Critically appraised topic on adverse food reactions of companion animals (6): prevalence of noncutaneous manifestations of adverse food reactions in dogs and cats

BMC Vet Res. 2018 Nov 12;14(1):341. doi: 10.1186/s12917-018-1656-0.


Background: Many reports describe the cutaneous signs of adverse food reactions (AFR) in the dog and cat. However, various non-cutaneous clinical signs are less well described. Our objective was to systematically evaluate these non-cutaneous signs of AFR in small animals.

Results: We searched two databases (MEDLINE and Web of Science) for pertinent references on non-cutaneous signs of adverse food reactions. Among 117 and 764 articles found in the MEDLINE and Web of Science databases, respectively, we selected 47 articles that reported data related to non-cutaneous clinical signs of AFR. Gastrointestinal signs, symmetrical lupoid onychitis, conjunctivitis, sneezing, and anaphylaxis were reported to be associated with AFR in dogs and gastrointestinal and respiratory signs, conjunctivitis, and hyperactive behaviour in cats. In Border terriers with paroxysmal gluten-sensitive dyskinesia, an underlying AFR should be considered. Of these clinical signs diarrhoea and frequent defecation were most frequently reported to be diet-responsive in dogs; in the cat, these were vomiting and diarrhoea.

Conclusions: An elimination diet should be considered early in the work-up of dogs and cats with chronic vomiting and diarrhoea. Other non-cutaneous signs occur less commonly because of AFRs.

Keywords: Canine; Diarrhoea; Feline; Food allergy; Gastroenteritis; Vomiting.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cat Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Cat Diseases / etiology
  • Cat Diseases / pathology
  • Cats
  • Diarrhea / etiology
  • Diarrhea / veterinary
  • Dog Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Dog Diseases / etiology
  • Dog Diseases / pathology
  • Dogs
  • Food Hypersensitivity / diagnosis
  • Food Hypersensitivity / etiology
  • Food Hypersensitivity / pathology
  • Food Hypersensitivity / veterinary*
  • Vomiting / etiology
  • Vomiting / veterinary