Friday, July 17, 2009

Intestinal lymphangiectasia

I have noticed that there are quite a few hits here and at the Save Louie website ( from people who have done searches about lymphangiectasia in dogs, or lymphangiectasia and low fat diets. I hope, over the coming months, to make this website a better resource for those of us who have dogs affected by this unusual disease. As a start, we've added links to some informational pages on lymphangiectasia, and I'll be continuing to update those links. I'm also beginning a series of posts to describe what we went through on our way to this diagnosis, as it is my belief that many cases of this disease go undiagnosed.

I ask for your help. Let me know what I can do for you to make this site a better resource. Leave your comments, or send me an e-mail.


  1. Hello,

    After several tests at the vet that returned no official diagnosis, I have done quite a bit of research today on my own and our 5 year old Jindo fits the profile for Intestinal Lymphangiectasia perfectly.

    I am really curious about what you have been feeding Louie and what sort of supplements you have him on, as I'd like to give that a try ASAP, even as soon as Monday morning!

    Can you let me know what you've found thats worked for him? I'd be so grateful.


  2. Hi Ryann,

    I sent an e-mail to you last night which should answer your questions. Louie eats a prescription diet (Royal Canin Digestive Low Fat) and tofu. I am not a vet, and this is a very serious disease, so I suggest not trying to do this on your own. Other diseases, such as Inflammatory Bowel Disease, can have similar symptoms so it's best to get a good diagnosis. I hope this and the e-mail I sent you will be of some help to you and I wish you and your dog a healthy, loving future together.

  3. Hello,
    My border collie mix was diagnosed with lymphangiectasia a year ago. Her diet consists of white potatoes, white turkey and rice which of course we cook at home. Her medicines include cyclosporine and predisone. I've done a lot of research online and I haven't seen anyway that cyclosporine is a treatment for this disease. This medication costs almost $200 per month & I am considering taking her off it. Any thoughts?

  4. Hi,

    This is an interesting question. I'm not a vet and not qualified to give professional level advice, so please take what I say as anecdotal only.

    I did a lot reading about alternative treatment options for Louie back when we thought he had lupus. With the pancreatitis, he was ineligible for the preferred treatment of prednisone, but cyclosporine was an acceptable alternative for immune-mediated disease.

    It turned out that he didn't have lupus, but he does have immune-mediated disease. The rabies vaccine-induced dermatopathy is an autoimmune reaction that affects his skin. He also has some generalized autoimmune disease affecting his eyes.

    I do not know why his lymphangiectasia symptoms initially improved when the cyclosporine was started, but my suspicion is that, in our case, the lymphangiectasia is part of a larger complex of symptoms that are ultimately all tied back to the rabies vaccination. There's just not enough research on these diseases to know for sure, so the vets do their best and try to find things that work.

    You are right, it is a very expensive medication and I have tried to discontinue it on a few occasions with my vet's blessings, but he seems to get sicker when I do and I always end up putting him back on it. My guess would be that your own vet prescribed it with a suspicion that your border collie's lymphangiectasia may have its roots in autoimmune disease as well. It's something to talk with your vet about. My impression is that there is still a large amount that is not well understood by the veterinary community about these diseases.

  5. Oh, and I wanted to add here that I hope your dog is doing well with the prescriptions and home cooked diet!

  6. Hello,
    My Great Pyrenees was diagnosed 2 days ago with Lymphangiectasia and has been in a vet teaching hospital for a week. He has been started on cyclosporine, prednisone, and a few others. Because of the severity of his clinical symptoms (severe ascitis, edema, and anorexia), the vet thinks he may not respond to treatment. Have you ever heard of a critical dog with this disease pulling through? I am desperate for some hope.
    Thank you for your time.

    1. I have not I just lost my 10 year old yorkie is was terrible we miss her so much

  7. Sorry to hear about your dog's grave condition. I can't tell you what the likely outcome will be, of course, and the reading I have done seems to indicate that the further along the disease is at diagnosis, the harder it can be for the dog to recover. This is one of the biggest reasons I have for wanting to spread awareness of this disease, as so many of us have searched for answers for many months while watching our dogs' health steadily decline.

