Hydrolyzed protein diets are commonly used to manage canine chronic enteropathies, but their efficacy has not yet been critically evaluated. Dogs referred for investigation and management of naturally occurring chronic small intestinal disease were assigned to a test diet (n=18) or control diet (n=8). Outcome measures included response of clinical signs (complete, partial, none), change in severity of signs (based on canine inflammatory bowel disease activity index, or CIBDAI), change in body weight and need for other therapy.

There were no significant differences in baseline characteristics (e.g., signalment, body weight and duration of clinical signs) and histopathologic severity between test and control diet groups. However, despite randomization, CIBDAI was significantly higher in the test diet group. Most dogs had responded by first evaluation, with no difference between groups, but significantly more dogs on the test diet remained asymptomatic at both the second and third re-evaluation, and the decrease in CIBDAI was significantly greater.

A hydrolyzed protein diet can be highly effective for long-term management of canine chronic small bowel enteropathy.

Source : P.J.J. Mandigers et al., 2010. A randomized, open-label, positively controlled field trial of a hydrolyzed protein diet in dogs with chronic small bowel enteropathy. J. Vet. Intern. Med. 24: 1350–1357. doi: 10.1111/j.1939-1676.2010.0632.x