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


Updated 02/15/2023