Background: Protein-losing enteropathy (PLE) is characterized by leakage of serum proteins into the intestinal lumen, indicating hypoproteinemia. Immunosuppressive agents are the mainstay of treatment, but in many cases, patients are forced to taper off early owing to the induction of liver damage.
Case Description: An 8-year-old, unneutered female Chihuahua presented with diarrhea and ascites effusion lasting 2 weeks. Based on the results of radiography and blood tests, a diagnosis of PLE was made. Prednisolone (3 mg/kg semel in die [SID]) and MitoMax (200 mg/day) were administered, but ascites accumulation and diarrhea did not improve. Thus, azathioprine (2 mg/kg/day) was added, but there was no improvement and liver damage developed. The liver injury did not improve immediately, but the diarrhea and ascites effusion improved after serum total protein and serum albumin levels increased after they had decreased. Subsequent tapering of prednisolone from 3 mg/kg SID to 1 mg/kg SID, combined with MitoMax (200 mg/day) and equine placenta extract (eqPE) (2 mL/day), resulted in no recurrence of ascites or diarrhea.
Conclusion: In canine PLE with prolonged diarrhea and ascites effusion, supplementation with eqPE may be considered as a reasonable additional therapeutic strategy.
Key words: canine protein-losing enteropathy, ascites, diarrhea, placenta extract supplementation, case report.