Familial protein-losing enteropathy and protein-losing nephropathy in Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers: 222 cases (1983-1997)

J Vet Intern Med. Jan-Feb 2000;14(1):68-80. doi: 10.1892/0891-6640(2000)014<0068:fpleap>2.3.co;2.


Records and pedigrees of Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers (SCWT) with protein-losing enteropathy (PLE) or protein-losing nephropathy (PLN) were studied retrospectively. Criteria for inclusion were defined based on analysis of blood (panhypoproteinemia for PLE, hypoalbuminemia for PLN) and urine (proteinuria for PLN) and histopathologic examination of tissue. Two hundred twenty-two affected dogs (female:male ratio = 1.6, P < .001) were clinically identified. Dogs were diagnosed with PLE earlier (P < .005; mean +/- SD age: 4.7+/-2.6 years, n = 76) than with PLN (6.3+/-2.0 years, n = 84) or with both diseases (5.9+/-2.2 years, n = 62). Clinical signs included vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, pleural and peritoneal effusions, and less commonly thromboembolic disease. Dogs with PLE generally had panhypoproteinemia and hypocholesterolemia; intestinal lesions included inflammatory bowel disease, dilated lymphatics, and lipogranulomatous lymphangitis. Dogs with PLN generally had hypoalbuminemia, proteinuria, hypercholesterolemia, and azotemia; renal lesions typically showed chronic glomerulonephritis/glomerulosclerosis, and less commonly endstage renal disease. Dogs with combined PLE/PLN had intermediate mean values (P < .001) for serum total protein, albumin, globulin, and cholesterol but had a higher mean urine protein:creatinine ratio than did PLN dogs (P < .05); intestinal and renal lesions in these dogs were similar to those in the other groups. Two dogs had incidental mild renal dysplasia. Pedigree analysis from 188 dogs demonstrated a common male ancestor, although the mode of inheritance is unknown. Both PLE and PLN are common diseases in this small breed population. The prognosis is poor. Compared with previously reported intestinal and renal diseases in dogs, a new, distinctive familial predisposition for both PLE and PLN has been recognized in the SCWT breed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dog Diseases / genetics*
  • Dog Diseases / pathology
  • Dogs
  • Female
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease*
  • Glomerulonephritis / genetics
  • Glomerulonephritis / pathology
  • Glomerulonephritis / veterinary*
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / genetics
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / pathology
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / veterinary
  • Male
  • Pedigree
  • Prognosis
  • Protein-Losing Enteropathies / genetics
  • Protein-Losing Enteropathies / pathology
  • Protein-Losing Enteropathies / veterinary*
  • Retrospective Studies