Chronic Gastric Disease in Dogs: A Retrospective Study of 73 Cases (2002-2007)
ACVIM 2008
J.A. Lidbury; J.S. Suchodolski; J.M. Steiner
Gastrointestinal Laboratory, Texas A&M University
College Station, TX, USA

Gastric disease in dogs is poorly characterized. Chronic gastric disease without involvement of other parts of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract is believed to be uncommon in the dog. The objectives of this retrospective study were to test the hypothesis that intestinal pathology often occurs concurrently with chronic gastric disease in dogs and to characterize the historical, physical, clinicopathological, imaging, endoscopic, and histological findings in dogs with chronic gastric disease.

Medical records from 159 dogs that underwent gastroscopy, gastroduodenoscopy, or gastrotomy were reviewed retrospectively. Dogs were included in the study if abnormal histopathological findings were identified upon evaluation of gastric biopsies. The history, clinical examination findings, results of diagnostic testing, diagnoses, treatments, and outcome were recorded for each case. Cases were then divided into 3 groups: group 1 was comprised of dogs with disease primarily involving the stomach, group 2 was comprised of dogs with clinically significant disease of the stomach and other parts of the GI system, and group 3 was comprised of dogs with disease primarily involving the extra-gastric GI system with only minimal gastric involvement. Categorical data were analyzed using a X2 test.

Seventy-three dogs with gastric pathology were included in this study. A range of breeds and ages were represented. Group 1 accounted for 41.1% (n=30) of all dogs included in the study, group 2 for 28.8% (n=21), and group 3 for 30.1% (n=22). The most frequent clinical sign recorded was vomiting, which was recorded in 57.5% (n=42) of cases. The most common biochemical abnormality was hypoalbuminemia, occurring in 39.7% (n=29) of cases. Hypoalbuminemia occurred in 13.3% (n=4) of dogs in group 1, 38.1% (n=8) of dogs in group 2, and 77.3% (n=17) of the dogs in group 3; (p<0.01). Lymphoplasmacytic gastritis (LPG) was the most frequent histopathological diagnosis, recorded in 52.1% (n=38) of cases. Of the dogs with LPG, 13.2% (n=5) were classified as having minimal and 55.3% (n=21) were classified as having mild LPG. Concurrent intestinal pathology was recorded in 71.9% (n=46) of cases, where intestinal biopsies were collected. Chronic gastritis of unknown cause was the clinician's final diagnosis in 13.7% (n=10) of cases and was more commonly diagnosed than any specific etiology of gastritis.

The results of this study suggest that chronic gastric disease occurs most commonly with concurrent intestinal pathology. However, a considerable number of dogs did not have evidence of concurrent intestinal disease. Hypoalbuminemia occurred more frequently in dogs with disease affecting the intestines than in those with disease primarily affecting the stomach. Lymphoplasmacytic gastritis was the most commonly observed gastric histopathological finding and was often of minimal or mild severity. The clinical significance of minimal or mild LPG remains uncertain. Also, the cause of chronic gastritis often remained unknown.

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Jonathan Lidbury

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