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  • Author or Editor: Karin Allenspach x
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Objective—To evaluate perinuclear anti-neutrophilic cytoplasmic autoantibody (pANCA) status in Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers (SCWTs) and SCWT-Beagle crossbred dogs and to correlate pANCA status of dogs with clinicopathologic variables of protein-losing enteropathy (PLE), protein-losing nephropathy (PLN), or both.

Animals—13 SCWTs and 8 SCWT-Beagle crossbred dogs in a research colony and a control group comprising 7 dogs with X-linked hereditary nephropathy and 12 healthy SCWTs > 9 years old.

Procedures—Samples were obtained from dogs in the research colony every 6 months. At each sample-collection time point, serum concentrations of albumin, globulin, creatinine, and urea nitrogen; fecal concentration of α-proteinase inhibitor; and urinary protein-to-creatinine ratios were determined and correlated with pANCA status.

Results—20 of 21 dogs in the research colony had positive results for pANCAs at a minimum of 2 time points, and 18 of 21 dogs had definitive evidence of disease. None of the control dogs had positive results for pANCAs. A positive result for pANCAs was significantly associated with hypoalbuminemia, and pANCAs preceded the onset of hypoalbuminemia on an average of 2.4 years. Sensitivity and specificity for use of pANCAs to predict development of PLE or PLN were 0.95 (95% confidence interval, 0.72 to 1.00) and 0.8 (95% confidence interval, 0.51 to 0.95), respectively.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Most dogs in this study affected with PLE, PLN, or both had positive results for pANCAs before clinicopathologic evidence of disease was detected. Thus, pANCAs may be useful as an early noninvasive test of disease in SCWTs.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To estimate the prevalence of perinuclear antineutrophilic cytoplasmic autoantibodies (pANCA) in the serum of healthy Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers (SCWTs) in the United Kingdom and to identify potential risk factors and heritability patterns associated with a positive result for pANCA.

Animals—188 SCWTs (age range, 18 months to 14.3 years).

Procedures—Blood samples were obtained from SCWTs in various locations in England. Serum was tested for pANCA by use of an immunofluorescence assay, and total protein and albumin concentrations were determined. Pedigrees were evaluated to identify close relatives that had protein-losing enteropathy (PLE) or protein-losing nephropathy (PLN).

Results—39 of 188 (20.7%) dogs, including young dogs, had positive results for pANCA. Dogs had significantly higher odds of having positive results for pANCA if they had at least 1 littermate that had PLE or PLN (odds ratio, 12.1) or if they had at least 1 full sibling from another litter known to be affected with PLE or PLN (odds ratio, 4.0).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—This study revealed a high prevalence of pANCA in the serum of a representative sample of healthy SCWTs in the United Kingdom and a significant association between positive results for pANCA and a diagnosis of PLE or PLN in a sibling.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To evaluate the use of immunofluorescence asssays for perinuclear antineutrophilic cytoplasmic antibodies (pANCAs) and antibodies to Saccharomyces cerevisiae (ASCAs) in dogs with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and assess the clinical value of these serologic markers of the disease.

Animals—39 dogs with IBD, 18 dogs with acute diarrhea, 19 dogs with chronic non–IBD-associated diarrhea, 26 healthy dogs of various breeds and age, and 22 healthy young working dogs.

Procedure—Sera obtained from the dogs in each group were added to canine granulocyte- and Saccharomyces cerevisiae-mounted slides for detection of pANCAs and ASCAs via immunofluorescence techniques. Sensitivity and specificity (with 95% confidence intervals [CIs]) were calculated for the group of dogs with IBD versus each of the 2 groups of healthy dogs, the group of dogs with acute diarrhea, and the group of dogs with chronic non–IBD-associated diarrhea.

Results—Among the 39 dogs with IBD, 20 yielded positive results via the pANCA assay (sensitivity, 0.51 [95% CI, 0.35 to 0.67]) and 17 yielded positive results via the ASCA assay (sensitivity, 0.44 [95% CI, 0.22 to 0.69]). The specificity of the pANCA assay in the 4 groups of non–IBD-affected dogs ranged from 0.83 (95% CI, 0.85 to 0.96) to 0.95 (95% CI, 0.72 to 1.00).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Immunofluorescence assays for pANCA and ASCA appear to be useful for the detection of IBD in dogs. The pANCA immunofluorescence assay had high specificity for canine IBD, and pANCAs appear to be accurate markers of intestinal inflammation. (Am J Vet Res 2004;65:1279–1283)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To determine the prevalence of perinuclear antineutrophil cytoplasmic autoantibodies (pANCA) in dogs with confirmed or suspected immune-mediated hemolytic anemia (IMHA) or dogs infected with various vector-borne pathogens, including Rickettsia rickettsii, Bartonella henselae, Bartonella vinsonii subsp berkhoffii, Ehrlichia canis, Borrelia burgdorferi, and Leishmania infantum.

