Effectiveness of a Dietetic Dermatologic Food on Pruritus in Atopic Dogs‡


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Becvarova I.1, Meyer H.1, Witzel A. L.2, Murphy M.2, Werre S. R.3, Cadiergues M. C.4


Canine atopic dermatitis

Canine atopic dermatitis (CAD) is characterised by a vicious cycle of inflammation, pruritus and excoriation, leading to repeated skin damage. It is often a lifelong problem. This study sought to determine if a food designed to improve skin barrier function and lower inflammation (Prescription Diet® Derm Defense Canine dog food—provided free of charge to participants for the duration of the study) would reduce pruritus and clinical severity in client-owned atopic dogs. 


Canine atopic dermatitis

The median total dermatological site score assessed by veterinarians was significantly lower at 4 weeks and at 8 weeks (*p-values < 0.05) when compared to baseline.

Using a scale from 0 (normal) – 4 (severe), veterinarians evaluated the presence and severity of erythema, lichenification, excoriations, and alopecia in 12 body regions (Fig. 1). Owner assessments of skin condition showed significant improvements in least squared mean (LSM) of itching and scratching of the skin and ears, licking paws, axillae and groin, disruption to the family, redness of the skin and overall skin condition at four weeks and at eight weeks (*p-values < 0.05) when compared to baseline (Fig. 2).

Canine atopic dermatitis


Canine atopic dermatitis

Dogs demonstrated marked improvement as reported by both pet owners and veterinarians (although a placebo effect cannot be ruled out). The results of this study support the clinical benefits of feeding specially formulated dermatologic food in addition to standard medical management.


Data were analyzed using Friedman’s Chi-square (veterinarian scores) and mixed model ANOVA (owner assessments). This study is an in-clinic feeding study and not a controlled clinical trial.

‡ 17th Annual AAVN Clinical Nutrition & Research Symposium, June 7, 2017, MD, USA (abstract). 1 Hill’s Pet Nutrition Europe. 2 The University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine 3 Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine. 4 UDEAR, Université de Toulouse, ENVT, INSERM. 5 Favrot C, Steffan J, Seewald W et al. A prospective study on the clinical features of chronic canine atopic dermatitis and its diagnosis. Vet Dermatol. 2010;21(1):23-31.™ shown are trademarks of Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc. © 2017 Hill’s Pet Nutrition Pty, Limited. HIMA-HB-1717AFE4

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