Jan S. Suchodolski, MedVet, DrVetMed, PhD, AGAF, DACVM


Cat and dog microbiome researchJan Suchodolski 2018


Free access to our newest review paper " Importance of gut microbiota for the health and disease of dogs and cats"


Our research is focused on gastrointestinal function testing, gastrointestinal pathogens, and intestinal microbial ecology with an emphasis on probiotics and prebiotics and how intestinal pathogens lead to disturbances in the intestinal microbiome of companion animals.

Using high throughput pyrosequencing of the 16S rRNA gene, metagenomic, and metabolomics approaches, we are characterizing the gastrointestinal microbiome, metagenome, and metabolome of several veterinary species (e.g., dogs, cats, frogs, parrots, horses, mice, dolphins) in health and acute and chronic diarrhea. We are also studying the effects of probiotic and prebiotic supplementation and dietary interventions on the dog and cat metagenome and metabolome, including bile acid metabolism, for diagnostic and therapeutic application in animals with IBD, obesity, and Diabetes Mellitus. Our results suggest that microbiome manipulations via probiotics may be useful in the management of gastrointestinal disorders in dogs and cats.


A recent area of research is the microbiome changes after Fecal Microbiota Transplantation (FMT) in dogs and cats. We have developed a rapid test for assessment of canine microbiota, the Canine Dysbiosis Index. This test can be used for screening donors and also monitor the fecal microbiota  before and after FMT.





Figure 1: Heatmap illustrating the relative abundance of predominant bacterial families in fecal samples of healthy dogs and dogs with acute diarrhea based on 454-pyrosequencing. Samples from healthy dogs (H; n=32), dogs with acute non-hemorrhagic diarrhea (NHD; n=7), and dogs with acute hemorrhagic diarrhea (AHD; n=13) are shown. The heatmap represents the relative percentage of each family within each sample. The results indicate decreases in predominant bacterial groups (i.e., Clostridiales, Ruminococcaceae) in dogs with diarrhea. These groups are considered producers  of important bacterial metabolites (e.g., short-chain fatty acids). Source:  Suchodolski JS et al. The fecal microbiome in dogs with acute diarrhea and idiopathic inflammatory bowel disease. PLoS ONE 7(12): e51907, 2012


Selected  references (all references)

Vazque-Baeza Y, Hyde E, Suchodolski JS, Knight R. Dog and human inflammatory bowel disease rely on overlapping yet distinct dysbiosis networks.  Nature Microbiology 1:16177, 2016

Blake A, Suchodolski JS. Importance of gut microbiota for the health and disease of dogs and cats. Animal Frontiers 6(3), 37-42, 2016

Schmitz S, Suchodolski JS. Understanding the canine intestinal microbiota and its modification by pro-, pre- and synbiotics – what is the evidence? Veterinary Medicine and Science (2016)

Suchodolski JS, Foster ML, Sohail MU, Leutenegger C, Queen EV, Steiner JM, Marks SL. The fecal microbiome in cats with diarrhea. PLOS ONE 19:10(5):e0127378, 2015

Guard GC, Barr JW, Reddivari L, Klemashevich C, Jayaraman A, Steiner JM, Venamala J, Suchodolski JS. Characterization of microbial dysbiosis and metabolomic changes in dogs with acute diarrhea. PLoS ONE 10(5):e0127259, 2015

Rossi G, Pengo G, Caldin M,  Piccionello AP, Steiner JM, Cohen ND, Jergens AE, Suchodolski JS. Comparison of microbiological, histological, and immunomodulatory parameters in response to treatment with either combination therapy with prednisone and metronidazole or probiotic VSL#3 strains in dogs with IBD. PloS ONE 9(4): e94699, 2014

Minamoto Y, Otoni C, Steelman S, Steiner JM, Büyükleblebici O, Steiner JM, Jergens AE, Suchodolski JS. Alterations of the fecal microbiota and serum metabolite profiles in dogs with idiopathic inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)Gut Microbes (in press)

