To test the effect of Ration
Horses on digestive microbial populations Cytozyme Laboratories, Inc.
secured the services of the Associated Regional and University Pathologists,
Inc. (A.R.U.P.) and Dr. Clay Cannon, D.V.M.. A.R.U.P. conducted a bacterial
analysis of fecal specimens collected by Dr. Cannon from four healthy
horses stabled at the Parker Ranch in South Jordan, Utah. Each horse
had a fecal sample taken directly from the rectum, to avoid contamination
by outside microorganisms, every 10 days for a 50 day period. The first
20 days (2 samples) the animals were fed their regular diet of quality
alfalfa hay and oats. Horses had access to free choice mineral salt
block and fresh water at all times. On the 21st day, Ration
added to each horse's diet (4cc/day for 30 days).
One gram of horse fecal material was removed
from the transport tubes and diluted in buffered saline. Appropriate
dilutions were plated to selective (MAC) and non selective (SAB) agar.
Cultures were incubated for 24 hours. The number of colony types were
determined, corrected and the organisms were identified by standard
It was possible to isolate specific organisms
when they were present in concentration of 100,000 per gram. When
they were present at concentration less than that, they were often
overgrown by other bacteria making their isolation impossible. The
greatest number of any given organism was present in the order of
300,000,000 per gram, so our effective range of examination was about
In general the following patterns seem clear:
1. The absolute number of bacteria per gram of feces increased from
105 - 106 to 107 - 108 organisms per gram.
2. The diversity of recoverable bacterial species increased from an
average of 5.5 detectable species in untreated horses to 7-7.5 detectable
species in horses receiving supplement.
3. The change in the absolute number of species recovered was reflected
in a shift to a general increase in the number of species of gram
4. Although streptococci were recovered in all specimens, they were
received less often and in smaller numbers from treated horses.
5. A variety of Bacillus species were recovered from all specimens.
However, in 3 of the 4 horses they were more common during supplementation
6. Specific changes noted were:
a. Escherichia coli was uniformly present and changed little as a
result of supplementation. In three horses, there appeared to be a
slight increase in E. coli per gram of feces after supplementation.
b. Staphylococci and mirococci - remained constant in the study.
c. Streptococci and bacilli were noted in #4 and #5 above.
d. Species form Citrobacter, Acinetobacter, Enterobacter and Lactobacillus
occurred intermittently but were much more likely to be recovered
from horses receiving supplementation.
The data may be instructive in terms of what
does not happen as what does. There is no apparent absolute change
in the types of bacteria inhabiting the bowel as a function of supplementation.
No species is inhibited by this procedure, although as noted earlier
the variety of species increased (a subtle change) and the total number
of bacteria per gram of feces increased (also a subtle change).
None of the bacteria Isolates were unexpected
or unusual. The bacteria strains were representative of normal gut
flora and could not be considered either unique or exciting.