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Max the Police Dog – almost arrested by allergies

Max with Sergeant KumaloAllergies almost put an end to Max’s crime-fighting career, but loving care and a special food has given this Shongweni police dog his wag back.

Up until winter 2016, Max was an invaluable member of the South African Police Services (SAPS) Shongweni K9 Unit. He and his handler Constable Kumalo had helped apprehend many criminals. “He’s a big dog and excelled at his job,” said Warrant Officer Colin Buckthorp, the Shongweni K9 Unit Commander. “He was our top-performing dog.”

Then Max started losing weight. He was sent to the SAPS vet in Pretoria for treatment and initially seemed to improve. However, once he returned to Shongweni he deteriorated, developing a skin condition that became badly infected. He lost most of his hair, his skin was red, sore and swollen. He was too ill to work and just lay in a corner, depressed, not wanting to move.

Max was taken to local Crossroads Vet for urgent treatment. “Max was in a very serious condition, in a lot of pain and extremely aggressive. We had to sedate him just to do the examination,” says veterinarian Dr Rob Crosley.

Because diet can play such an important role in helping manage skin conditions, Crossroads Vet asked Hill’s Pet Nutrition to provide a special skin care food for Max. They were more than happy to provide Hill’s Prescription Diet food (d/d), one of the clinically proven foods in their skin care range.

Max was put on strict flea control and initially given medication to help manage the inflammation. Within a short time of treatment and exclusively eating Hill’s Prescription Diet d/d, Max started to get better.

Within a week Max was improving. “Now he’s like a different dog,” says Warrant Officer Colin Buckthorp. “Before, he looked like he was on his way out, his eyes were dull. Now he’s got the wag back in his tail and a zest for life. At his recent annual assessment, he scored 96%!”

To see the difference and watch Max in action go to

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