James Miller - Coeliac Diary


Monday, December 13, 2004

Do Other Animals Have Coeliac Disease?


Do other animals such as dogs, cats and horses suffer from coeliac disease?

The reason I ask, is that I was in Waitrose in Newmarket today, when I bumped into Greg Chung. Greg is an affable guy who trains racehorses in the town. He asked what the cakes were in my trolley and I said that I’m a coeliac and they were gluten-free.

So we got chatting about nutrition and especially horses. Traditionally racehorses are fed on oats, bran, hay, flaked maize (Corn Flakes to you and me!) and sugar beet pulp. The latter puts on weight. But now most of the trainers in the town feed using prepared balanced feeds or nuts, which are much easier to get right. But what is in them? Barley? Wheat? He also said that horses are often injected with B12 to improve their appetite. Take out the bran from the traditional diet and it’s gluten-free.

All very interesting and perhaps a curiosity, but then he said that the only trainer in the town who uses traditional feed is Sir Michael Stoute. And he’s one of the most successful!

I tried to follow this up on the Internet, but find no references to coeliac or celiac in horses.

So that’s why I asked the question. Are we all the same, with some of us suffering from coeliac disease?

Update October 19, 2006

We have a visiting broodmare on the stud, who has the worst case of dandruff, I've ever seen!



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