* Prices may differ from that shown
*What is Hills Canine I/D?*
This product is part of the range of prescription diets produced by Hills to help manage a variety of different illnesses and complaints, but must only be used when prescribed by a vet. The I/D version is for the treatment and management of stomach illnesses, and is available in dry and canned, in this review I will be reviewing the canned version. Hills also make a variety of regular non-prescription pet food for cats, dogs, puppies and kittens.
*The product itself*
From time to time, dogs can suffer with stomach complaints just as we can, but whereas we can remember if we have eaten something we shouldn't have done etc and tell the doctors what the problem is, animals can't, and a little extra care is needed sometimes, on top of medication. This product is designed either for long term use in dogs that have been diagnosed with Gastrointestinal disorders, pancreatitis and gastric disorders, but also for short term use in helping dogs recover from minor to moderate stomach complaints, such as diarrhoea, swelling of the intestines, bloat, inflamed bowels, bacterial infections, sickness and also as a recovery food for dogs after operations.
Dogs with the problems mentioned about, whether diagnosed with a long term condition or just recovering from a slight illness, need a very bland and easily digestible diet, whereas this can be provided in the form of boiled rice and chicken for a few days, if your dog is going to need a bland food for longer, then it needs to be 'complete' and contain all the necessary vitamins and minerals your dog needs to either stay healthy, or help them recover from their illness. The ingredients of Hills Canine I/D are Turkey, ground rice, liver, dried whole egg, potato starch, ground maize, Fibrim 1260 (soluble fibre source), iron oxide, dicalcium phosphate, digest, potassium chloride, caramel, iodised salt, taurine, vitamins and trace elements- all these ingredients are very easy for dogs to digest and very gentle on sore tummies, allowing dogs to absorb the goodness from the food, and hopefully being able to keep it down too, it also contains ingredients such as the iodised salt to help rehydrate dogs suffering from sickness and diarrhoea and reduced levels of fat to help soothe stomachs and prevent vomiting.
The food is much more solid than other canned diets- it resembles pate, unlike regular dogs foods set in jelly or gravy, and can't easily be mashed up- I find it better to scoop the amount needed into my dogs bowl and then cut it up into small chunks with a knife and fork, it's a very pale brown in colour, and smells truly awful! But if it makes the dogs better then I suppose we have to put up with it!
Please note Hills Canine I/D *isn't* a regular everyday dog food and should *only* be used for dogs with certain illnesses/complaints and when prescribed by your vet, for the recommend time only.
Hills Canine I/D comes in very basic looking cans with a white and red label telling us the name of the product, the conditions it helps to treat, an ingredients list and a chart giving guideline feeding amounts (although it always best for follow the feeding instructions your vet gives you rather than go by the guidelines on the can). The cans have a handy ring-pull lid and once empty, can be rinsed out and recycled.
*Price & Availability*
When first using I/D and if your dog is only going to go on it for small period of time then you will get it on prescription from your vet, a pack of 12 x 370g cans costs around £20, which works out at about £1.60 a can, which is very expensive. If, however, your dog is diagnosed with a long term condition where Hills Canine I/D will need to be fed for the foreseeable future then it can be purchased online for a slightly discounted price.
Grace is a typical young dog... into everything, loves splashing about in dirty puddles, eating things she shouldn't and picks things up in her mouth that have been god knows where! She may have gotten away with all these things until recently, but last month her luck run out, and I came downstairs at 3am to find her being violently sick, shaking and gunk all over the kitchen floor, god knows what end it had came out of. I may work with other people's sick animals everyday, but when its one of my own, the panic mode sets in like a worried parent, and off I flew to the emergency vets with her. Immediately she was placed on a drip and then knocked out for a full x-ray and blood testing. Three anti-sickness injections and a long lasting antibiotic jab later, she's still emptying the entire contents of her stomach from both ends, and still on the drip suffering from dehydration. She continued like this for another three days before another set of x-rays were taken and she was found to have a build up of gas in the intestines causing severe swelling, therefore causing the sickness and diarrhoea, and putting my poor Gracie in a fair amount of pain. Seeing my normally bouncy, always on the go pup, lying connected up to various drips and machines with barely enough energy to wag her tail was quite honestly one of the most heartbreaking things I have seen.
She continued in this way for the next day or so, but then thankfully, with another set of anti-sickness and antibiotic injections, she began to improve as quickly as she went down hill. With her stomach still very sore and tender, she would be unable to keep down her regular food, and it was result back to square one. A very soft easy to digest food was needed and she was prescribed I/D, thankfully, being a veterinary nurse it's a product I use (well, not me personally) at work on a near daily basis, and had great faith in. When Grace was allowed home, she needed four small meals a day for a week (much to her delight!) and she devoured the I/D, granted that Grace is a walking dustbin who will eat anything, but she really didn't seem to enjoy the food and she was able to keep it down, it filled her up nicely and providing her with a great comforting meal whilst she was on the mend. Towards the end of the week I started mixing in small amounts of her regular dry food, so by the time she was ready to come off the I/D, her stomach has readjusted.
*Pro's & Con's*
+ Easy on the stomach
+ Soft and easy for dogs to eat
+ Suitable for puppies
+ Bland ingredients, yet enjoyable for dogs
+ Can be liquidised, or heated to encourage ill dogs to eat
+ Trusted brand
+ Numerous health benefits
+ Prevents sickness and diarrhoea
+ Helps manage certain illnesses
+ Suitable for long and short term use
+ Hills Feline I/D available for cats
- Very smelly