Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Dogs

Inflammatory bowel disease is a group of disorders that cause irritation and inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract (GI tract). Immunoproliferative Enteropathy is one of the several forms of IBD. The condition most commonly occurs in young to middle aged basenji dogs.

Also known as immunoproliferative enteropathy, basenji enteropathy and immunoproliferative small intestinal disease (IPSID), immunoproliferative enteropathy is related to abnormally reactive immune system and affects large or small intestine, the liver, the kidney, the endocrine system and the skin. In this condition, lining of the stomach or small or large intestines become infiltrated by lymphocytes and plasma cells which causes obstruction in normal digestion and absorption functions. This immune-related inflammation may be a response to parasites, bacterial infection, dietary sensitivities, or intestinal cancer, but in most cases, no obvious cause is found.

A hereditary lymphocytic-plasmacytic enteritis has been identified in basenji breed and its crossbreds, hence the name immunoproliferative enteropathy in Basenjis.

Chronic diarrhea accompanied with preceding loss of appetite is the most common symptom of this condition. Loss of protein and other vital nutrients through malabsorption causes the second most common symptom, weight loss. Immunoproliferative enteropathy also affects the skin, causing ulcers on ears and hair loss. Gas (flatulance) and depression may also be observed in such patients. 

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