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CONFIRMING inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in dogs, which is often idiopathic, can be difficult and continues to confound in achieving a definitive diagnosis in dogs presenting with chronic enteropathies.
It is recognised that intestinal inflammation can vary and may not correlate with disease activity and quality of life measures (Garcia-Sancho and others 2007, Procoli and others 2013, Walker and others 2013). These factors clearly contribute to the limitations in our understanding of canine chronic enteropathies, which influences our therapeutic decision making. One could therefore question the value of extensive investigations when the results of the tests do not invariably provide a definitive diagnosis. In dogs with severe protein-losing enteropathies, perhaps the rationale for such investigations may be much greater (Dandrieux 2016). However, problems arise in dogs that have a less severe disease where the results of diagnostic investigations may be more equivocal. For example, dogs with a limited response to selected diet trials and low-grade lymphoplasmacytic inflammation on endoscopic biopsies. These dogs are all too common in practice and can lead to significant frustrations for vets and owners alike when managing them. Recently, Dandrieux (2016) presented an eloquent review of what IBD really means in dogs. This emphasised the importance of a systematic diagnostic approach, particularly in attempting to identify both food and …