Minamoto YM, Dhanani N, Markel ME, Steiner JM, Suchodolski JS. Prevalence of Clostridium perfringens, Clostridium perfringens enterotoxin and dysbiosis in fecal samples of dogs with diarrhea. Vet Microbiol (DOI: 10.1016/j.vetmic.2014.10.005)

Honneffer JB, Minamoto Y, Suchodolski JS. Microbiota alterations in acute and chronic gastrointestinal inflammation of cats and dogs. World J Gastroenterol 28;20(44): 16489-16497, 2014

Bell ET, Suchodolski JS, Fleeman LM, Isaiah A, Cook AK, Steiner JM, Mansfield CS. Faecal microbiota of cats with insulin-treated diabetes mellitus. PLOS ONE 9(10):e108729, 2014

Rodrigues Hoffman A, Patterson AP, Diesel A, Lawhon SD, Ly HC, Stephenson CE, Mansell J, Steiner JM, Dowd SE, Olivry T, Suchodolski JS. The Skin Microbiome in Healthy and Allergic Dogs. PLoS ONE 9(1): e83197.

Bordin AI, Suchodolski JS, Markel ME, Weaver KB, Steiner JM, Dowd SE, Pillai S, Cohen ND. Effects of administration of live or inactivated virulent Rhodococcus equi and age on the fecal microbiome of neonatal foals. PloS ONE Jun 13;8(6):e66640, 2013

Suchodolski JS, Markel ME, Garcia-Mazcorro JF, Unterer S, Heilmann RM, Dowd SE, Kachroo P, Ivanov I, Minamoto Y, Dillman EM, Steiner JM, Cook AK, Toresson L. The fecal microbiome in dogs with acute diarrhea and idiopathic inflammatory bowel disease. PLoS ONE 7(12): e51907, 2012

Foster ML, Dowd SE, Stephenson C, Steiner JM, Suchodolski JS. Characterization of the fungal microbiome (mycobiome) in fecal samples from dogs. Vet Med Intern, article ID: 658373, 2013

Handl S, German AJ, Holden SE, Dowd SE, Steiner JM, Heilmann RM, Grant RW, Swanson KS, Suchodolski JS. Fecal microbiota in lean and obese dogs. FEMS Microbiol Ecol doi: 10.1111/1574-6941.12067

Suchodolski JS, Dowd SE, Wilke V, Steiner JM, Jergens AE. 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing reveals bacterial dysbiosis in the duodenum of dogs with idiopathic inflammatory bowel disease. PLoS ONE 7(6): e39333, 2012

Hart ML, Suchodolski JS, Steiner JM, Webb CG. Open-label trial of a multi-strain synbiotic in cats with chronic diarrheaJ Fel Med Surg 14(4):240-245, 2012

Mashoof S, Goodroe A, Du C, Jacobs N, Steiner JM, Eubanks JO, Tizard IA, Suchodolski JS, Criscitiello MF. Ancient T-Independence of Mucosal IgX/A: Gut Microbiota Unaffected by Larval Thymectomy in Xenopus laevis. Mucosal Immunol (doi: 10.1038/mi.2012.78.)

Minamoto Y, Hooda S, Swanson KS, Suchodolski JS. Feline gastrointestinal microbiota. Animal Health Research Reviews 13(1):64-77, 2012

Suchodolski JS. Intestinal microbiota of dogs and cats - a bigger world than we thought. Vet Clin North Am Sm Anim Pract 41(2):261-72, 2011

Swanson KS, Dowd SE, Suchodolski JS, Middelbos IS, Vester BM, Barry KA, Nelson KE, Cann IO, White BA, Fahey GC. Phylogenetic and gene-centric metagenomics of the canine gastrointestinal microbiome reveals similarities with human and mouse gut metagenomes. ISME J 5(4):639-49, 2011

Handl S, Dowd SE, Garcia-Mazcorro JF, Steiner JM, Suchodolski JS. Massive parallel 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing reveals highly diverse fecal bacterial and fungal communities in healthy dogs and cats. FEMS Microbiol Ecol 76(2):301-10, 2011

