Symptoms of Celiac Disease in Dogs

An intolerance to gluten in various types of food is what oftentimes leads to symptoms of celiac disease in dogs. While celiac disease itself is found only in Irish Setters, there are many different types of breeds that can have a similar negative reaction or intolerance to gluten. Because gluten is one of the primary components of many different grains, like barley, wheat and rye, it can make it very difficult to find an appropriate food for your dog that won't leave him sick. However, the first step toward treating this condition is identifying it, and the best way to do that is by observing your pet for the symptoms.

Bowel Difficulties

Dogs with celiac disease will oftentimes suffer from irregularities of the bowels. This may manifest in either diarrhea or constipation. It serves as a sign that the gluten in the food that your pet eats has caused his intestinal tract and bowels to have an allergic reaction, which has prompted an immune system attack on the bowels themselves. Look for regular bouts of constipation or diarrhea, and even for interchanging problems with both of them.


Along with the symptoms of celiac disease that present themselves in the bowels, it's also very likely that you'll notice your pet having other types of indigestion as well. This oftentimes results in his vomiting up the food that he's eaten. It's not likely that he'll vomit it right away after eating, but only as his body begins to digest the food and he runs into difficulties in that regard.

Mucus in the Stool

Regardless of the consistency of your pet's stool, he will likely have a lot of mucus in his stool samples. This is an indicator that his bowels and intestinal tract are bombarded by attacking white blood cells and other immune system components.

Weight Loss

As your pet has a difficult time digesting the food that he eats and which contains gluten, he'll also have a harder and harder time gaining the nutritional benefits from that food that he requires. This means that he's likely to lose weight over time. Watch your pet's weight carefully for signs that he may be losing weight.


Along with the weight loss and general lack of proper nutrition, it's not uncommon for dogs with celiac disease or gluten intolerance to have a very tough time maintaining the energy levels that they once had. You may notice your pet sleeping more of the time, or he may lack energy when you run or walk with him. He may also be slower or hesitant to come get food or to greet you when you enter your home.

If you notice any of these symptoms, take note of them and bring your pet in to the vet for an immediate examination. Proper diagnosis of celiac disease is crucial to the treatment of this condition and the adjustments that must be made to your dog's diet.