Show Dog Sniffs Out Gluten for Celiac Owner

January 13, 2011

Show Dog Sniffs Out Gluten for Celiac Owner

Veterinary student avoids accidental ingestion with help from gluten-detection service dog.

Dogs may be “Man’s Best Friend,” but for University of Missouri student Hollie Scott, they can also be safety nets. Hollie, who has celiac disease, relies on her canine to ward off the ill effects of accidental gluten exposure.

Named GCH CH Elias Mes Yeux Vigilants RN, the dog is an American Kennel Club Champion and recently won the Award of Excellence at the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship in Long Beach, according to an article in USA Today. But more importantly, he has been trained to sniff out gluten, even when masked in unassuming items like lunch meats or condiments.

Hollie does her own part to avoid gluten, reading labels and monitoring for cross-contamination. But when she eats out, Elias comes along. Before eating, Hollie gives each food the Elias test. If the dog reacts, gluten is likely lurking; if he looks away, the meal should be safe to eat.

For Hollie, “Celiac disease ‘brings a whole new level of stress’ to the very notion of mealtime, and the extra layer of protection Elias provides is ‘comforting,’” the article noted.

To read the full article, visit USA Today’sPet Talk.