Intestinal lymphangiectasia is an uncommon disease in which the intramucosal lymphatics of the dog’s small intestine become obstructed or malformed.
Normal drainage is obstructed in intestinal lymphangiectasia, causing intestinal lymph to spill into the intestines instead of being returned to the circulation.
Lymph fluid is collected from tissues throughout the body and returned to the bloodstream via lymphatic veins as part of the regular circulatory system.
Proteins, lymphocytes (a kind of white blood cell), and lipids (fats) are lost in the stool as a result of this.
Because of a lymphatic system abnormality, intestinal lymphangiectasia can be congenital (existing from birth) or acquired in conjunction with another illness.
It might be a congenital, secondary, or acquired condition.The incidence of primary lymphangiectasia is very low, and of idiopathic origin. The Institute of Veterinary Pathology in the University of Zurich, Switzerland did research to try to find out why.
How is intestinal lymphangiectasia inherited?
The mechanism of hereditary intestinal lymphangiectasia transmission is unclear.
However, it’s possible that it’s caused by a congenital abnormality of the lymphatic arteries (including vascular growth factor) or a lack of lipoprotein lipase (LPL) or apoprotein C-II synthesis.
Both proteins are involved in the release of fatty acids from chylomicrons and are linked to HDL cholesterol. Diagnosis, therapy, and follow-up are all difficult as a result of these factors.
What does this mean for your furry friend?
Intestinal lymphangiectasia symptoms generally appear gradually over several months and may come and go.
The dog may not acquire weight or may lose weight over time. The loss of protein in the gut causes fluid loss in the limbs, abdomen, and chest.
The dog’s legs and/or abdomen may swell, and it may have breathing problems. The loss of protein, moisture, and fat in the gut can cause chronic or intermittent diarrhea.
How can you know if your dog has intestinal lymphangiectasia?
The veterinarian would most likely suspect one of the conditions that cause protein loss in the gut if the dog exhibits the symptoms listed above.
To determine the exact reason, laboratory testing and an intestine biopsy are required.
Biopsies should be taken with caution in these cases since recovery is typically slowed by hypoproteinemia. As a result, before testing, this alternative should be evaluated depending on the dog’s overall condition.
Is there a way to cure intestinal lymphangiectasia?
Although there is no cure for this condition, it may usually be managed by you and your veterinarian. Remissions of many months are typical, with flare-ups on occasion.
This is accomplished by reducing inflammation in the gut wall by diet and medicine.
Low-fat, highly digestible, and/or emulsifier-containing diets are advised.
Due to the malabsorption of fats that occurs with this illness, you should supplement your dog’s food with fat-soluble vitamins in any scenario.
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