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Inflammatory Bowel Disease Due to Lymphocytes and Plasma in Dogs

Lymphocytic-Plasmacytic Gastroenteritis in Dogs

Lymphocytic-plasmacytic gastroenteritis in dogs is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) characterized by the infiltration of lymphocytes and plasma cells into the gastrointestinal lining. This condition is believed to stem from an abnormal immune response triggered by environmental factors, possibly exacerbated by bacterial presence in the gut. The disease progresses due to ongoing exposure to antigens and unchecked inflammation, although the precise mechanisms driving it and the contributing factors remain elusive.

Among dogs (and cats), lymphocytic-plasmacytic gastroenteritis stands as the most prevalent form of IBD. Certain breeds such as Basenjis, Lundehunds, and Soft-coated Wheaten Terriers exhibit familial predispositions to this condition.

Symptoms and Types

The manifestations of this condition can vary significantly among patients, depending on the severity of the disease and the specific organ involved. Common symptoms to observe include:

  • Intermittent or chronic vomiting
  • Persistent diarrhea originating from the small bowel
  • Decreased appetite (anorexia)
  • Persistent weight loss over time (cachexia)
  • Presence of black stool
  • Blood in the stool (appearing red)
  • Coughing up or vomiting blood


Factors contributing to this condition include:

  • Genetic predisposition
  • Infections caused by bacteria and parasites
  • Suspected overgrowth of indigenous bacteria in the intestines and stomach
  • Potential alterations in intestinal bacterial populations and immune function
  • Possible links to meat proteins, food additives, artificial coloring, preservatives, milk proteins, and gluten (from wheat)


Your veterinarian will conduct a thorough physical examination and gather detailed information about your pet’s medical history. They may order a chemical blood profile, urinalysis, and electrolyte panel to assess your dog’s overall health. Depending on the findings, additional tests such as intestinal evaluations or blood tests to assess thyroid and pancreatic function may be recommended.

An endoscopy might be performed, providing the veterinarian with a clearer view of the stomach and intestines and allowing for sample collection for further testing. Additionally, a fecal sample will be obtained for microscopic analysis to screen for the presence of parasites.


If your dog is severely dehydrated from chronic vomiting and diarrhea, your veterinarian may admit it to the hospital for intravenous fluid therapy. During this time, feeding by mouth should be avoided if vomiting persists. In cases of severe underweight, a stomach tube may be inserted to provide nourishment.

Depending on the root cause of the condition, your veterinarian may recommend dietary changes, such as elimination diets. Additionally, medication may be prescribed based on the underlying cause of the disease.

Living and Management

Your veterinarian will recommend scheduling follow-up appointments for your dog. If your pet remains severely ill or requires potent medication, these appointments may be more frequent. As your pet’s condition stabilizes, the frequency of veterinary examinations will likely decrease. You’ll collaborate with your veterinarian to establish a new diet plan, continuously evaluating its effectiveness until all signs of illness have resolved.

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