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Eosinophilic gastroenteritis is an inflammatory disease of the stomach and intestines that is characterized by the presence of a high number of eosinophils, a type of white blood cell. This condition can affect animals at any point in their life though it’s most common in dogs younger than five years of age.Eosinophilic gastroenteritis in dogs in a rare inflammatory condition affecting the stomach and intestines that often leads to diarrhea and vomiting in younger dogs.
Primary eosinophilic gastroenteritis
There are a multitude of possible causes for eosinophilic gastroenteritis, including:
Genetics - German shepherds, rottweilers, soft-coated Wheaten terriers, and Chinese Shar-Pei may be predisposed to this condition.
The first steps in being able to treat your dog will be to determine the underlying cause of eosinophilic gastroenteritis. Your veterinarian will begin with a thorough examination of your dog, noting his mood, temperature, heart rate and any areas of tenderness.
Further tests may include:
Generally, this condition is diagnosed on the basis of your dog’s symptoms and the ability to rule out other, more serious causes. Positive diagnosis can be made through endoscopic biopsy, though this is rarely performed and is seen as unnecessary unless the dog has been suffering with the condition for some time. Radiographs, such as X-rays, usually show an inflammation of the intestinal tract and stomach walls, which is enough evidence for most veterinarians to begin treatment.
Treatment for this condition depends, in part, on the cause.
Eosinophilic gastroenteritis itself, regardless of cause, is treated with prednisone or a similar steroid, which helps to reduce inflammation; pain medications, which are used to control intestinal and stomach discomfort; acid blockers, which help to reduce stomach acid and prevent further damage; and diet changes to avoid further irritation to the stomach and intestinal tract.
Eosinophilic gastroenteritis is generally self-limiting and heals on its own with conservative treatment and monitoring. Dogs need not avoid exercise or their usual activities unless specifically instructed to do so by their veterinarian. Recovery is usually spontaneous and occurs within three to 10 days of onset. Owners will be charged with watching for continued vomiting or malaise, and your veterinarian may wish to see your dog for a follow-up visit to recheck white blood cell levels and/or stool samples.
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