You Make The Diagnosis: Intestinal Disease of Humans and Irish Setters

Irish Setters are a wonderful breed with a zest for life.  In my experience, they live life to the fullest with an boundless sense of curiosity.  Unfortunately, this breed is known for suffering from an intestinal disease that is becoming more and more prevalent in humans.  The clinical signs for both dogs and people are diarrhea, abdominal discomfort and gas.  Name this disease. 

Diagnosis:  Gluten-sensitive Enteropathy

Grain free diets for humans started because many people suffer from celiac disease.  This is basically an allergy to gluten, a protein found in many cereals. Corn and rice are gluten free while wheat, barley, rye, oats and buckwheat contain gluten. So far, gluten-sensitive enteropathy has only been documented as a hereditary disease in Irish Setters. (Garden, O.A., et al., Inheritance of gluten-sensitive enteropathy in Irish Setters. Am. J. Vet. Res. 2000, Vol.61(4) pp.462-8.)


Published by kristennelsondvm

Dr. Kristen Nelson grew up on a farm in Watertown, Minn., where she developed a deep love for animals of all kinds. She received a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Minnesota, College of Veterinary Medicine. Kris then completed a small-animal internship at the prestigious Animal Medical Center in New York City. In addition to writing and speaking, she cares for small and exotic animals in Scottsdale, Az. Dr. Nelson is widely quoted in the media. Her credits include Ladies’ Home Journal, USA TODAY, the Los Angeles Times and numerous radio and television interviews. Dr. Nelson has written two books, Coated With Fur: A Vet’s Life and Coated With Fur: A Blind Cat’s Love. Kris and her husband Steve share their home with rescued cats, birds and a dog.