The owners of 63 pruritic dogs were instructed to feed them a chicken hydrolysate diet exclusively for six weeks as part of diagnostic investigations into non-seasonal pruritus. Ectoparasitism and microbial infections were eliminated during the dietary trial. The dogs' skin lesions, gastrointestinal signs and frequency of defecation were assessed and scores for pruritus were assigned before they started the diet and before and after they resumed their original diet. An adverse food reaction was diagnosed if the pruritus resolved while they were on the diet, but recurred when they resumed their original food regimen. Seventeen of the 63 dogs were withdrawn from the trial, including four which found the diet unpalatable; however, its palatability was reported to be good or excellent in 48 of the dogs. An adverse food reaction alone was diagnosed in nine (19-6 per cent) of the 46 dogs and another nine had an adverse food reaction and atopy. There were gastrointestinal signs in six of the nine dogs with an adverse food reaction, which resolved on the trial diet but recurred when they resumed their original diet.
- British Veterinary Association. All rights reserved.