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Lymphocytic Plasmacytic Enteritis in Cats

By: Dr. Bari Spielman

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Lymphocytic plasmacytic enteritis (LPE) is a form of inflammatory bowel disease characterized by the presence of particular microscopic cells, including lymphocytes and plasma cells, in excess within the intestinal wall.


  • Idiopathic, which means it has no known cause

  • Infectious disorders such as giardia, Salmonella, Campylobactor

  • Dietary agents such as meat proteins, food additives, preservatives, milk proteins and gluten (wheat)

  • Genetic Factors

    Lymphocytic plasmacytic enteritis is seen in both dogs and cats and is seen in all ages. It is most common in middle aged and older animal.

    Although some patients with LPE may have no clinical signs, some may have life threatening manifestations. Signs vary greatly in type, severity, and frequency.

    What to Watch For

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Anorexia
  • Ravenous appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Weight loss
  • Abdominal distension
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Ascities, or fluid in the abdominal cavity
  • Edema, or abnormal fluid accumulation in any part of the body
  • Respiratory difficulty secondary to pleural effusion, which is fluid in the chest cavity


  • Complete blood cell count (CBC)
  • Biochemical profile
  • Urinalysis
  • Fecal examinations
  • Thoracic (chest) and abdominal radiographs (X-rays)
  • Abdominal ultrasound
  • Gastroduodenoscopy and biopsy


    Treatment of patients with LPE should be directed at the underlying cause if identified. Most of these individuals can be treated as outpatients.

  • Dietary management is often recommended and varies depending on the underlying cause.

  • Fluid therapy may be necessary in some patients with severe vomiting and diarrhea, and is directed toward correction of dehydration and acid-base derangements, replacement of electrolyte deficits, and to provide for ongoing losses.

  • Diuretics, or drugs that help remove excess fluid from the body, may be indicated in some patients with LPE.

  • Oncotic agents are products that help maintain normal fluid distribution in the body.

  • Anti-inflammatory drugs

  • Antibiotic therapy

    Home Care

    Administer all medication and dietary recommendations as directed by your veterinarian. Follow up as directed by your veterinarian. If your pet's condition is not improving and is getting worse, seek veterinary attention at once.

    Generally speaking, there is no preventative care for lymphocytic plasmacytic enteritis

    In cases when a food intolerance or allergy is suspected or documented, avoid that particular item and adhere strictly to dietary changes.

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