    When Louie was diagnosed, he had a lot of abdominal swelling, swelling in his legs and feet, and had gone from a healthy weight of 11 lbs down to about 7.7 lbs-- he was basically skeletal in his appearance at that point, as this is a slender breed to begin with.

    Personally, I was stunnded that he recovered as well as he has, but I was also prepared for the possibility that he would not recover. I don't know if we were lucky or not, but I do know that getting him onto the proper diet was the most important key to his recovery.

    He did not improve quickly, but we did see small improvements after a week or so, with continuing small improvements over time, so it's important to remember that even if you aren't seeing tremendous improvement that does not mean that there's no progress being made. The disease robs the body of protein, and once the protein levels improve it takes time for the muscle mass to build and strengthen again.

    I do hope that your Pyr will pull through and improve with the treatment. Please let me know how he's doing.

    Louie's mom

  8. Sometimes it is hard to know if treatment will be effective after only a couple of days as you are initially treating the clinical signs of the disease as well as the disease itself. Sometimes they do pull through when they are very critical and at times aggressive treatment is months long before the weaning process starts. Keep your hopes up!
    A side note - This is a really sweet site and I really love the pictures of Louie! To Louie's Mom - you have done a wonderful job and all this information is very informative.

  9. Anon, that is so very true. At first you are just trying to acheive stability again. You're working to get the inflammation down so that the intestines will begin to function normally which, in turn, allows the protein to be digested again and gets the levels back up to where they need to be. There's weight gain, fluid accumulation, malnutrition due to poor absorbtion of food... it's a mess at first, especially when it's taken a long time to get an accurate diagnosis.

    But, if you can get the inflammation in the lacteals (lymph cells in the intestine) down, the system will start working properly again, and things can improve.

    Anon, thanks also for your kind words about the site. I don't update here as often as I should but am thinking about better ways to create a supportive haven for those who struggle with this disease. Stay tuned.

  10. We lost our beloved pyr, Zeus a few hours after I posted. While he was still as the hospital, they could not bring him back. I feel so heartbroken. I wish they could have been able to get the inflammation down to stop the fluid/swelling around his heart and lungs. I do not understand why it progressed so quickly to such a fatal level, despite treatment. I miss him so much and I can't help to feel like we did something wrong. Just 2 months ago all of his blood work was normal. I can't make any sense of it and I am so sad.

  11. I am so sorry to hear this. My most heartfelt condolences to you and your family.

    It always saddens me to hear of dogs that don't make it through this. I hope you will not blame yourself; we only do what we think is right and we can only go by what the vets tell us, and the disease is unpredictable. I just hate this disease.

  12. Thank you. I wish that they knew more about this disease than they do. The lack of understanding and knowledge about this disease makes our loss that much harder. Our vet, who is a dear friend, said that so few people are willing to spend the money and time it takes to get their dogs care when they progress so quickly to such a critical state. This makes me sad because the prognosis will continue to remain poor. I hope that this site will help to speed up the body of science there is, because even a single case report might help to save another dogs life. We took our Zeus to the best university hospital in the state and we still lost him (secondary clot). It is a great trajedy and I wish I could have done more. I just hate this disease too!

  13. ((((hugs to you)))) I wish there were more information, too. There seems to be so much they don't know, and so little research has been done on this disease. We do the best we can; that's all we can do.

  14. Just found your site and I have an Aussie mix, Kodiak, who was just diagnosed after a week of tests. I am a NAET practitioner who was frantically working on him trying to correct imbalances. Nothing was working so off to the vet and this was the dianosis. I hope to fight this disease with both Eastern and Western medicine. Would love to start a site with my findings and results but will work off yours for now. :) Any insight with Louie would be great as I have been searching for all info possible.

  15. My little Yorkie was diagnosed a week ago after having symptoms for 8 weeks. She is maintaining her weight but favors chicken over the Royal Canin LF. Any suggestions on getting her to eat? She is my world and I will help her fight this with a passion.

