you with a comprehensive report. Testing a pet’s microbiome provides insights into their health. Then imbalances in specific gut bacteria can be addressed to help alleviate symptoms associated with a number of chronic health conditions, including digestive disorders like inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and skin conditions like atopic dermatitis.
What is the testing process like?
We provide everything you need to make testing your patient simple.
- Collect: Order a Microbiome Test Kit, collect a small stool sample, mail the sample back (prepaid envelope) to our lab.
- Analyze: We extract and sequence DNA from the sample to identify pet gut bacteria.
- Results: Once we’ve processed your sample we’ll email your report AND provide online access to explore, compare, and share patient results.
The test results identify the types and proportions of bacteria living in your patient’s gut, in comparison with our large and growing database of healthy pets. The report includes actionable insights to help you improve pet digestive health.
How long after antibiotics should we wait before giving the microbiome test or Gut Restore (FMT capsules)?
Please wait 48 hours after the completion of antibiotics before administering the Gut Health Test or the Gut Restore Supplement.
Can the patient continue taking probiotics when administering the microbiome test or Gut Restore?
Please stop administering all bacterial probiotics 48 hours before administering the Gut Health Test or the Gut Restore Supplement. The patient can continue taking S. boulardii as this is a yeast based probiotic that we do not see interfering with the Gut Health Test or Gut Restore Supplement
What if the patient cannot tolerate cessation of antibiotics?
Contact our Animal Care team to develop a protocol tailored to your patient.
Where do you get the material for fecal transplant capsules?
The donors for Fecal Microbiota Transplant (FMT) Capsules are pets screened for health, age, fecal consistency, behavior, and microbiome composition (based on DNA testing). Donor samples are also submitted for pathogen screening (both DNA testing and culturing) to the Idexx Reference Laboratories, which has more than 15 years of genetic testing experience, stringent quality control guidelines, and well-validated standard operating procedures.
All donors are screened regularly for intestinal ova (parasite eggs) and parasites using a fecal float. In addition, we test for the presence of hookworms, roundworms and whipworms by ELISA.
Fecal Microbiota Transplant (FMT) Donors: Cats
For cats, the donated fecal matter comes from healthy indoor cats that have not had antibiotic treatment in the prior six months, have diverse and species-rich microbiomes, are not overweight, and have no behavioral issues.
All feline fecal material is screened for the following: Campylobacter coli, Campylobacter jejuni, Clostridium perfringens enterotoxin (CPE) gene, Cryptosporidium spp., feline coronavirus (FeCoV), feline panleukopenia virus, Giardia spp., Salmonella spp., Toxoplasma gondii, Tritrichomonas blagburni (formerly foetus)
Fecal Microbiota Transplant (FMT) Donors: Dogs
For dogs, the donated fecal matter comes from healthy dogs that regularly go outdoors for walks, have not had antibiotic treatment in the prior six months, have diverse and species-rich microbiomes, are not overweight, and have no behavioral issues.
All canine fecal material is screened for the following: C. Perf CPnetEF Toxin Gene, C. Perf Enterotoxin Gene, Campylobacter coli, Campylobacter jejuni, Canine distemper virus, Canine enteric coronavirus, Canine parvovirus 2, Circovirus K9, Clostridium difficile Toxin A, Clostridium difficile Toxin B, Cryptosporidium spp, Giardia spp, Salmonella spp.