The effect of assisted enteral feeding on treatment outcome in dogs with inflammatory protein‐losing enteropathy

Publication date 1st May 2021
Authors Lavinia Economu, Yu-mei Chang, Simon L Priestnall, Aarti Kathrani



The effect of assisted enteral feeding on treatment outcome in dogs with protein-losing enteropathy (PLE) is unknown.


To determine if dogs with inflammatory PLE that had an enteral feeding tube placed had better outcome vs dogs with inflammatory PLE without a feeding tube.


Fifty-seven dogs with inflammatory PLE.


A retrospective study at a UK referral hospital identified dogs with inflammatory PLE using a standard diagnostic criterion. Positive outcome was defined as survival greater than 6 months or death unrelated to PLE and negative outcome as death related to PLE within 6 months of diagnosis. Several variables were assessed to identify factors for positive outcome using logistic regression.


Thirty-five (61%) and 22 (39%) dogs had a positive and negative outcome at 6 months, respectively. Of the 21 dogs that had a feeding tube placed within 5 days of gastrointestinal biopsy, 16 (76%) had a positive outcome and 5 (24%) had a negative outcome. Dogs treated with dietary treatment alone (P = .002) and dogs with an enteral feeding tube (P = .006) were significantly associated with a positive outcome. When stratified by treatment, assisted enteral feeding was significantly associated with a positive outcome in dogs treated with concurrent immunosuppressive treatment (P = .006), but there was insufficient data to evaluate dogs treated with dietary treatment alone.

Conclusions and clinical importance

Assisted enteral feeding in dogs with inflammatory PLE could be associated with improved treatment outcome, especially in those receiving immunosuppressive treatment, and should be considered in the treatment plan of these dogs.