  16. Our little chihuahua, Chi Chi, was just diagnosed with lymphangiectasia yesterday and I came across your site as I was searching for more info. She has had symptoms for about 8 weeks, as well, starting with chronic diarrhea. This weekend it progressed pretty dramtically as she was vomiting and we noticed her little tummy was swollen and her breathing was very labored. The emergency clinic discovered she had fluid surrounding her heart/lungs and her abdomen due to extremely low protein levels. After a plasma and hetastarch transfusion, her protein levels increased and the fluid was absorbed back into the body. She's also on an antibiotic, metronidazole (which has an anti-inflammatory component) to control the diarrhea. They recommended a low-fat prescription diet, although they were out of it yesterday, so I cooked her chicken and rice and she seems to be handling that for now. My understanding is that the diet must be low in fat and high in protein, so it may just take some time to figure out what your dog will eat. She's not on prednisone, yet, but after reading everyone's comments, I wouldn't be surprised if she's eventually medicated. What's also concerning us is that two weeks ago when we took her in for chronic diarrhea, they also found a mild heart murmur (2 on a scale of 1-5) and this weekend it has already progressed to a loud murmur (5 out of a scale of 1-5). I'm wondering if it's all connected somehow. We're taking her into a cardiologist later this week to have her heart examined. Poor little thing! Wish I could post a picture here so you could see how pitful she looked when we picked her up from the emergency clinic. She had been poked in 3 of her 4 legs!

    Thanks for creating this site! It's great to have a community of peers to hear from other's about what works for their dogs!


  17. Hello to both of you. I hope you will drop by the lymphangiectasia support forum (there's a link at the top of this page, to the right) where there may be some additional information that might help you. Most importantly, there are many of us who can share our experience and perhaps help one another figure out ways to combat this awful disease.

    As far as appetite, we do see a lot of that on the forum and my best advice is to consider that there may be a tummy ache involved. The first thing to do is to talk to your vet about adding an acid reducer; we had Louie on famotidine (pepcid) and it seemed to soothe his stomach.

  18. Hello
    Have a 7 year old by shih tzu by the name of Alfie, he was diagnosed with Lymphangiectasia approx 4 weeks ago. Alfie was sick for a week but the vets could not find what the problem was thinking he had a stomach infection, they then found what they thought was a lump during an echo and he was given an operation straight away. The vet phoned me mid way through the operation to say Alfie had this condition his liver and pancreas were damaged and they thought his bowel had died his advice was to not wake Alfie up, very upset I asked if Alfie had any chance and was told his chance was slim on that I needed to give my baby boy that chance, and asked the vet to do what he could to save him.

    During the last couple of weeks it really has been up and down, we have been to the vets every day or every other day, he seemed to be picking up then 3 days ago Alfies belly swelled like a beach ball and his breathing became forced not able to walk more than a few feet before he lay down, we rushed him straight to the vet they give him a diuretic injection to reduce the fluid which seemed to work and as his belly came down his breathing improved, last night at around 9.30 pm we took Alfie for a walk he seemed to be trotting along fine and this morning he had his first hard poo, but on taking him to the vets today they kept him in all afternoon to give him fluids he was very dehydrated due to his water tablets.

    On picking Alfie up tonight we have been told that Alfie is still loosing weight and if his weight does not improve or gets worse we should consider not putting Alfie though anything else, Alfie has become very thin, and as his diet has to cut out fat and has Alfie was always a picky eater anyway it has been hard getting Alfie to eat so far boiled chicken. We have also been to the pet store and bought Alfie supplements for his diet vitamins a d and e, we were also told to give him coconut oil which we have yet to try.

    Alfie is on 20mg a day of steroids also half a water tablet twice a day, he has just been put on a anti biotic twice a day also a liquid coating an hour before meals.

    This has been very, very hard and upsetting Alfie is my little boy he's not just a dog he really is everything to me and loved more than he will ever know. Any advice, tips or information that might help I would be forever great full.

    Thanks Derek

  19. Hi Derek,

    I am so sorry to hear about Alfie's illness.

