How nutrition transformed the lives of two atopic dogs

Spring has sprung, the days are getting longer and brighter and the gardens are exploding in vivid colours as a multitude of flowers come into bloom. But this arrival of pollen also heralds the onset of the itching and scratching season for many of our four legged friends. We all know how frustrating allergic skin disease can be for pet owners to manage, and a multimodal treatment plan aimed at reducing the immune response and improving the skin barrier function are the best way in which we can help these pets. Read on to see how including Hill’sTM Prescription DietTM Derm DefenseTM as part of a multimodal approach can help in the management of these dogs with environmental allergies.

Meet Archie

Archie is a 3.5 year old male neutered American Staffordshire Terrier. Since Archie was a puppy he has suffered with chronic allergic skin disease. His skin was always inflamed, especially in his axillary areas and along his ventral abdomen, and he was extremely pruritic with an average itch level of 9/10. His owners had tried everything – food elimination trials, various medications both oral and topical, holistic and natural remedies, and even allergen-specific immunotherapy, however nothing appeared to make a significant difference. He was being managed on prednisolone and a hypoallergenic food when his vet advised his owners to try Hill’sTM Prescription DietTM Derm DefenseTM as part of their treatment regimen. The results (see before and after photos below) speak for themselves.

Within weeks of starting Derm Defense, the skin inflammation and erythema had resolved and his pruritis level had significantly reduced to around a 2/10 level. He continues to be fed Derm Defense as part of his ongoing management for environmental allergies. This is what Archie’s owners had to say about their experience “I must say after trying everything else we were quite sceptical about trying this food with him but I’m very glad we did now!

Archie – before                                                                      Archie – 12 weeks later



Meet Roy

Roy is a 9 year old male neutered Cattle Dog who has had intermittent skin problems for the last 3 to 4 years. Each Spring, he would present with hair loss, intense pruritis and inflammation around his hind area, particularly around the tail base and hind limbs. His coat would generally appear dull and rough at this time and he would also suffer from recurrent anal gland impaction. He was being fed a therapeutic diet and using medications to manage his skin during the flare ups. Six months ago, his owner, who is a veterinary healthcare team member, opted to trial Derm Defense following some staff training.

Within weeks there was a noticeable difference – the inflammation resolved, his coat was smoother and shinier, and his anal glands needed expressing far less often. After 6-8 weeks, under ongoing veterinary supervision, all medications were able to be withdrawn and Roy’s skin has since been managed with Derm Defense, with no skin flare-ups to date (although they are keeping a close eye on things with the arrival of Spring). The results seen in her own pet has given the owner, and other staff members in the clinic, the confidence to recommend Derm Defense to clients with pets who are suffering from allergic skin disease.

Roy – before                                                         Roy – 8 weeks later

So what is in Derm Defense™?

Derm Defense™ contains a proprietary blend of nutrients including omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, vitamins, antioxidants, polyphenols and bioactives. These nutrients provide complementary benefits – some help to strengthen and restore the skin barrier and support skin recovery, others help break the cycle of inflammation and assist in disrupting the allergic response to environmental irritants.

To learn more about how Derm Defense™ works check out this video !

Dr Jessica Mills BVSc (Hons I), Hill’s Technical Services Veterinarian

Jessica graduated as a veterinarian from the University of Sydney with honours in 1999. After graduation she spent 10 years working first in mixed, and then small animal practice at a number of clinics both in Australia and the UK. She moved into industry in 2009, initially immersed in the world of fleas and ticks at Merial Australia and more recently enjoying utilising her skills in the field of nutrition as the Technical Services Veterinarian for NSW/ACT for Hill’s Pet Nutrition Australia


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