Health Screening for Protein-Losing Enteropathy (PLE), Protein‑Losing Nephropathy (PLN), Renal Dysplasia (RD), and Addison's Disease
Recommended by SCWTCA and its Researchers

The SCWTCA Health Committee recommends that you annually health screen your Wheaten throughout their lifetime. If any laboratory abnormalities associated with PLE/PLN, RD and/or Addison's Disease are found, we strongly suggest that you carefully monitor your Wheaten.

PLE / PLN

  • Clinical Signs of PLE
    PLE is usually caused by inflammatory bowel disease or lymphangitis/lymphangiectasia. In affected Wheatens there is a stimulation of the immune system in the bowel wall. Some of the common signs and symptoms are:
    • Vomiting
    • Diarrhea
    • Weight loss
    • Abdominal swelling caused by accumulation of fluid
  • Laboratory abnormalities associated with PLE
    Note that not all of the laboratory abnormalities are seen in every case. The most important lab changes are indicated with an asterisk*.
    • Low serum albumin*
    • Low serum globulin*
    • High eosinophils
    • Low cholesterol
    • Abnormally low level of white blood cells
  • Clinical Signs of PLN
    PLN can be difficult to diagnose. The initial stages of the disease may be mistaken for liver, glandular, or other enteric or kidney diseases. Wheatens with PLN may have serious thromboembolic events before renal failure starts, even before there is increased serum creatinine or BUN. An abnormality of the glomeruli usually causes PLN. Some of the common signs and symptoms are:
    • Listlessness/depression
    • Decreased appetite, vomiting, weight loss
    • Abdominal swelling caused by accumulation of fluid
    • Increased water consumption, increased urination (less common)
    • Formation of a clot (thrombus) that breaks loose and is carried by the blood stream to plug another vessel, and high blood pressure (less common)
  • Laboratory abnormalities associated with PLN
    Note that not all of the laboratory abnormalities are seen in every case. The most important lab changes are indicated with an asterisk*.
    • Low serum albumin*
    • levated serum creatinine, BUN
    • High cholesterol
    • Elevated urine protein/creatinine ratio
    • Elevated microalbuminuria*
    • Excessive protein in urine
  • Screening Tests for PLE/PLN
    • Biochemical profile (include total protein, albumin, creatinine, BUN, cholesterol, Na/sodium, K/potassium & phosphorus, etc.)
    • Complete blood count (CBC)
    • Routine urinalysis (specific gravity, dipstick, urinary sediment)
    • Urine protein/creatinine ratio or
    • E.R.D. Health Screening or
    • PLN MA (Microalbuminuria)
    • Optional: Fecal API test through Texas A&M if suspicious of PLE

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Renal Dysplasia (RD)

  • Clinical Signs of RD
    Renal Dysplasia (RD) is the abnormal development of the kidney. This malformation can result in early renal failure. The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier (SCWT) is a breed with a known inherited (genetic) basis for RD. Some of the common signs and symptoms are:
    • Increased water consumption
    • Increased urination (dilute urine)
    • Failure to thrive; decreased appetite
    • Vomiting
    • Possibly prone to urinary tract infection
  • Laboratory abnormalities associated with RD
    • Low urine specific gravity
    • Elevated creatinine, BUN
    • Small kidneys
    • Small, ill-defined kidneys with cysts seen via abdominal ultrasound
  • Screening Tests for RD
    • Biochemical profile
      (include total protein, albumin, creatinine, BUN, cholesterol, Na/sodium, K/potassium & phosphorus, etc.)
    • Complete blood count (CBC)
    • Routine urinalysis (specific gravity, dipstick, urinary sediment)
    • Abdominal radiographs/ultrasound
    • Kidney biopsy wedge, not Tru-cut

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Addison's Disease (Hypoadrenocorticism)

  • Clinical Signs of Addison's
    Addison's disease (Hypoadrenocorticism) is the insufficient production and secretion of hormones (glucocorticoids, mineralocorticoids) by the adrenal gland cortex. The clinical signs are often nonspecific and can mimic those of multiple other medical disorders. Some of the common signs and symptoms are:
    • Listlessness/depression
    • Decreased appetite, vomiting, weight loss
    • Inability to handle stress
    • Sudden collapse
    • Slow heart rate
  • Laboratory abnormalities associated with Addison's
    • Decrease in Na/K ratio (Sodium/potassium ratio)
    • Abnormal ACTH stimulation test
    • Elevated serum creatinine, BUN
  • Screening Tests for Addison's
    • Biochemical profile (include total protein, albumin, creatinine, BUN, cholesterol, Na/sodium, K/potassium & phosphorus, etc.)
    • Complete blood count
    • Routine urinalysis (specific gravity, dipstick, urinary sediment)
    • ACTH stimulation test

Updated 07/2016   (Posted 11/23/2017)


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