    I just wrote a long post that wouldn't post here. Please drop by the Canine Lymphangiectasia forum and read some of the information there. There are several red flags in your post concerning diet (most of the dogs that do well are eating the Royal Canin Digestive Low Fat) and the familiarity of your vet with this disease. Coconut oil in particular is an old-school remedy which recent guidelines suggest can make matters worse (coconut oil contains Medium Chain Triglycerides, which are a form of fat). Lots of vet still prescribe it, which may be one reason they see such poor survival rates. I've known of some who have done okay with the MCTs but it's not something that agreed with Louie. Also, many old-school vets seem to believe in the poor prognosis rates that we read about and (IMO) don't take the time to do more because they don't think these dogs will survive.

    I'd suggest you take a look at some of the more current information posted here and at the support site, and consider getting Alfie under the care of a veterinary internal medicine specialist.

    Hoping for the very best for you and Alfie!

  20. Hello Laura
    Thanks for getting back to me, Alfie had a set back 2 days ago looking very ill but has picked up again from yesterday afternoon and is playing around slowly but ok today, we are'nt sure if it's because we were told to put Alfie on a antihistamine to counteract the effects of the steroids and it really does make a big diffrence, also we have found a drink for him it's a body building milk drink called maxi build bought it from Asda in the uk part of Walmart it's skimmed milk no fat and made up of protein and carbs strawberry flavour we just slowly syringe it into his mouth he seems to suckle on it and quite enjoys the taste each made up drink has nearl 300 calories in it and has'nt half perked him up. We are trying to put weight on Alfie he really had become skin and bone and the vet has told us if he carries on loosing weight on our appointment next Thursday they would consider not doing any more for him or he would starve to death but the drink is really good out of all the things we have tried, although it does get all over and is quite sticky so I have cut a hole out of the middle of a hand towel to put Alfie's head through to act as a bib and works a treat. Also Alfies tablets he has been on 20mg a day of the prednisolone steroid, is this a high or low dose, what dose of steriod are any of the dogs on here on, what did they start on and did they reduce or get increase, I know a high dose can be very bad for a dog.
    Thanks a lot Derek

  21. Hi Derek,

    Alfie is not going to gain any weight until the disease process is under control, so it does not matter how much you feed him, what matters is what he is fed. The disease will keep him from digesting anything you give him.

    Hopefully he's getting one of the low-fat prescription diets that I mentioned and nothing else. It is critically important that they stay away from any fatty foods and that the diet is kept simple. Those that survive tend to the the ones that don't play around much with the prescribed diet. I cannot emphasize that enough.

    Generally it takes a while for the disease to quiet down and the weight to begin to come back. Louie has never regained all of his weight and continues to be quite thin, but he is active and happy.

  22. Hi Laura
    Yes we are keeping to a strick diet with no fat, boiled chicken, turkey ect some potatoes although he tends to eat round them, the no fat high protein and carb drink working good also as an extra.
    Can I ask what dose of steroid is Louie on per day, and has it changed from the begining I am not sure if Alfies 20mg a day a low or high.
    Thanks alot and glad to hear Louie is doing good.

  23. Hi Derek,

    Louie's never been on a steroid; only the cyclosporine. When he was diagnosed there was some concern that he might have Cushing's disease so they would not give him any steroid, also because he has a history of pancreatitis.

    I'm not sure about Alfie's dosage but if you want to join us at the Canine Lymphangiectasia Support Group, there are many there whose dogs are taking the steroids, and someone could probably give you good information about them. The support group is at

  24. Hi Laura
    Just to let you know Alfie passed away last thursday 8th july, he was doing great was starting to gain weight and have a bit more energy he was due to go to the verts on the same day at 2p.m. for his normal weekly checkup and i was quite light harted about going, at about 11.30am I brushed him telling him he looked handsome for the vets and his tail was waging and he was getting plenty of hugs and kisses, I then went upstairs to clean my teeth, at around 12p.m. the doorbell rang and Alfie ran down the stairs tail going to greet the friend at the door, my friend looked at him excited barking and tail going and commented on how well he looked, I told alfie to come inside as he came back in the home he seemed to stumble and fell forward fell onto his side and died in front of me, we tried to resuscitate him as he seemed to stop breathing but for seconds his heart was still beating but it was no good he had gone.
    About 10 days before this Alfie had sort of blacked out in the kitchen for seconds wetting himself and I don't know if this had anything to do with it, but was fine straight after.
    We have been devastated over his loss, we had Alfie cremated and brought Alfies ashes home and has taken this time to be able to write anything down. My Alfie like yours was and always will be a part of my life my angel, a kind and loving boy and I have been so lucky to be able to spend his short life with him and I remember every second of life we had.
    I have put a short video of Alfie on youtube for everyone to see what a wonderfull little boy he was here is the link and please pass the link on I want the world to know Alfie was on it and how much his loss has meant.
    I wish you and you little dog all my very best and hope you are able to battle on.
    Here's the link best wishes Derek

