Protein losing enteropathy in dogs
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Protein losing enteropathy in dogs: a report of 11 cases.
Eleven dogs with clinical signs suggestive of protein-losing enteropathy (PLE) were studied. Mean albumin concentrations in serum and plasma were below 50% of the concentrations in serum from control dogs. Mean lymphocyte count was low (0.2 x 10(3) cells/microliter) in comparison with controls (1.4 x 10(3) cells/microliter). Leukocytosis (1.5 x 10(3) cells/microliter) was observed only in 1 dog. Protein loss was evaluated by quantifying protein losses into the urine of dogs fed a diet free of proteins and by determining the faecal protein loss of dogs on a diet containing proteins and by quantifying protein loss after a 2-week period of feeding a diet containing proteins. All dogs, fed a diet free of proteins, excreted albumin into the urine (5.3 mg/kg/24 h), and 3 of 5 dogs excreted more than 20% of their daily food intake in the urine. Three dogs fed a diet containing proteins had faecal protein loss of 4-9 g/kg/day. The other dogs were fed a diet with protein contents ranging between 10 and 15%. Two of these dogs had mild protein loss (3-5 g/kg/day) and 2 dogs had no protein loss during the 2-week study period. The remaining 2 dogs had mild protein loss (7-9 g/kg/day) and 3 dogs had severe protein loss (11-18 g/kg/day). Histopathologic changes were observed in 5 dogs with PLE, including severe diffuse lymphocytic inflammation and mild to severe villous atrophy of the duodenal mucosa. The diagnosis of PLE was confirmed in 5 dogs by protein loss and by the improvement of the clinical signs by treatment with corticosteroids. In the remaining 6 dogs, the diagnosis of PLE was excluded. It was concluded that protein loss in dogs could be a useful tool for the diagnosis of PLE. In dogs with clinical signs suggestive of PLE, and without any known cause for the clinical signs, an increased faecal protein loss and decreased serum albumin concentration were observed. Protein loss, however, was not a sensitive indicator of PLE in these dogs because 2 of 6 dogs with PLE and a decreased faecal protein loss had normal serum albumin concentrations. Therefore, further evaluation of the use of this test is needed.