Dog Health: Lactose Intolerance

Dog | Lactose Intolerance

An Introduction to Lactose Intolerance

Lactose intolerance is an inability to digest the sugar lactose, which is mainly found in dairy products.

Erin Dowler (veterinarian) – May 2014



Dog Lactose Intolerance information

Causes of Lactose Intolerance

Puppies initially have the ability to digest lactose. However, after weaning the level of the enzyme lactase (which is needed to digest lactose) reduces to 10% of its original level. Some dogs no longer have any enzyme and are completely intolerant.




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Symptoms of Lactose Intolerance

Symptoms

Diarrhoea occurs if a dog ingests more lactose than they can ingest.

Diagnosis

Diagnosis is by a trial where exclusion of dairy products resulting in resolution of diarrhea. If re-introducing dairy products causes the diarrhea to occur, this is likely the cause.




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Treatment of Lactose Intolerance

Treatment

Dairy products need to be excluded. Sometimes additional management for diarrhea may be required while the dog recovers, such as an easily digestible diet and gastroprotectants.

Prevention

Do not feed dogs excessive dairy products.

Advice/Tips

Pet milk is available which is lactose free.




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