Celiac Disease In Dogs


celiac Disease

Celiac disease is gluten intolerance in animals. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye.  Dogs, like humans, can suffer from celiac disease. By consuming products containing gluten an abnormal immune response occurs which attacks the small intestine. If Celiac Disease is left untreated it often leads to malnutrition and severe damage to your pups digestive system.


There are several signs that can indicate that your dog may have Celiac Disease. It is important that you are aware of the signs as early diagnosis is the always the best way to control any disease.

These signs include:

  • Skin problems
  • Hair loss
  • Bumps or lesions (These lesions usually show up on the dog’s feet, head, neck, ears and stomach)
  • Itching, flaking dry skin
  • Secondary skin infections
  • Chronic ear infections


If your dog shows any signs of being a Celiac then you should consult you vet immediately. Celiac disease has a range of symptoms including:

  • Diarrhea or Constipation (stools may contain a lot of mucus).
  • Weakness
  • Vomiting
  • Weight loss
  • Anemia


Dogs have only developed Celiac Disease over the past 15 years. Wheat was introduced into pet food 15 years ago as a common binding agent in dry dog foods during the baking process.


When a dog with celiac disease eats a gluten-containing food, their body’s immune system attacks the Villi (small, finger-like projections in the small intestine). The Villi help nutrients from food absorb into the bloodstream. If they are damaged or destroyed, your dog can become malnourished, no matter how much they eat.


Including wheat into your pet’s regular diet is unwise as it is the number 1 allergen among cats and dogs and has repercussion for lots of pets.


Gluten attacks the small intestine in celiac resulting in malabsorbtion of nutrients. In severe cases it can lead to hip dysplasia, elbow and shoulder problems, intervertebral disc syndrome, cruciate ligament ruptures, and even heart valve failure.


Although doctors cannot trace a definitive cause of why celiac develops, it’s very clear what happens, as well as the myriad effects on the body. There is no cure for Celiac disease in dogs or in humans but there is management. There is a wide range of gluten free pet food products including treats and dry foods meaning your pet doesn’t have to suffer and can still enjoy tasty meals.


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