Pet Parent Sally brought home Mac, a male Glen of Imaal Terrier, at 8 weeks of age. Mac is a show dog, and as most models know, appearance means everything. Unfortunately, at a very young age, Mac developed chronic diarrhea and dermatologic lesions. Sally said, “He had frequent issues with diarrhea, especially at dog shows. He also had some minor skin issues.” Despite diet changes and a full work-up, his veterinary team couldn’t pinpoint the exact cause of Mac’s clinical signs. Metronidazole was prescribed when episodes were particularly bad, and Mac would respond. As a veterinarian, you can probably relate – we’ve all had cases like this. Sally said, “The only time he did not have diarrhea was when he was taking Metronidazole.”

In addition to his chronic diarrhea, Mac was also constantly licking his paws and developed interdigital dermatitis. He was thoroughly worked up for these conditions as well and treated regularly with antibiotics, Apoquel and Cytopoint, topical shampoos, sprays, and supplements.

In July 2020, Sally reached out to Dr. Donna DeBonis at The Pet Food Vet for help with Mac’s conditions. Dr. Donna is a food safety consultant for pet food, a retired Army Reserve veterinary officer, and has a master’s in food safety.

Dr. Donna recommended transitioning Mac to a fresh whole-food diet. She suggested trying JustFoodForDogs’ Derm Support Fish & Sweet Potato Recipe. Sally said, “I was doubtful if he would eat it because he had refused any dry fish foods along with just about every type of dog food available. He was hungry most of the time, living on cooked chicken or steak, which lack all the necessary nutrition for his health. When we put a bowl of the food down for him to try, he went right over to it and started eating and eating. Over the next week, the diarrhea slowed down. He appears more relaxed and is eating more. Usually at dog shows he has issues with diarrhea, but no problems this time thanks to your food.”

After transitioning, Dr. Donna said, “His stool immediately resolved and has stayed firm since. His paw licking decreased and skin healed.” Positive changes were evident within two weeks. She shared, “There are two reasons why I chose a whole-food diet and particularly JFFD for his loose stools and itchy skin. Mac was started on a raw food diet as a puppy as a mandatory requirement from the breeder. Raw food diets are notoriously unbalanced in nutrients and are routinely contaminated with foodborne pathogens. I believed that if I could get him on a diet that I knew was well balanced with the best ingredients and pathogen-free, then the chronic diarrhea and skin issues would resolve. He has been on the JustFoodForDogs Derm Support diet since early July and the diarrhea resolved immediately; he has not had a loose stool since then.”

Sally said, “Mac’s full name is Daulton’s Breithla Feirin Irish Mac. He participates in conformation and we go to local dog shows. He won two 5-point majors as Best of Breed and met the AKC requirements to become a Champion. He is going to start agility soon and is working on getting his AKC Canine Good Citizen award. He is not a well-known breed, but is a wonderful dog.”

Mac is thriving on fresh foods and is on track to become a Grand Champion. Of course, nothing will ever replace a thorough work-up, diagnosis and medical treatment. But, after a decade of feeding pets real food, JustFoodForDogs believes that whole-food nutrition – the same quality food we eat and source at a grocery store – cooked and not processed, is the foundation of health.