Volume 11, Issue 4
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



The relation of canned salmon diet to amebic colitis was studied in two groups of dogs comprising twelve fed exclusively on canned salmon and four on normal diet, either inoculated with or not inoculated. One group of dogs was intubated transrectally with a glass tube three times a week; the other group was not intubated. Hookworms and whipworms were eliminated or reduced to negligible numbers. The character of the stools was recorded daily and the condition of the cecum and colon, fixed immediately after sacrifice, was observed histologically.

The dogs on salmon diet developed varying degrees of mucoid diarrhea and dysentery, the intensity of which was in direct relationship to the amount of salmon consumed. The pathology observed in such dogs was characteristic of a chronic nonspecific inflammation of the intestinal mucosa. Infection with , when present, did not have any determining effect upon the enteric symptoms; neither did amebae markedly change the pathology observed. The irritative action of the diet was clearly enhanced by frequent colonic aspiration, the combination of the two factors regularly producing dysentery in the dogs thus treated. In one dysenteric dog infected with mixed cysts of three ameba species a colony of amebae (presumably ) was seen in the sloughed mucosa in approximately the same location where colonies of had been found in other dogs. The control dogs on horse meat diet passed consistently normal stools, regardless of whether or not they were infected with or harbored hookworms or whipworms. Transrectal intubation of such dogs produced only small amounts of blood and mucus in the stools following aspiration.

It is felt that the salmon diet is the main causative factor in the development of this dysenteric syndrome in the dog, acting as a local irritant upon the intestinal mucosa and causing a nonspecific type of colitis with sloughing of the mucosa and output of bloody mucus. Amebae may aid, when present, in the causation of symtoms but no evidence was found of their being primary invaders of the tissues of the dog. Hookworms are not considered to be an important factor in this process.


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