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  • Jefferson Adams

    Can Gluten-Sniffing Dogs Help People with Celiac Disease?

    Jefferson Adams
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    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

      Can gluten-sniffing dogs make life better for sensitive celiac patients?


    Zeus, an Australian Shepherd like the one pictured here, has learned to warn its owner if food contains gluten. Photo: CC--Paul Schadler
    Caption: Zeus, an Australian Shepherd like the one pictured here, has learned to warn its owner if food contains gluten. Photo: CC--Paul Schadler

    Celiac.com 07/12/2017 - Humans rely on powerful canine noses to do so many things, including sniffing for drugs, bombs and even cancer.

    Now, some dogs are being trained to serve their masters by sniffing out gluten.



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    Trained to help some of the 3 million Americans who have celiac disease, gluten sniffing dogs can be a tremendous boon to their owners, especially those who are highly sensitive.

    One such person is Evelyn Lapadat, a 13-year-old Indiana girl with celiac disease that leaves her with joint pain, stiffness and fatigue when she eats even tiny amounts of gluten.

    Now, thanks to Zeus, her Australian shepherd, Evelyn rarely has an issue with gluten. That's because Zeus has been trained to sniff out even tiny amounts of gluten in food. Zeus stays by Evelyn's side throughout the day at school, checking her hands and sniffing her food.

    Zeus has learned to raise his paw if he smells gluten. If the food is safe, then Zeus turns his head.

    “I haven't gotten sick in a really long time and it's like a really big relief,” Evelyn said.

    Maybe one day dogs like Zeus will be much more common.

    See more at NBCNews.com

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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams is Celiac.com's senior writer and Digital Content Director. He earned his B.A. and M.F.A. at Arizona State University, and has authored more than 2,500 articles on celiac disease. His coursework includes studies in science, scientific methodology, biology, anatomy, medicine, logic, and advanced research. He previously served as SF Health News Examiner for Examiner.com, and devised health and medical content for Sharecare.com. Jefferson has spoken about celiac disease to the media, including an appearance on the KQED radio show Forum, and is the editor of the book "Cereal Killers" by Scott Adams and Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.


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