What are Lymphocytic Plasmacytic Enteritis?
Although there are no specific breed, sex, or age linked to lymphocytic plasmacytic enteritis, it is linked to IBD, which is most commonly found in Lundehund, Basenji, Cocker Spaniel, Wheaton and Yorkshire Terrier, Shar-pei, German Shepherd breeds, and males between 5 and 8 years of age. IBD is one of the most common intestinal problems in dogs in the United States. It is thought to be an autoimmune response to many of the food additives and preservatives found in dog foods as well as the amount of proteins. Other speculative ideas include infections such as campylobacter, salmonella, and giardia.
Canine lymphocytic plasmacytic enteritis is one condition within a group of recurrent gastrointestinal illnesses that are called inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) as a group. IBD is the most often reported reason for chronic diarrhea and vomiting in companion pets and lymphocytic plasmacytic enteritis is the most familiar type of IBD. This condition is differentiated by the penetration of plasma cells and lymphocytes into the stomach and intestines which results in inflammation. The cause is thought to be an extreme reaction of the immune system; however, this has not been proven conclusively.
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Symptoms of Lymphocytic Plasmacytic Enteritis in Dogs
Symptoms of lymphocytic plasmacytic enteritis depends on the age and health of your dog and how severe of a case that your dog has. Some of the most common signs of the disease are:
- Chronic diarrhea and vomiting
- Appetite loss
- Weight loss
- Black stool
- Bloody stool
- Coughing or vomiting up blood
- Extreme lethargy
- Swelling of the abdomen
- Breathing trouble
- Fluid retention
Causes of Lymphocytic Plasmacytic Enteritis in Dogs
- Genetic (Lundehund, Basenji, Cocker Spaniel, Wheaton and Yorkshire Terrier, Shar-pei, German Shepherd)
- Parasitic infection
- Bacterial infection
- Overgrowth of the normal bacteria in the stomach and intestines
- Unusual bacterial population in the intestines
- Sometimes related to milk, gluten, preservatives, artificial colors, food additives, and meat proteins
- Idiopathic (unknown)
Diagnosis of Lymphocytic Plasmacytic Enteritis in Dogs
Diagnosing your pet is based on ruling out underlying illnesses and diseases. The veterinarian will need to do a thorough physical examination, including abdominal palpations, body temperature, height, weight, reflexes, pupil reaction time, blood pressure, breath sounds, respirations, and pulse. Describe in detail what has been going on with your dog and how long ago it started. Be sure you tell the veterinarian if you have given your pet any medication, prescription or otherwise. This is important to the diagnosis and treatment since many medications can hide symptoms.
After the physical, the veterinarian will need to do some laboratory tests including a urinalysis, serum chemical analysis, complete blood cell count (CBC), fecal examination, liver enzymes, blood urea nitrogen (BUN), and packed cell volume (PCV). Imaging comes next, such as chest and abdominal x-rays, ultrasound, CT scan, and maybe an MRI to examine the lymph nodes, pancreas, spleen, and liver. These can also check for fecal masses, obstruction, effusions, intussusception, loss of layering, and thickening of the intestinal walls. Also, a gastroduodenoscopy should be done with a long endoscope tube that can examine and take photos of the intestines and stomach. In addition, a tool can be inserted to snare tissues for biopsy.
Treatment of Lymphocytic Plasmacytic Enteritis in Dogs
Treating lymphocytic plasmacytic enteritis can be tough because there is no cure and the cause is still unknown. However, if an underlying cause is found, treating it (if treatable) should control lymphocytic plasmacytic enteritis. If your pet is severely dehydrated, the veterinarian will admit your dog to the hospital for fluid therapy and observation.
To rehydrate your dog, intravenous (IV) fluids (lactated ringer’s solution) will be given. Supplements added to the fluids (potassium and magnesium) will also help balance the electrolytes and flush the kidneys.
Colloids will be given for low levels of protein (albumin), diuretics to remove excess fluids, steroids for inflammation, and antibiotics for infection. If the veterinarian is not sure of the cause, the treatment plan may be to try each treatment on its own, one at a time. For example, starting with an antibacterial medication for four to six weeks, and if there is no change, trying four to six weeks of antiparasitic medicine. Then, if there is still no change, a dietary change should be tried.
Most likely, your veterinarian will prescribe a special diet that is hypoallergenic or an elimination diet with certain proteins that your dog has not had (such as lamb or venison). The food should be tried for about six weeks before trying a new one if there is still no change.
Recovery of Lymphocytic Plasmacytic Enteritis in Dogs
Although it is hard to determine the cause, this disease is not usually fatal as long as you keep trying new things as your veterinarian instructs. Continue to observe and track your dog’s eating and digestive habits and stay in contact with your veterinarian. Unfortunately, with some older dogs, the quality of life may be low and the prognosis may be considered guarded because of the recurrent abdominal upset.
Lymphocytic Plasmacytic Enteritis Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals
Our dog is currently the subject of a Court case and the defendant who currently has care of the dog. The defendant tells us there vet says that tests show our dog ha Lymphocytic-plasmacytic enteristis and low levels of folate and B12, for which he is receiving ongoing treatment in the form of medication and special diet. We think the defendant may not provide us with full details of the vets report nor the ongoing medication and special diet.
I realise this condition can have a wide range of severity and a wide range of costs associated with the ongoing medication and diet, but we would find it helpful to get some idea of the costs that might be involved (low, medium High).
I look forward to your reply
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