Protein-Losing Nephropathy (PLN)
Protein-Losing Nephropathy (PLN) is a condition of glomerular diseases. It causes significant protein loss through a structure of the kidneys called the glomerulus. While PLN can have several causes, it’s important to note that Wheatens can have familial PLN due to a podocytopathy causing glomerulosclerosis. Note that PLN is not old age kidney disease and is different than Renal Dysplasia. PLN can be associated with systemic hypertension (high blood pressure), thromboembolic events (blood clots), edema/ascites, and eventually chronic renal failure.
Meryl P. Littman, VMD, DACVIM, Professor Emerita of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine gave a webinar Nov 16, 2021 for the SCWTCA which can answer a lot of your general questions and your vet’s questions about PLN in SCWT dogs. You and your veterinarian can access the webinar and my slides for free at Wheaten Webinars
- The average age of onset is 6 years (range 2-12 years).
- Dogs will not usually exhibit symptoms until the disease is very advanced.
- Left untreated, PLN is usually fatal.
- Treatment is with medication and diet. Early intervention can result in a longer life span.
- Learn more about Protein-Losing Nephropathy.
- Video on Youtube explaining PLN
Testing and Treatment
- Every Wheaten should undergo Annual Testing (blood and urinalysis) to help your veterinarian diagnose PLN at an early stage.
- All Wheaten owners should have the PLN Variant Gene Test results on their Wheaten. See DNA Testing Page below.
- You and your veterinarian will find useful information about testing and treatment in this letter from Dr. Meryl Littman, a key researcher into PLN in Wheatens.
- Your veterinarian will find useful information from the International Renal Interest Society (“IRIS”) Consensus Clinical Practice Guidelines for Glomerular Disease in Dogs.
- Mutations associated with two genes have been identified as being associated with a risk of developing PLN. The DNA Testing Page contains information on this test.