Efficacy of a New Food for the Management of Chronic Idiopathic Diarrhoea in Dogs
Dietary therapy plays an important role in the management of canine idiopathic diarrhoea (ID). The objective of this study was to determine if a unique dietary formulation (Food A) containing antioxidants, n-3 fatty acids, resistant banana starch, and stable glutamine source is effective for management of canine ID. Eighteen dogs with chronic diarrhea for which an extensive diagnostic investigation could not identify a cause, were randomly allocated to treatment with wet followed by dry formulations of Food A or an alternative food marketed for gastrointestinal distress (Food B). Each food was fed for 3 weeks in a double-blinded, crossover fashion. Owners recorded faecal grade (1=liquid, 5=firm), vomiting, and appetite daily. A questionnaire and re-examination were completed at the end of each food trial. Seventy-six and 71% of dogs fed wet and dry formulations of Food A had > 1 faecal grade improvement within 7 days of dietary intervention. Owner satisfaction was 78-86%, with 56-77% reporting improved quality of life for Food A. The frequency of grade 4-5 faeces was higher for wet (A: 56.2%, B: 61.4%) and dry foods (A: 78.2%, B: 82.9%) compared to baseline (41.3-46.6%). Mean ± SE faecal grades were significantly higher for dry foods (A: 4.1±0.3, B: 4.3±0.3) but were not different for wet foods (A: 3.6±0.2, B: 3.6±0.2), compared to baseline (wet: 3.3±0.2, dry: 3.2±0.3). These results indicate that Food A is effective in improving faecal consistency, owner satisfaction, and perception of quality of life for most dogs with chronic ID.