  25. Oh, Derek, I am so sorry to hear about Alfie. It sounds like he was even doing a little better toward the end. We lost Louie's father, Yoda, in a very similar manner, as he just fell over one day and that was that. He wasn't even sick before he died.

    Thank you so much for sharing your tribute to Alfie here. I watched it, and it's clear he was a very special friend to you. I'll post the link to others and on my Facebook page so that they can celebrate his life, as well.


  26. Thank you ever so much for your kind words, I hope one day a vet will come up with a cure for this illness, I wish you all the best with your little Louie and hope things keep under control.
    Best wishes

  27. My 5 year old boston terrier, Elton, was diagnosed with lymphangiectasia on wednesday the 21st. Huge bloating, lots of edema--but both have subsided substantially during the last 4 days of Imuran/leukeran/multivitamin therapy. Has been very hard not knowing if hes going to make it or not, but i do know that Jesus Christ will see our family through this process one outcome or another. I will update after this wednesdays 1st follow up. God bless all of you and i will pray deeply for everyone experiencing this terrible process.


  28. My sister's Cocker was diagnosed with the disease. He is skin and bones and refuses to eat. His stomach is large and very hard. He is suffering and she is contemplating euthanasia.

    My questions is, did Louie have the same problem? if so did the vet relieve the liquid build by other means up or was it controlled by med's?

  29. Louie had some fluid accumulation in his extremities, which was alleviated by getting him onto a proper diet. Other dogs on the support forum have had worse problems with abdominal swelling, with some having to have the fluid drained. Your sister might want to join the support forum at

  30. Thank you so much for the info ... and a quick response. You are the only one I found in my search that has good information on Canine Lymphangiectasia.

    My sister's Vet has only had one other case so Laddie is a test and trail for him.

    (((Big hugs))) to Louie, he's adorable.


  31. Our 3 year old Yorkie, Tiki, was just diagnosed with intestinal lymphangiectasia after a scary weekend of swelling, diarrhea and refusing to eat. Information that you have available on this site is so crucial for owner's who want to take an active part in saving their pets life. Thank you for sharing!

    Tiki is looking so good and took a solid poop this morning. The vet sent him home with prednisone, azathioprine, sucralfate and prescription diet r/d. We need to find a vet in the area. Do you recommend finding one that has dealt with IL before? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

  32. So glad to hear that Tiki is turning around so quickly! Yes, I definitely recommend finding a vet that is 1) familiar with IL (has treated it before) and 2) willing to work with diet as well as medication to figure out how to achieve stability. We saw veterinary internal medicine specialists at a teaching hospital; you might check to see if such a specialist is available in your area.

    Through our lymphangiectasia support forum I have learned that it is somewhat difficult to find a vet who has successfully treated several cases of this disease and who has a positive outlook on the prognosis, but they are out there. Don't give up.

  33. Hi all:

    My 8 y/o yorkie, Sophee Marie has just been diagnosed and is going to have an endoscope on Monday 2.14.2011.
    I am just now combing for all info. I am so glad you all are here!
    I am printing off any and all info!

