Protein-Losing Enteropathy (PLE)

Protein-Losing Enteropathy (PLE) is characterized as a loss of protein from the intestines due to intestinal disease.  There can be many causes of PLE, but it’s important to note that there may be a hereditary component in Wheatens, predisposing them to inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and/or intestinal lymphangiectasia.

  • The average age of onset is 4½ years (range 0.5-11 years).
  • A PLE dog may exhibit diarrhea, vomiting, edema/ascites, picky appetite, and weight loss.  Since these are symptoms of many types of illness, serious and minor, proper diagnosis is important.  Left untreated, PLE can become serious and fatal.
  • Treatment is with medication and diet and can result in extended life.
  • Learn more about Protein-Losing Enteropathy.
  • Learn more about Inflammatory Bowel Disease.
Testing for PLE

Early diagnosis of PLE can give your dog a better quality of life.  Performing the Annual Testing Protocols  can help your veterinarian diagnose PLE.

If you are concerned about PLE you may want to consider the following:

Annual fecal API testing in addition to annual blood and urine screening tests on healthy breeding dogs but should be aware there are situations in which the test can produce a false positive result.  (The Fecal API test is not available at this time due to COVID).

Antech Canine CE-IBD Test: Antech Diagnostics is accelerating the diagnosis of CE/IBD with the Canine CE-IBD Assay. For the first time, a blood test can assess three gastrointestinal biomarkers and help determine the presence of CE/IBD in dogs with a high level of accuracy. You can consider discussing this test with your veterinarian. Learn more here

Updated 12/17/2020