Hospital for Small Animals

Intestinal Disease in Dogs

Defining the best way to treat severe intestinal disease in dogs


Gastrointestinal diseases are a common and debilitating group of diseases in dogs. One of the most important groups of gastrointestinal diseases are protein losing enteropathies where the intestinal disease is so severe that protein cannot be maintained in the circulation and is lost through the disrupted gastrointestinal tract. The low concentrations of circulating proteins, including albumin, can cause a wide range of clinical signs including development of fluid in the abdominal cavity and clots in blood vessels. Consequently, it is critically important to initiate early and effective treatment as soon as the disease is detected in order to prevent some of these deleterious complications developing. Glucocorticoids are the mainstay of treatment for this treatment and in our recent study, we have examined whether the widely used practice of adding in additional immunosuppressive treatments, which can be associated with significant side effects, was of benefit. We found that this was not the case, thereby allowing us to demonstrate that protein losing enteropathies can be treated with a cost effective and widely available drug.

Read the original research

Diagnostic features, treatment, and outcome of dogs with inflammatory protein-losing enteropathy.