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Prescription Diets

  Feb 12, 2021

Prescription Diets

Prescription diets are pet foods specially formulated to manage or prevent disease in dogs and cats. These include special kidney diets, liver diets, low- allergy diet and joint-support diets, but there are many more! Your veterinarian may prescribe one of these diets, if required, based on specific disease issues experienced by your pet. There are more and more prescription diets entering the market each year, and the list below is just a sample of the categories of prescription diets available. You should always seek advice from your veterinarian before feeding your pet any prescription diet product.

Prescription Diets

Just like us humans, pets’ joints deteriorate with age, as the forces involved with running and jumping wear away cartilage and put added pressure on ageing ligaments and tendons. Degeneration of joints is known as arthritis or Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD), and the condition can become increasingly painful for your pet if left untreated. Large breed dogs and overweight individuals tend to show signs of arthritis earlier and more severely than younger, slim pets. Typical early signs of arthritis or damaged ligaments include difficulty or stumbling when jumping, intermittent limping, your pet may take longer to rise after resting, or your dog may simply refuse to walk or run along exercise routes they once relished because they are experiencing pain during exercise.

If you have noticed any of these signs in your pet, you should discuss the signs with your veterinarian, as other issues such as heart disease could lead to similar signs of poor exercise tolerance. There are a range of treatments available, including injections, tablets or powders, and more recently, stem cell therapy. Your veterinarian can give your pet a thorough examination, which may include taking Xrays or ultrasound images, to provide an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.

Prescription diets such as Hills j/d,  RoyalCanin Veterinary Clinical Canine Mobility Support, and Eukanuba Special Care Canine Joint Mobility typically contain a range of ingredients believed to or proven to maintain healthy cartilage and  joints. These ingredients may include Omega 3 fatty acids, glucosamine and chondrotin sulphate and antioxidants.

Pets with food allergies

Low-allergy prescription diets are formulated to reduce ingredient intolerances and can be used for pets with food allergies or intolerances - showing as either skin or digestive symptoms such as chronic diarrhoea and  inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).These diets mayalso be prescribed by your veterinarian as part of a food elimination trial.

Dental diets are formulated keep pets’ teeth clean and help control oral bacteria and plaque build up.Prescription Diet t/d Canine and t/d Feline Dental Health product, for example,  is formulated with a unique kibble shape that helps scrub away laden plaque in your pets’s mouth, whilst being clinically proven to reduce plaque, stain and tartar build up. The addition of antioxidants helps control cell oxidation, reduce bad breath and promote healthy immune system function.

Diabetes Liver Disease

The premium pet food companies sell diets specially formulated for management of metabolic disorders such as diabetes, liver disease and pancreatitis. Hills Prescription Diet w/d Canine Low Fat Diabetic Gastrointestinal for example,  is designed to help maintain a safe and healthy weight and blood glucose levels, increase metabolic processing and reduce fat stores; higher levels of fibre are can promote a feeling of fullness in your pet.

These diets are specially formulated to maintain healthy bladder and kidney function and are often prescribed by veterinarians for pets that have experienced bladder stones or kidney disease, or those showing signs of reduced kidney function as they age.Dogs and cats require the appropriate balance of minerals and vitamins in their diet.  These diets generally contain reduced levels of phosphorus, sodium and protein to help reduce kidney workload and maintain normal blood pressure; these mineral adjustments are aimed to maintain urinary tract health by reducing the risk of formation of urinary crystals and bladder stones. Added antioxidants help maintain healthy immune system function.

Some prescription weight-loss diets have been clinically proven to safely & naturally improve metabolism in dogs and cats to support healthy weight loss and maintenance. For example, Hills weight-loss prescription diet for dogs is clinically proven to safely provide 28% body fat loss in only 2 months; certain ingredients have been included to control hunger, helping to keep dogs feeling full and satisfied between meals. Royal Canin’sweight-loss prescription diet for dogs boasts a formula which the company claims helps to promote healthy digestion through vitamin, nutrient and mineral enrichment during low-calorie intake diets, and contains chondroitin sulphate and glucosamine which aim to promote healthy joint functionin higher stressed joints of obese pets.

Weight Management

If your pet is overweight or is showing signs of ill health, you should visit your veterinarian immediately. Your veterinarian will question you about your pet’s history, lifestyle and behaviour, and will give your pet a thorough clinical examination; your veterinarian may advise conducting blood tests of other diagnostic tests for your pet. Once a diagnosis has been reached, your veterinarian will provide a treatment and management plan for your pet. If your veterinarian believes a prescription diet would be of benefit to your pet, they will advise you on the correct product to use, and when a revisit for a check-up is required.

You should always seek advice from your veterinarian before feeding your pet any prescription diet product.

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