Species affected: Cats, Dogs
Background: Food allergies (immune-mediated hypersensitivities) and food intolerances that are often non-immune-mediated are common conditions, with some breeds having a higher incidence.
Symptoms: Frequently digestive in origin, symptoms can include diarrhea, enteritis, irritable bowel syndrome, vomiting and malabsorption. Other symptoms can develop including skin and coat problems, respiratory symptoms.
Diagnostics: The best way to diagnose the condition is through IgE blood testing for allergens, or food elimination diets.
Special Notes: Food allergies should be considered when animals have chronic disease symptoms that are non-responsive to carefully selected treatments.
Principles for Supplementation: Treatment consists of therapy directed at the organ affected, along with elimination of the foods to which the animal is reactive. Digestive enzymes are often indicated as the digestive tract is often functioning at less than optimal levels. B-complex has been found to increase the effectiveness of conventional treatment; many animals are at least partially B-vitamin deficient because of malabsorption.