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Allergy to Gluten and Cross-reactive Foods

Updated: Apr 28

An allergy or food intolerance test can determine if your pet is allergic (or hypersensitive) to gluten. If they are, you would eliminate all gluten-enriched food from your pet’s diet first. However, allergy symptoms may still not be gone. They may be caused by the cross-reactivity of gluten. The immune system makes antibodies that target antigens (proteins) that are harmful to the organism. Cross-Reactivity is the ability of an antibody to recognize specific, similar short amino acid sequences on different proteins found in different food gluten. Therefore, a number of gluten-free foods which contain proteins similar to gluten may be confused with gluten by your pet’s immune system. The gluten cross-reactivity occurs most commonly with dairy products because casein, the protein found in dairy, is similar to the gliadin protein found in gluten.

Thus, pets who have allergies or intolerance to gluten can also be sensitive to dairy products containing casein and whey protein. However, dairy is not the only product that can be cross-reacted to gluten and cause symptoms of hypersensitivity. Here are the six foods that your body can confuse with gluten because of their similar protein structure: dairy products (e.g., milk, cheese, yogurt, sour cream, and butter), corn, millet, oats, rice, and yeast. Thus, if your dog does not eat gluten-containing food and is still experiencing health issues, try to eliminate the food mentioned above for at least two months. If the allergy symptoms improve, you can reintroduce these foods one at a time to find out which food is causing the allergic reaction. There is potential that the problem can be all of the eliminated foods.

To summarize, if your pet is demonstrating allergy/intolerance symptoms, you must test your pet for allergy or food intolerance in order to help find the right solution. Pet preferred diagnostics has the latest technologies to perform allergy tests for dogs, cats, and horses.

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