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J Small Anim Pract. 2017 Feb;58(2):103-108. doi: 10.1111/jsap.12625.

Dietary management of presumptive protein-losing enteropathy in Yorkshire terriers.

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Departments of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA.
Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77845, USA.



To describe the clinical outcome of dietary management of Yorkshire terriers with protein-losing enteropathy without immunosuppressive/anti-inflammatory medications.


Records were searched for Yorkshire terriers with hypoalbuminaemia and a clinical diagnosis of protein-losing enteropathy that were managed with diet and without immunosuppressive/anti-inflammatory medications. Serum albumin changes were compared using a one-way repeated measures ANOVA. Canine chronic enteropathy clinical activity index scores were compared using a Wilcoxon signed-rank test.


Eleven cases were identified. Clinical signs were variable including: diarrhoea, respiratory signs, vomiting, lethargy and weight loss. Diets fed included home cooked (n=5); Royal Canin Gastrointestinal Low Fat (n=4); Hill's Prescription Diet i/d Low Fat (n=1); or Purina HA Hypoallergenic (n=1). Clinical signs resolved completely in eight dogs, partially resolved in two dogs and failed to respond in one dog. In dogs that responded, albumin significantly improved from baseline (mean 14·9 g/L, sd ±3·7), at 2 to 4 weeks (mean 24·2 g/L, sd ±5·5, P=0·01), and at 3 to 4 months (mean 27·0 g/dL, sd ±5·9, P=0·01).


These results indicate that dietary management of protein-losing enteropathy is a potential management strategy in Yorkshire terriers. Randomised clinical trials in Yorkshire terriers with protein-losing enteropathy are necessary to compare success rate, survival and quality of life with dietary management versus combined dietary and immunosuppressive/anti-inflammatory therapy.

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