What is lymphangiectasia inflammation in Yorkies?
Intestinal lymphangiectasia is a disease in which the intramucosal lymphatics of the small intestine of dogs become obstructed or malformed.
A dog of any breed can be affected, but a genetic predisposition to lymphangiectasia has been observed in Yorkshire terriers.
Lymphangiectasia is when the lymphatic vessels are dilated.
Lymphatic fluid circulates throughout the body through muscle activity, working to cleanse tissues.
When lymph vessels become dilated in the intestines, this vital flow can become blocked. The lymphatic vessels found in the intestines, called lacteals, absorb nutrients.
This indicates that proteins and other essential nutrients are not being absorbed by your Yorkie’s body.
Although your dog’s intestines may reabsorb some nutrients by other means, it is still a “nutritional loss rather than gain” according to VeterinaryPartner.com.
Symptoms of lymphangiectasia in dogs
One of the most common symptoms of lymphangiectasia in Yorkies is chronic diarrhea, but other symptoms can include weight loss, which in a small dog like a Yorkie quickly becomes severe, breathing difficulties, vomiting and general malaise.
In addition, due to the accumulation of fluid in your Yorkie’s abdominal cavity, he may suffer from respiratory problems.
What causes lymphangiectasia in Yorkies?
Lymphangiectasia can exist as a primary or secondary condition.
- In primary intestinal lymphangiectasia, it is usually congenital or hereditary. Primary lymphangiectasia is located in the intestinal lymphatic system and occurs separately from other diseases.
- In Secondary intestinal lymphangiectasia, it is much more common, arising at the same time as other diseases or disorders, such as cancer, veno-occlusive liver disease, constrictive pericarditis and right heart failure.
How do you know if your Yorkie suffers from Lymphangiectasia?
The veterinarian will perform various tests on your Yorkie such as blood and urine tests, ultrasound or an x-ray of the dog’s abdomen, may also perform a fecal sample to rule out parasites, examine your dog’s gastrointestinal system by endoscopy and more.
Treatment for lymphangiectasia inflammation in yorkies
This disease cannot be cured, but can generally be well managed by you and your veterinarian. The first is to reduce the inflammation that is always present.
The main goal of treatment is to reduce protein loss in the intestine, to restore normal protein levels in your dog.
A diet with low fat levels is recommended, and that is highly digestible and/or emulsifiers are incorporated.
With proper veterinary treatment and good nutrition, you can put the disease into remission for a long time, helping your Yorkie to have a good quality of life.