Food Allergies and Wheat Glutens in Food, Treats, Chews,and Pill Pockets

     National Geographic had a short blurb in the latest issue about the increasing incidence of celiac disease in humans. This disease has increased by 400% in the last few years. If case you’re not familiar with the medical term, Celiac disease is the collection of the many medical symptoms of allergies to the glutens present in grains. Celiac disease occurs when a sensitive person eats food made with wheat, barley, or rye. These three grains contain the highest amount of the troublesome indigestible protein. This protein is not broken down into amino acids, so it looks like more like a bacterial or viral invader. As the bigger gluten molecules float down and are absorbed through the bowel wall, the sensitive person’s immune system may attack and cause inflammation, diarrhea, and pain. The gluten allergy may also cause other medical issues as well as painful muscles and joints. Sometimes these medical problems may look like there is another cause when the inflammation is due to the gluten allergy.

When gluten is attacked, the immune army of cells and chemicals inflame the bowel walls, organs, and other tissues. Filtering organs like the liver or the membranes of the joints are commonly affected as they trap the toxic products of the chemical battle. Inflamed tissues hurt and don’t work as well as healthy tissues.  Inflammation and swelling of those tissues cause discomfort and pain. That is how a food ingredient causes medical symptoms.

 What does this have to do with dogs?

Gluten is cheap filler you will find on the label of many commercial foods, prescription diets, biscuits, dental chews, and treats.  Gluten sensitive dogs will react to the gluten by itching, shaking their head, scooting, having diarrhea or blood in the stool( , and having red gooey ears that never seem to clear up. Seizures may even be caused by gluten containing treats or chews. Avoiding these “toxic treats” may help clear up itchy skin, ear infections, anal gland problems, bowel problems, and even seizures.

Purebreds prone to urinary tract issues like infections, crystals, and stones are often sensitive to glutens. If the prescription diet, geared for urinary issues, inflames the skin, ears, bowels, or causes seizures, that isn’t much help!

You have to read the labels of everything that your pet chews on or eats to help with medical issues due to food allergies. Make sure you are not “treating” your pet with gluten filled treats or chews. Gluten filled pill pockets are even sold. Beware of giving your pet a dose of the food ingredient that is making them sick!

  Learn to feed like I do. Slow cooked meat and veggies, hypoallergenic commercial canned food, raw food, and healthy human food.Better ingredients and less allergens may make your dog and cat look and feel better!!

Check out Dog Dish Diet to learn more about better ingredients, obesity, and allergies. Check out Feed Your Pet to Avoid the Vet to learn how to slow-cook food for your dog and cat. Click on the title you are interested in and read more about them. Email me if you have questions


Dr. Greg’s Dog Dish Diet

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