  34. I have a beautiful chocolate lab Hailey that has recently been diagnosed with Lymphangiectasia. She is one of two labs we have, the other one is older and has hip dysplasia. Hailey has always been such an imp, so much personality. Over the course of the last year, I noticed changes such as increased gas and lack of appetite. This was a dog with an "iron gut" who ate everything and anything in two seconds flat. Then she began to have soft bowel movements and this progressed to explosive diarrhea. We took her to the vet, and they ran a lot of tests and gave her medication that she did not respond to. She continued to worsen, and we really thought that we were going to lose her. They finally performed an operation on her and did a comprehensive biopsy from many areas of her stomach and intestines and this is how we received the diagnosis. To see what this dog has gone through has been heartbreaking. The vet started her on Tylan and she is on Royal Canine Low Fat kibble. She seems to be responding well to both. Her bowel movements have been solid, her energy level has increased and it seems that she has put on a bit of weight. I never heard of this disease before, but I have done a lot of research, and it seems that Hailey is definitely one of the lucky ones. I hope it continues. I can't bear the thought of losing her this way.

  35. Hi Laura:

    I am above you in comments w/my yorkie, Sophee Marie. We as a family have been thru a whirlwind of events now going into our 3rd week. Sophee was diagnoised positively after an endoscope last Monday 2.14.2011.
    I am feeling yours and everyone`s pain w/this.
    I have 3 yorkies and I have Sophee`s puppy who is 6. Of course, what I didn`t know has haunted me forever now it seems.
    Sophee`s came on suddenly (unless she was hiding it well)with drinking gallons of water. We were in the middle of an ice storm and had no electric only via generator. We could not get out to the vet or anywhere (couldn`t even walk outside)and I was frantic. Everything in our state was closed down. Being the mom of a daughter with insulin dependant diabetes,that was my logical explanation. Not to be ...a disease I had never heard of. Made more insidious by the fact they can`t tell you a thing. You just have to be on guard and monitor all the time.
    We have been back & forth to the vet many times and I have sat up nights w/her when she is sick & can`t get comfortable.
    What is Tylan?
    We are also on RC low kibble, boiled chicken tenders moistened w/fat free broth, baby food meat,rice and cottage cheese - no fat, which she is beginning to detest.
    Also on preds.
    I comb this site daily for more info, but no one has posted but you since last week.
    I tried to get on the registered users site, but I can never pass the password test. Can`t figure out what I am doing wrong, maybe my age & nerves, which are shot!
    Looking forward to hearing from you.
    Sophee`s very worried mommy

  36. Hi! Most of the "action" these days happens at the forum. I'll relax the registration requirements temporarily so that you can get registered.

    Tylan is an antibiotic that is also known as tylosin; it's sometimes used to combat the diarrhea that they get. Come on over and join us at the forum:

    I am on my way over there now to remove the password test for you.

  37. My Pudgee, Boston, has been diag. with both lymphangiertasia and IBD, and now thyroid, and just recently went completely blind.......just breakes my heart. The diarrhea has been for a little over 1 year, he has had ultrasound, colonospsy, endoscope. Pred for over a year and just now changed him to RD food and for the first time in over a year has normal "poop". Hopefully, we can keep his weight up 14 lbs. on this new food. They Tylan we tried 3 times, but never worked. He has been on ID, WD, JD, ZD, and now RD. We tried chicken, rice, and the list goes on and on. I hope we are on the right track FINALLY!

    This artical gives me hope.

  38. Hi-
    My 12 year old black pug was diagnosed last week with this disease. She's on all of the anti-inflammatory meds and steroids mentioned as well as the proper diet. She was doing much better (solid BMs, more vibrant). Then I noticed 2 nights ago her breathing was heavy. Last night she vomited 2 times and dry heaved. This morning she did eat her breakfast, but then threw it up and is now refusing her meds.

    I'm very nervous because she is such an old girl (for a pug). I have call into her vet.