Animals—55 dogs with confirmed or suspected IMHA, 140 dogs seroreactive for vector-borne pathogens, and 62 healthy dogs and dogs seronegative for vector-borne pathogens.

Procedures—Samples were allocated to subgroups on the basis of the health status of the dogs and the degree of seroreactivity against various vector-borne pathogens. Serum samples were tested retrospectively via indirect immunofluorescence assay to determine pANCA status.

Results—26 of 55 (47%) dogs with confirmed or suspected IMHA and 67 of 140 (48%) dogs seroreactive for vector-borne pathogens had positive results when tested for pANCA. Serum samples with the highest antibody concentrations against L infantum antigen had the highest proportion (28/43 [65%]) that were positive for pANCA. One of 20 (5%) dogs seronegative for tick-borne pathogens and 8 of 22 (36%) dogs seronegative for L infantum had positive results for pANCA. One of 20 (5%) healthy dogs had serum antibodies against pANCA.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—pANCA were detected in a high percentage of dogs with IMHA and vector-borne infectious diseases. Therefore, pANCA may be a relatively nonspecific marker for dogs with inflammatory bowel disease, although they could represent a biomarker for immune-mediated diseases and infections.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research



In Latvia in 2014, acquired idiopathic megaesophagus (AIME) was observed in increased numbers of dogs that consumed varieties of 1 brand of dog food. Within 2 years, 253 dogs were affected. In Australia in November 2017, 6 working dogs that consumed 1 diet of another brand of dog food developed AIME. In total, 145 Australian dogs were affected.


AIME was diagnosed predominantly in large-breed male dogs (> 25 kg [55 lb]). Regurgitation, weight loss, and occasionally signs consistent with aspiration pneumonia (coughing, dyspnea, or fever) were noted. Most Latvian dogs had mild to severe peripheral polyneuropathies as evidenced by laryngeal paralysis, dysphonia, weakness, and histopathologic findings consistent with distal axonopathy. In Australian dogs, peripheral polyneuropathies were not identified, and histopathologic findings suggested that the innervation of the esophagus and pharynx was disrupted locally, although limited samples were available.


Investigations in both countries included clinical, epidemiological, neuropathologic, and case-control studies. Strong associations between the dog foods and the presence of AIME were confirmed; however, toxicological analyses did not identify a root cause. In Latvia, the implicated dietary ingredients and formulations were unknown, whereas in Australia, extensive investigations were conducted into the food, its ingredients, the supply chain, and the manufacturing facilities, but a cause was not identified.


A panel of international multidisciplinary experts concluded that the cause of AIME in both outbreaks was likely multifactorial, with the possibility of individualized sensitivities. Without a sentinel group, the outbreak in Australia may not have been recognized for months to years, as happened in Latvia. A better surveillance system for early identification of pet illnesses, including those associated with pet foods, is needed. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2021;259:172–183)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To assess intestinal mucosal function by measuring permeability and absorptive capacity in dogs with chronic enteropathy (CE) before and after treatment and to determine whether those variables were correlated with clinical disease activity or histologic scoring of intestinal biopsy specimens.

Animals—29 dogs with CE.

Procedure—Dogs were designated as having dietresponsive CE or CE requiring glucorticoid treatment. Severity of clinical signs was assessed by calculating the canine inflammatory bowel disease activity index (CIBDAI). Histologic severity of intestinal infiltration was assessed before and after 4 weeks of treatment in the diet-responsive group and before and after 10 weeks of treatment in the glucocorticoid group. Gastrointestinal permeability and mucosal absorptive capacity were assessed by use of intragastric administration of a solution containing lactulose, rhamnose, xylose, 3-O-methylglucose, and sucrose. Urine was collected 6 hours after administration of the sugar solution to determine urinary lactulose-to-rhamnose (L:R), xylose-to-methylglucose (X:M), and sucrose-to-methylglucose (S:M) ratios.

Results—Median CIBDAI scores decreased significantly in both groups of dogs after treatment. However, the median histologic grade of intestinal biopsy specimens did not change with treatment in either group. There were no significant differences in L:R, X:M, or S:M ratios after treatment in either group and no significant correlations between L:R, X:M, or S:M ratios and CIBDAI or histologic scores.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results of tests for intestinal permeability and mucosal absorptive capacity were not useful indicators of clinical disease activity as assessed by the CIBDAI or the sever ity of infiltration as indicated by histologic evaluation.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research