Suchodolski JS. Microbes in gastrointestinal health of dogs and cats. J Anim Science 89(5):1520-1530, 2011

Suchodolski JS, Dowd SE, Westermarck E, Steiner JM, Spillmann T, Wolcott RD, Harmoinen JA. The effect of the macrolide antibiotic tylosin on microbial diversity in the canine small intestine as demonstrated by massive parallel 16S rDNA sequencing. BMC Microbiol 2009, 9:210

Suchodolski JS, Camacho J, Steiner JM. Analysis of bacterial diversity in the canine duodenum, jejunum, ileum, and colon by comparative 16S rDNA analysis. FEMS Microbiol Ecol 66(12):487-498, 2008

Xenoulis PG, Palculcit B, Allenspach K, Steiner JM, Van House A, Suchodolski JS. Molecular-phylogenetic characterization of microflora imbalances in the small intestine of dogs with inflammatory bowel disease. FEMS Microbiol Ecol 66(12):499-510, 2008

Ritchie LE, Steiner JM, Suchodolski JS. Assessment of microbial diversity along the feline intestinal tract using 16S rRNA gene analysis. FEMS Microbiol Ecol 66(12):511-519, 2008

Suchodolski JS, Morris EK, Allenspach K, Jergens AE, Harmoinen JA, Westermarck E, Steiner JM. Prevalence and identification of fungal DNA in the small intestine of healthy dogs and dogs with chronic enteropathies. Vet Microbiol 132(3-4):379-388, 2008

Curriculum vitae

Jan S. Suchodolski graduated with a veterinary degree from the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna, Austria in 1997. After working for several years in a small animal specialty clinic he returned to academia and received his Dr. med. vet. degree from the University of Vienna, Austria in recognition for his research on potential diagnostic marker for canine gastric disease. In 2005 Dr. Suchodolski received his PhD in Veterinary Microbiology from Texas A&M University for his work on molecular markers for the assessment of the intestinal microbiota. He is also board certified in immunology by the American College of Veterinary Microbiologists (ACVM). He currently serves as Associate Professor and Associate Director of the GI Lab.



Diplomate ACVM (Immunology), American College of Veterinary Mirobiologists 2012
Ph.D. Veterinary Microbiology, Texas A&M University 2005
Dr.med.vet., Veterinary Sciences, Vetmeduni Vienna, Austria 2003
med. vet.. Veterinary Medicine, Vetmeduni Vienna, Austria 1997


Awards and Honors

June 2004 - Research Abstract Award (Best gastroenterology abstract presentation by an "Investigator in training" at the 2004 ACVIM Forum, Minneapolis, Minn.), conferred by the Comparative Gastroenterology Society

April 2005 - Texas A&M University Veterinary Auxiliary Graduate Award, Honors Convocation, College of Veterinary Medicine

June 2005 - Research Abstract Award (Best gastroenterology abstract presentation by an "Investigator in training" at the 2005 ACVIM Forum, Baltimore, Md.), conferred by the Comparative Gastroenterology Society

2006 - Academic excellence award, Texas A&M Graduate Student, 2005-2006

2010 - Best 2009 publication in Small Animal Gastroenterology, conferred by the European Emesis Council (EES)

2015 - Fellow of the American Gastroenterological Association (AGAF)

2016 - Outstanding Research Leader Award, Honors Convocation, CVM - Texas A&M University

2016 - Zoetis Award for Research Excellence

2016 - Presentation Award short communication - 22nd FECAVA Eurocongress, Vienna, Austria


Secretary Treasurer, Comparative Gastroenterology Society

Academic Editor, PLOS One

Review Editor,  Frontiers in Microbial Symbioses



Press releases and other interesting articles:

Some of My Best Friends Are Germs

Probiotics for your pets - CVM Pet Talk

Dogs, people wanted for 'American Gut' project

Texas A&M collaborating on American Gut project

European Emesis Council (EEC) Best Gastroenterology Publication



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