  39. Hello Laura and all the other dog parents,

    Thanks so much for this site - it is enormously helpful to read others' experiences with this frustrating disease which are so reflective of our own. Our Riley is a Golden Retriever, 2 years old as of July 24. He has had chronic digestive problems since he was a pup including frequent bouts of giardia which never seemed to be cured. We have surely been at the vet weekly for two years. We explored enzyme issues, allergies to foods with food trials and all manner of anitbiotics. When he started to lose weight in January 2011, we became alarmed and with our vet sought the advice of an internal medicine specialist. Riley got down to 43 pounds by the time we saw the specialist and was clearly starving. Miraculously, he had not begun to lose protein, and a endoscopy and biopsy got his diagnosis of lymphangiactasia. The vet thinks he either had this disorder from birth or the giardia took hold in a bad gut and caused some damage. He is now on prednisone, flagyl, Imuran (only 3 times a week now after higher initial doses) and a Probiotic. We were giving him Baytril at first, and then Tylan, but are now experimenting with not giving it to him to see if there is any difference in his , stool. Another product we use that our regular vet prescribes is Rx Clay which has an effect of regulating stool (much the same as Metamucil in humans.) His food is Royal Canin Low Fat both dry and canned - lots of it so that he gets maximum nutrition into his system. Iams Weight Loss veterinary formula treats have very low fat and he seems to tolerate these well. We also feed some veggies and it was boiled potatoes with skins on that saved him while we were trying to figure out what he had. I made potato chips for him as treats - thin sliced potatoes baked with no oil at 350 degrees until crispy. From 43 pounds in March, he is now 73 pounds and has the energy of a normal 2 year old Golden. We are so relieved and happy. We have mixed results in terms of his bowel activity, however, and still worry about long term effects and prognosis. But the specialist says that he will be o.k. as long as he keeps his weight and his protein remains normal in blood tests. We would be interested in hearing from anyone who has a dog who has lived with this disease for a long time. Other than that we wish everyone well and will check back with this site again. Again, thanks so much.

    Lesley and Rileyt

  40. HI Lesley,

    So glad to hear that Riley is doing well at the moment. I'd encourage you to join our online support forum ( and our facebook page, as well. You'll get lots of tips there from others who are also dealing with this disease. It sounds like you're doing the right things with diet, which is fantastic. I hope he continues to improve. Please keep us posted.

  41. I really wish I had never heard the words, IBD & lymphangietasia". Periodically my Frenchie would have diarrhea and I'd get it cleared up, never thinking I could be seeing the start of something so serious. Then in March of this year my beautiful 23 pound Frenchie started the diarrhea again, only this time it didn't clear up. The lack of response to the metronidazol (sp?) led to an ultrasound which showed thickening of the intestinal wall and then an asymetrical ilium, leading to an aspiration and then biopsy. The diagnosis IBD and Lymphangiectasia. I started a hypoallergenic diet, metronidazol, prednisone & budesinide. For a short time, though he lost weight, Mikie seemed to bounce back. Then the weight loss began again and back to the vet for another ultrasound and more blood work. This time his liver levels were way too high and my vets consulted with internal medicine at a veterinary college in our state. The conclusion was to add antibiotics to fight a liver infection or hepititis. We also selected another diet with further reduced fat levels. By now, Mikie was down to 17.3 pounds. I had managed to stablize his weight at 19 pounds for awhile and then he started losing weight again & very fast. After a week on two different antibiotics, I had the liver levels checked again and they were worse. Given his suppressed immune system and already fragile health, I could not see putting him through a liver biopsy, etc. I had Mikie euthanized yesterday. I am glad to find this blog, though late, as I now know there are cases that can and do survive longer than Mikie did. I'm also interested in hearing the treatment ideas that we didn't try. Whether Mikie had a liver issue from the beginning, that was masked by the IBD and the lymphangiectasia or whether the other condition led to the liver issue, I'm not sure. I have no doubt that my vets did everything possible to help me turn him around. It's comforting to know that sometimes it works.
    As a p.s., while we were waiting on the vet, the vet tech gave me some small chocolate bars to feed Mikie. Needless to say my dogs never get chocolate; but he did yesterday. Those little eyes lit up, his muzzle came up to ask for another piece of chocolate and he died with people around him that love him and eating chocolate.

