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Any dog can suffer from celiac disease or gluten intolerance. However, it is more common in breeds such as the Irish Setter, Samoyed, and Irish Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier. If a dog with celiac disease eats gluten-containing food, there will be an immune response that focuses on the intestinal tract. If the reaction is ignored, the dog may suffer from digestive tract problems, malnutrition, and malabsorption of many vital nutrients (calcium, iron, zinc, copper, magnesium, iodine, vitamins B and C, etc.).

Most vets do not know much about gluten, and unfortunately many dogs suffer for years without being properly diagnosed. However, it is important to get a diagnosis as soon as possible. A gluten-free diet will change your dog’s life for the better.

When a dog has a history of diarrhea, weight loss, poor body condition, and general health problems, most vets will perform routine blood and urine tests. They can also do a fecal examination for parasites, abdominal X-rays, and tests for exocrine pancreatic insufficiency. If these tests do not indicate a problem, your vet will most likely recommend a gluten-free diet for at least four weeks. Once gluten is removed from the diet, diarrhea and any other health problems should stop if the problem is due to gluten.

In case of celiac disease, the dog may have symptoms such as: weight loss, hair loss, fatigue, weakness, decreased vitality, dry skin, itching, recurrent ear infections, and secondary skin infections.

If your pet is diagnosed with celiac disease, you will need to change its diet. Most common dog foods have gluten. Even small amounts can be harmful depending on the sensitivity. Always check the labels of the products you buy and make sure they are gluten-free. Avoid any food that contains wheat or cereals.

It is recommended to avoid gluten in the dog’s diet because it has no nutritional value and is also difficult to digest. Gluten intolerance is easy to treat. Simply give your dog gluten-free food and treats.

If you want to find out the impact COVID-19 has on celiacs, check out our article on this topic: How does COVID-19 affect people with celiac disease?

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