IBS in Pets – A Common Misdiagnosis
Pets and humans are both susceptible to irritable bowel syndrome, also known as IBS. However, IBS is one of the most commonly misdiagnosed illnesses in both pets and humans. Severe pain, diarrhea, vomiting and gastrointestinal issues could actually be a sign of gluten intolerance. In humans, gluten intolerance is caused by either celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Gluten intolerance in pets is not typically classified as either, but it does present itself in very similar ways.
Celiac disease is an autoimmune intolerance of gluten. Celiac disease causes the immune system to attack the protein element of common carbohydrates such as wheat, barley and rye. Once triggered to attack, the immune system targets the villi inside the intestinal wall, negatively altering the surface area of the inside of the bowels.
In addition to causing severe pain, gluten intolerance can cause pets to become bloated, experience diarrhea, vomit repeatedly and develop skin conditions. Loss of appetite and significant weight loss could also be a sign of digestive discomfort.
Complications associated with gluten intolerance in pets include weight loss, fatigue, diminished vitality and an increased susceptibility to infection. If you notice any of these symptoms in your pet, it is important to consult with your veterinarian immediately.
If your veterinarian suspects gluten intolerance they will typically recommend an exclusion diet. While there is no specific test to confirm gluten intolerance in pets, an exclusion diet can confirm the diagnosis if there is a lessening of symptoms. If it is discovered that your pet has a gluten sensitivity it is extremely important that you remove all sources of gluten from your pets diet permanently.
Many companies offer pet foods made with gluten free grains such as rice, millet, corn or amaranth. While oats are naturally gluten free they are often processed with the same equipment as wheat. This makes the oats contaminated with gluten. Look for commercially prepared pet foods that advertise as “grain free”. If you are unable to find dry pet foods that do not contain gluten, consider switching to canned pet foods.
Claws N Paws Day Spa has been taking care of Orange County’s dogs and cats since 2001. We offer full service pet grooming at our state of the art pet salon in Fountain Valley, California. We also offer mobile pet grooming to all areas of Orange County. For more information, or to schedule your next grooming appointment, please call 714-962-1005 today.
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