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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.

 Katie Jones, shares her dramatic story about her celiac diagnosis and brittle bone disease that ultimately led to her down the road to getting Piper, and training her.
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. 
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Putting the Ability in  Disability
Madison has severe epilepsy but does not let that stop her. She does it all with the love a horse named Warrior and her dog Zeke who is trained in Seizure Alert/Response and POTS Alert/Response 

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


Gluten-Sniffing Dog!
Posted on June 5, 2014 in Celiac Disease.
Imagine being so sensitive to gluten that merely touching something made with wheat, barley or rye can trigger a reaction that can shorten your life.
That’s the case with Dawn Scheu, who suffers from Refractory Celiac Disease, a rare condition that causes gluten to damage your intestines, no matter how trace the amount.  People with the condition have severely damaged intestines that cannot heal.  To protect against encountering gluten, she went three years without ...
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