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A systematic review of the evidence of reduced allergenicity and clinical benefit of food hydrolysates in dogs with cutaneous adverse food reactions

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Several hydrolysate-based diets have been commercialized for helping diagnose or treat dogs with cutaneous adverse food reactions (CAFR). This systematic review was performed to examine the evidence in favour of reduced immunological and clinical allergenicity of hydrolysates in dogs with CAFR. Citation databases, meeting abstracts and article bibliographies were scanned for relevant citations, and companies were contacted to provide unpublished reports. Eleven studies relevant to this study were identified. Some evidence of reduced serum IgE binding to a soy hydrolysate (1 study) and decreased intradermal test reactivity to hydrolysed proteins (three studies) was found. In four reports, the feeding of dogs suspected of having CAFR with hydrolysate-based diets reduced or eliminated clinical signs in a variable proportion of subjects. The percentage of dogs with CAFR that still reacted to these hydrolysate-based diets could not be assessed, however. Importantly, up to 50% of dogs with CAFR enrolled in three controlled studies exhibited increases in clinical signs after ingesting partial hydrolysates derived from foods to which they were hypersensitive. In conclusion, the limited number of studies undertaken point to reduced – but not eliminated – immunological and clinical allergenicity of hydrolysate-based commercial diets. A variable proportion of dogs with CAFR will exhibit a worsening of clinical signs when fed partial hydrolysates. Clinicians must weigh the clinical benefit of these diets versus their high cost and low risk of reduced appetence or gastrointestinal sign development. At this time, hydrolysate-containing diets are probably best used in dogs suspected not to be hypersensitive to their individual components.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA

Publication date: February 1, 2010

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