Hi Everyone, I have joined this forum to share some very important information with you. I have been doing medical research (both veterinary and human) for the past 5 years following my personal diagnosis of celiac disease (gluten intolerance). My subsequent recovery from a myriad of symptoms was nothing short of miraculous. BUT, the cool thing was that almost everything I learned also applied to my four-legged friends. I suddenly remembered about the Irish setter...the only breed that had been definitively diagnosed as gluten intolerant...and went to review its typical medical conditions. Bingo- a match for the problems that celiac humans suffer from. BUT, the interesting thing was that they matched those of the Labrador, Golden retriever, German shepherd, Cocker, Rottie, and other breeds that are having big trouble medically. I immediately began taking all of my patients off of wheat and barley, the two main gluten grains in pet foods. As I learned that casein (from cow's milk), soy, and corn could all do the same harm to the intestinal villi that gluten did, I started taking all patients off of those food ingredients as well. Wow! The miracles started happening. The response to the elimination diet- avoiding the gluten grains (wheat, barley, rye), cow's milk products (with casein), soy (errrrrh), and corn- has been nothing less than phenomenal. I am a million percent convinced that gluten intolerance (as well as casein, soy, and corn intolerance) all occur in the dog and cat, with certain breeds being severely afflicted. In fact, I have recently heard that a well-known veterinary pathologist has reopened the books on celiac disease in dogs. It is long overdue. Again, the Irish setter was found to be a celiac years ago (in our medical texts) and serves as the poster child. But where did all of the Irish setters go??? Well, that's what happens when you give wheat to a celiac. They become very ill and often die prematurely. If we examine the "genetic" disorders of the Irish setter, we see that they were a "who's who" of what goes wrong in just about all breeds....and people. Yes, the immune-mediated food intolerances have their hands in just about everything. Once we see the damage that they do to the duodenum AND we are finally told what the duodenum actually does, then we can all have the "revelation" that I had and write so much about on my Website. It has all become second nature to me now, as it has to some of you. I find it soooo hard to believe that everyone doesn't already know and completely understand this, especially doctors, veterinarians, and the pet food companies. BUT, therein lies the rub. As I have written for years, I have yet to casually meet a doctor or veterinarian who has been able to tell me what the duodenum absorbs. I am NOT throwing stones here because I did not know either until I studied my own, new found friend...celiac disease. THEN, the world of medicine became my oyster and things started falling into place like the pieces of a big puzzle. (Sorry for the mixed metaphor ) The duodenum not only does not absorb "nothing", as I have been told in conversation with colleagues and doctors, but it is responsible for the vast majority of the absorption of our calcium, iodine, iron, B complex, C, and trace minerals like zinc, boron, magnesium, chromium, and more. Wow! Man, does that explain much??? For example, now anyone can see why the most food allergic dogs (the breeds listed above) have the worst juvenile bone diseases, immune-mediated diseases, and highest cancer rates. Two of the most food allergic breeds...the Cocker and Shi Tzu...hold the record for blowing discs in their back at ONE YEAR of age. That is 3 years sooner than the average Dachshund. This should be a no-brainer for those who understand how our skeleton is made (calcium, vitamin c, "COLLAGEN"). And the cancer? Well, what drives the health and integrity of our immune systems? How about thyroid problems? Yep...where is the iodine absorbed ? Did you know that some hypothyroid dogs get better on iodine supplements alone? Now you know why, right? As I like to say, "This is not rocket science. If it were, we would KNOW this stuff. We have landers on the moon, Mars, and now on Titan...a moon of Saturn. And yet, we still don't know what the duodenum absorbs or that it is crazy to artificially reduce a fever caused by a virus? Hmmm...". Yes, if what I write about was rocket science, we would understand all of this. Its a matter of priorities, right? And the epilepsy stuff...WOW!!! What a cool thing. I read early on in my celiac research that celiac kids who also had epilepsy often had dramatic improvements in their epilepsy when hey went gluten-free. That caught my attention "for some reason" and I jumped into that topic with both feet. My Website chronicles the journey and outlines the diet. Countless dogs (and people) have responded to this anti-seizures diet over the past 3-4 years. I just placed a new summary-style paper at the top of my epilepsy section. Hopefully, this will make sense to all of you. If not, as I am fond of saying, then I haven't done my job...yet. I hope this helps. I am on a lot of forums now (both human and veterinary) so please feel free to Email me rather than wait for responses on forum posts. I will try to dedicate some time to this forum, however. We have all heard that mutts are the healthiest and there is still some truth to that. The bad news is that since we have transitioned from the old corn-based foods (which were bad enough) to the ones with the gluten grains (wheat, barley, rye) and soy (errrrh), even the mutt is in trouble. My goal is to try to help keep all of the breeds healthy and popular, including the mutt, as well as their owners. And when you see how these vital food issues are affecting their and our health so negatively, I think you will agree that it is high time that we start taking things out of that big ol' recycle bin we call "genetics" and put them where they belong...in the preventable category. How cool is that? John John B.Symes, DVM (aka "DogtorJ") www.dogtorj.net PS. I will not always be able to reply to posts on this forum but my Email Address is all over my Website and I try to answer all Emails sent to me. DogtorJ.net never has advertising or anything to sell and my consults are free at this point in time. I am trying to limit my consults to epilepsy and related neurological conditions.