  42. This is all very helpful. We have a six year old Shellie named shadie. She is the love our life. One year ago last October she was breathing really heavy. We brought her to the vet and she had fluid in her chest. At that point we had about 300 cc of fluid drained from her chest and a ton of tests and no answers. Her proteins were ok and blood tests al were normal. The put her on a diuretic but in 4 weeks she was full again and we had her drained again. After 4 more weeks and another draining we added another diuretic and prednisone . This time we made it 6 weeks before draining her. We had been having her drained every 6 weeks for almost a year. Last month her breathing worsened and she had diarrhea for quite awhile. We brought her in and an ultrasound showed she had a lung torsion (her middle right lung lobe had twisted and filled with blood). the next day she was in surgery having the lung lobe removed and they also removed the sack around the heart as it had gotten really thick. After 4 days we brought her home and she seemed to be doing ok. Then4 days later she was breathing really hard again so we brought her back in and they drained 520 cc from her chest. 6 days later they drained 600 cc from her chest and her feet started to swell. Now her protein levels are really low and she is losing weight. They put her back on 4x more prednisone and a low fat diet with eggs as a substitute. We are hoping this will improve her protein levels and reduce her pleural effusion in her chest. Her poop is now solid. Her appetite has been good and she seems happy. Now we just wait and pray the therapy works.

  43. My human son has just been diagnosed with this, it was located in his during a colonoscopy - found in his terminal ileum biopsy. I was not ready for this news, keep him in your prayers. I also have 2 dogs we love very much. My heart goes out to you all.

  44. My dachshund Sasha was diagnosed with intestinal lymphangiestacia on May 13th of this year. She was so sick! She wouldn't eat, very lethargic and I was about to lose hope. My sister in law suggested something all natural called immunocal. Sasha was so sick that I had to give it to her through a syringe. 3 days later she was begging me for it! She laps it up like a treat. Today, about 1 month later, you wouldn't even know she is sick with this horrible disease! My vet said she was 1000 times better after looking at before and after xrays of her lungs that initially had alot of fluid. She is still on prednisone but I have cut that in half a week ago and she is still doing awesome! I don't know that immunocal will work for your dogs but I had to share since I've seen such quick, excellent results for sasha. Do your research on it as I did. I give sasha 1 teaspoon twice a day. It costs about $100 for a box of 30 packets but it is well worth it to see her so much better! Especially after I spent $2500 at the specialist trying to save her life. She is now a healthy happy dog! Just a note, I do not sell immunocal nor am affiliated with it in any way. I just wanted to share my experience so maybe it can give the doggie owners some hope for this disease.



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  47. Paco, my almost 13 year old Chinese Crested dog, after 3 months of rectal prolapse and three times having a temp purse string sutures placed. No clear answer, perhaps having Cushing and treatment for parasites. I decided on my own to take Paco to the University of Pennsylvania to have an ultra sound done. The ultrasound suggested he had IBD + Lymphangiectasia. I also had a temp purse string suture placed until I could see a Surgeon who specialized in tissue. I had the purse string put back, drove home and with in 2 hours was back at Penn Paco suture came out after a bowl movement. He was at Penn from 9 am until 8 pm. When we returned wanted to charge me another $450.00. I asked I just had this done, and paid $850.00, it by then was 2 am in the morning, I asked for Paco and took him to my Vet from when he was a pup and had moved away. After reading his Paco's report his age, his honest opinion I could sew it back up, send you to a surgeon and Paco would not make it. Reading now Paco should had been treated with antibiotics. I feed Paco Royal Canine Venison and potato for years, among other natural treats. On the suggesting of my Vet. Paco on April 12, 2017 after a long walk, his last meal, he was put to rest, first with an injection to put him to sleep after 20 minutes of holding him and kissing him the final injection to put him to rest. I have been crying for two weeks saying did I do the right thing for Paco. My companion my loyal and loving Paco. You are right not much is known about lymphangiectasia. Paco Vet sent a sympathy card saying this was a difficult situation. Me not knowing I didn't want him to suffer, so I thought this was the best for Paco, now I am having regrets. To me things sure have changed since 14 years ago. It is all about money, the operation would have cost $3,000 with no guarantee of Paco living through the surgery. I am now left with a hole in my heart. I am a senior and my heart is broken. Vets, need to learn about nutrition and all diseases. They should not second guess. I am angry, this has been going on since Nov 2016, changing his diet. Sometimes our instinct are better then the Vets. Hope this helps someone out there going through the same situation. have the ultra sound done. God Bless all our loyal and loving pets! Margie April 12, 2017