Lactose Intolerance in Dogs
Definition of Lactose Intolerance
Lactose intolerance is a fairly common digestive disorder in dogs that involves an adverse reaction to milk and dairy products. Affected dogs don’t have a key enzyme, called lactase, which is necessary for them to be able to digest lactose, one of the main sugars in milk. Undigested lactose can’t be absorbed, so it stays in the intestines and causes upset tummies, bloating, nausea, vomiting and a large amount of diarrhea. Severe dehydration can also occur. Different dairy products can affect dogs in different ways. Cheese, for example, can cause constipation in some lactose intolerant dogs, causing them to strain while defecating and produce small, hard, dry feces. However, many people supplement their dog’s diet with yogurt or cheese without any adverse consequences. Owners should just be aware of the signs of lactose intolerance so that they can eliminate dairy products from their dog’s diet if lactose seems to be a problem.
While milk is not necessary to a dog's or diet, it can be a treat if given from time to time. However, some dogs cannot tolerate milk because they do not produce an enzyme called lactase. Lactase helps with the digestion of lactose, which is found in milk. After weaning, the level of lactase activity falls to about 10 per cent of its peak activity. In some dogs, diarrhea will occur if more lactose (i.e.
The most common outward signs of lactose intolerance in dogs are abdominal pain, bloating, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea – fairly typical indications of gastrointestinal distress. This is not surprising, because the animal’s gastrointestinal system is missing a key enzyme necessary to digest the sugars in milk. Sometimes, a dog will drink excess amounts of water when suffering from lactose intolerance, since the diarrhea and vomiting associated with the condition can cause dehydration and consequent thirst.Lactose