Celiac Service Dog 'Heralds' Life-Change for Veterinary Student
Jess Benson is a third-year student at Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine. She is getting ready to start clinical rotations, pondering residency, looking for internships, and is well on her way to fulfilling her dreams of becoming an equine practitioner on the East Coast. The dream of veterinary school, however, almost never came to fruition because of celiac disease. “I’ve been sick most of my life, but I never received a definitive diagnosis,” says Jess. “The summer before vet school, I was getting sicker and sicker to the point where I was getting ready to defer my first year because I could barely get out of bed. I could barely move.” An endoscopy exam showed the disease had caused her intestinal lining to be completely destroyed. There was no absorptive surface for nutrients. Jess was eating six meals a day and continuing to lose weight. She was finally diagnosed with celiac disease on the second day of her first year of veterinary school.
Photography by Kattie Landis Prock
Jess and Harold were the first team trained
by video conference.
Dawn Scheu talks about refractory celiac disease and training gluten detection dogs
Dawn Scheu, owner and professional trainer at Willow Service Dogs, returns to talk about a recent harrowing experience she had with a medication that she believed to be safe for her. In addition to talking about the need for more oversight on medications with allergens, we talk in detail about what goes into owning a service dog.
Can We Create a Gluten-Detecting Service Dog?
Programs now exist to train dogs to detect subtle but specific allergens.
Post published by Stanley Coren Ph.D., F.R.S.C. on Sep 30, 2014 in Canine Corner
Source: SC Psychological Enterprises Ltd