Canine chronic enteropathy (CE) is the most common cause of gastrointestinal (GI) disease in dogs. The exact mechanisms causing CE are unknown, however, disruption of the inner lining of the GI tract is believed to play a significant role resulting in a “leaky” GI tract, leading to absorption of GI contents and overstimulation of the immune system.
Unfortunately, treatment for CE currently requires life-long management such as food elimination diets which can be expensive and labor intensive for owners and/or require the use of medications which carry the risk for significant systemic side effects. Diagnosis and monitoring for disease relapse rely upon owner reported clinical signs and invasive diagnostic testing such as endoscopic intestinal biopsies. Thus, non-invasive diagnostics as well as specific treatments are needed. Zonulin, a protein found in animals and humans, plays an integral role in maintenance of intestinal barrier.
Co-sponsored with the AKC Canine Health Foundation, Grant Number: 2684
Jamie Kopper, DVM, PhD; Iowa State University