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Dietary Related Gastrointestinal Disorder in Dogs

Dietary related gastrointestinal disorders can be described as adverse reactions to foods that result in the onset of gastrointestinal symptoms, most notably vomiting and diarrhea. They may be caused by an abnormal or exuberant immune response to a component of the food (food allergy, food hypersensitivity), or they can occur independent of any immune system involvement (food intolerance).

Predisposing factors include the presence of any previous or current gastrointestinal disorder, young animals less than one year of age, and any concurrent allergic disorders. Both sexes are equally susceptible. Immune deficiencies predisposing to food allergy and hypersensitivity have been documented in some German shepherds and shar-peis; some Irish setters have a well-described hypersensitivity to gluten.

Food allergies, hypersensitivities, and intolerances can lead to clinical symptoms involving both the skin and the gastrointestinal tract.

What to Watch For

Diagnostic tests may include:

Treatment of Canine Dietary Related Gastrointestinal Disorders

Feeding a diet that does not cause an adverse reaction – once a protein source is identified that does not trigger an adverse reaction, that diet, or another diet with the same main protein source is fed thereafter.

Home Care and Prevention