Posts Tagged ‘hydrolyzed protein’

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What is dietary sensitivity?
Dietary sensitivity refers to an adverse reaction to food. There are two types:
Food allergy – an immune reaction to a particular ingredient, usually a protein. A food allergy can be a permanent condition.
Food intolerance – Not all reactions to foods are allergies. Some pets simply cannot tolerate certain foods.

What causes dietary sensitivity?
Food – Common allergens for dogs are beef, dairy, and wheat. Common allergens for cats are beef, dairy, and fish.
Damage – Inflammation, infection, surgery, and some medications can damage the digestive system and lead to dietary sensitivity.
Age – Food intolerance is more common in younger pets, while food allergies are more common in adult pets.
Breed – Some breeds are more likely to have dietary sensitivity, such as Siamese cats, Westies, Cocker Spaniels, and Irish Setters.

What are common signs of dietary sensitivity?

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Flatulence (gas)
  • Frequent scratching and fur loss
  • Red, inflamed skin
  • Chronic ear problems
  • Poor growth in young pets
  • Coughing, wheezing, sneezing

Why does the vet recommend Hill’s Prescription Diet?
Hill’s Prescription diets such as d/d, z/d, and z/d ultra are designed to address food allergy and food intolerance symptoms. The ingredients may include novel proteins, to which a pet is less likely to react negatively; essential fatty acids to soothe inflamed skin; or hydrolyzed proteins.

What is the importance of a hydrolyzed protein?
Dogs and cats have histamine receptors that react to foreign particles. Think of your pet’s histamine receptors as Y-shaped, two-pronged instruments. A normal-sized protein can reach across both prongs and set off a histamine reaction, which you may see as red, itchy skin and ears.
Hydrolyzation breaks a protein into tiny pieces that are not big enough to cover two prongs at once, rendering the protein “invisible” to the pet’s histamine receptors. That way, the body won’t trigger an allergic response.

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Information taken from Hill’s Pet Nutrition pamphlet “Dietary Sensitivity,” available at our clinic.

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