hypoallergenic pet foods

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hypoallergenic pet foods

The term hypoallergenic in provender labels relates to management of allergy. a true allergy is rare within the general population of dogs and cats. within the marketplace, on the opposite hand, hypoallergenic foods are present.
This in itself is fine as a well-formulated, complete and balanced hypoallergenic dog or cat foods provide good nutrition.

Perceived rather than true food allergy is common. The abundance of hypoallergenic foods results from consumer demand and manufacturers going along. Food is often blamed for signs such as itching and diarrhea, leading to the self-diagnosis of food allergy. This conclusion may be reinforced by disappearing of signs after switching the animal to a hypoallergenic food.


Understandably, the owner repurchases the brand. It is noteworthy that skin or gut problems may improve after diet change because of spontaneous recovery, a shift in season or associated interventions.

Hypoallergenic foods will be prescribed and oversubscribed by veterinarians.
Food allergy can only be diagnosed by so-called elimination and provocation feeding tests. If the commercial, hypoallergenic, elimination food is associated with improvement, many owners choose to continue feeding the food without a diagnosis. blood testing for allergy entails a high risk of a false positive outcome.

Prescribed hypoallergenic foods may be followed on by resembling products found in retail because of price and convenience. Thus veterinary consultation tends to pave the means for hypoallergenic foods overall. the wordbook defines hypoallergenic as having very little probability of inflicting AN substance response.

The term hypoallergenic is ambiguous as it has no legal definition and no defined measure for efficacy. EU legislation allows therapeutic pet foods with the purpose of reduction of certain
ingredient and nutrient intolerances. 



Food hypersensitivity reaction

food allergy is an individually-determined, immune-mediated reaction to a food element, which generally could be a supermolecule supply.
the major, non-specific clinical sign is itching (pruritus), which leads to scratching, licking and skin lesions. diarrhea and vomiting occur less frequently.

dietary elements can even elicit the symptoms by non-immune mechanisms; this can be known as food intolerance. In popular speech, it is joined under food allergy. Food allergy and intolerance are non-seasonal diseases commonly referred to as adverse reactions to food. Therapy consists of avoiding the offending food component.

Published case studies in dogs indicate that about 65% of adverse reactions related to beef, dairy products or wheat and 25% to lamb, soy, chicken or chicken egg. In cats, beef, dairy products, and fish are associated with almost 90% of the cases. These figures are inflated by the common use of the incriminating protein sources as pet food ingredients. in dogs with non-seasonal pruritis entering 
veterinary practice, adverse food reactions may account for about 20% of the cases. A rough calculation suggests that the prevalence of true food allergy and intolerance in the general canine population may be only 0.05%.

diagnosis:
diagnosis of adverse food reactions by the veterinarian is based on multiple assessments. Dietary investigation of individual dogs, in the form of elimination diets and test meals, is the decisive diagnostic tool. Classically, elimination diets are not nutritionally complete and contain one protein source that is novel to the patient and one starch-rich ingredient. If food sensitivity causes the pruritis and/or diarrhea, the elimination diet induces amelioration, provided the animal is not sensitive to it. There is a relapse after provocation with the original food. Results of challenge tests with individual dietary items can point to an appropriate, complete, commercial food. alternatively, a tolerable food, either labeled as hypoallergenic or not, can be identified by trying out.

Principles and practice:
The formulation of hypoallergenic foods follows three principles. The number of (protein-containing) ingredients are limited, novel protein sources are used and/or substances are known to cause allergic reactions are avoided. It is assumed that pets have not eaten novel proteins before and thus cannot have developed an immune response to them. some pet food lines are all hypoallergenic, but most lines have one or more products so labeled. The word sensitive may be used as a synonym of hypoallergenic. novel-protein diets or treats may contain remarkable ingredients. The phrase limited- ingredient diets are commonly used. It even is part of a brand name.

The ingredient lists of commercial hypoallergenic diets typically document between 2 and 6 protein-containing ingredients. The degree of novelty of protein sources in many products is debatable. The manufacturing process of hypoallergenic foods should exclude contamination with undesired components. However, studies show that hypoallergenic dry foods, including therapeutic diets, may contain protein sources not declared.

Hydrolytic breakdown of proteins into sufficiently small fragments lowers the chance of immune recognition by patients that are allergic to the intact protein. dogs with clinical sensitivity to soy were a less severe response to the protein sources in the hydrolysate. Hydrolyzed proteins are expensive and only used in veterinary products recommended as both elimination and hypoallergenic diets. these foods may have label descriptors such as a low allergen, ultra allergen-free and antiallergenic.

efficacy:
the efficacy of a given hypoallergenic food cannot be predicted. stricter implementation of principles will increase the beneficial effect in pets on a group-mean basis, on average 48 % of dogs with true food sensitivity showed a favorable response to a commercial, hypoallergenic food containing intact proteins. a hydrolysate-based, limited-ingredient food could produce a better group-mean effect. Trial-and-error is still required to identify appropriate food for a dog with food sensitivity. 

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