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myquest7846

In The Pet Care Industry

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I have run a boarding kennel for dogs for the past 25 years.

I was diagnosed with celiac disease 2 years ago.  To the best of my ability, have been following all the guidelines from my doctor and nutritionist, and of course reading incessantly blogs such as this.

 

I have a question though, since I am constantly surrounded by dogs that lick my skin, have to feed dogs their food that has gluten, and their treats that have gluten, am I making myself sick?

 

I have had numerous colonoscopies, and endoscopies that show little to no improvement even after following all the rules of my food intake - is it the dogs that are making me sick?

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I'll caveat this with "I'm new at this" - but from everything I've read, unless the dogs are licking your mouth or you're not washing your hands after handling their food, then I would say no - they aren't making you sick.  Unless you're also allergic to the dogs themselves.

 

You may however either be ingesting other sources of gluten that you aren't aware of, or you may have other food allergies/sensitivities that you aren't aware of.  Another possibility, that I just read about is that you could have a severe imbalance in your good and bad bacteria in your intestinal tract (see the thread I started earlier today on "Colosan").

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If you are pouring dried food, you could be breathing in microscopic particles of dust, which you would then swallow, just as you would if you walked into a place that had flour dust in the air. Also, you would have to be really scrupulous about washing your hands after each time you touched one of the dogs.

 

Most of us here have switched over to gluten-free pet food. It's expensive though, so I don't know if it would be an option for you.

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Gloves? I'm sure you wash your hands before you eat, so the only problem with gluteny hands would be if you rub your lips or scratch them. The thing is we do those things subconsciously. You CAN force yourself not to though. (I used to be a waitress, and I learned never to touch my face, mouth or eyes unless I washed my hands first after touching money and dirty napkins.)

 

But the dust - that could be the real problem. You could get a dust mask (the kind carpenters use), but they don't really keep all the dust out. Even if you tie a bandana over your mouth and nose when you are pouring out the food, it would be better than nothing.

 

The other thing to consider is, are you getting cross-contamination from something else? Do you have your own separate mayo jar and butter and jelly? If a knife touches regular bread and then goes back into the jar for a second dose, it has just contaminated the whole jar. Do you have a separate cutting board and toaster? How about wooden spoons and strainers? Are you using scratched plastic containers or teflon pans that have held gulten in the past? If you use cast iron, you need to clean it in the oven on the "clean" setting, then re-season. How's the silverware drawer? Almost everybody's gets crumbs in it.

 

Have you read the newbie 101 thread? It'll give you even more info. We WILL figure this out!! :)

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Gloves? I'm sure you wash your hands before you eat, so the only problem with gluteny hands would be if you rub your lips or scratch them. The thing is we do those things subconsciously. You CAN force yourself not to though. (I used to be a waitress, and I learned never to touch my face, mouth or eyes unless I washed my hands first after touching money and dirty napkins.)

 

But the dust - that could be the real problem. You could get a dust mask (the kind carpenters use), but they don't really keep all the dust out. Even if you tie a bandana over your mouth and nose when you are pouring out the food, it would be better than nothing.

 

The other thing to consider is, are you getting cross-contamination from something else? Do you have your own separate mayo jar and butter and jelly? If a knife touches regular bread and then goes back into the jar for a second dose, it has just contaminated the whole jar. Do you have a separate cutting board and toaster? How about wooden spoons and strainers? Are you using scratched plastic containers or teflon pans that have held gulten in the past? If you use cast iron, you need to clean it in the oven on the "clean" setting, then re-season. How's the silverware drawer? Almost everybody's gets crumbs in it.

 

Have you read the newbie 101 thread? It'll give you even more info. We WILL figure this out!! :)

Thanks for all the ideas bartfull, but, yep separate toaster, toaster oven, cutting boards, condiments.  But hadn't looked in the silverware drawer, that's quite a good idea, and yes, did find a few crumbs of something in there, so bang it's cleaned out now.

 

I have the worst feeling that as long as this goes on and my gut does not seem to be healing the more sensitive I'm getting.  Have never really felt "glutened" before although all the scopes showed damage, that's why I had no idea I had celiac. I had migraines, osteoarthritis, was always anemic then finally a colonoscopy showed the damage. Then this past month have gotten all the "bad"

stomach reactions, diarrhea, gas etc etc. from unknown sources.  This is my 2 yr anniversary of my diagnosis.  Seen 2 drs, and 3 nutritionists, thought I had this pretty well nailed - guess not.

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Thanks for all the ideas bartfull, but, yep separate toaster, toaster oven, cutting boards, condiments.  But hadn't looked in the silverware drawer, that's quite a good idea, and yes, did find a few crumbs of something in there, so bang it's cleaned out now.

 

I have the worst feeling that as long as this goes on and my gut does not seem to be healing the more sensitive I'm getting.  Have never really felt "glutened" before although all the scopes showed damage, that's why I had no idea I had celiac. I had migraines, osteoarthritis, was always anemic then finally a colonoscopy showed the damage. Then this past month have gotten all the "bad"

stomach reactions, diarrhea, gas etc etc. from unknown sources.  This is my 2 yr anniversary of my diagnosis.  Seen 2 drs, and 3 nutritionists, thought I had this pretty well nailed - guess not.

 

Hi Quest,

 

You said a Colonoscopy showed damage?  Did you mean an Endoscopy?  Only the Endo will show Celiac damage.  The Colonoscopy would show a completely different issue.  If all this started in the last month and your routine hasn't changed then maybe you are dealing with another issue.

 

Colleen

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You are in a tough spot as you can't really feed a boarded dog gluten free food, not good for dogs to change foods abruptly and their owners might not appreciate it.  So on that score you are sort of stuck!    On the other hand food dust in the air can be a problem for you.  Some ideas......

Can you do the food prep/clean up and maybe feeding in just one closed off area.  Wear a mask and gloves when in that area.  Don't accept doggie kisses.  If you wear gloves when feeding don't you won't have to worry so much about putting your hands up to your face. 

Playing with and walking with the dogs shouldn't be a problem, just wash your hands after a session with gooey balls!!  

That's a tough one!!

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