Protein-losing Nephropathy

Protein-losing nephropathy refers to any kidney disease that results in excessive protein loss in the urine. Such conditions include glomerulonephritis, inherited glomerulopathy, and amyloidosis. Protein-losing nephropathy is common in the Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier, Bernese Mountain Dog, Labrador, Yorkshire Terriers, and Golden Retrievers. Affected dogs often have diarrhea, vomiting and intense itching. One of the first signs is increased urination and drinking. Excess protein in the urine may be picked up by a urine test. Dogs with this condition may have skin problems, which may otherwise be diagnosed as allergies. Blood clots form in some dogs.

A protein‐losing enteropathy syndrome associated with pathologic dilation of lymph vessels has been recently reported in Yorkshire Terrier dogs. Clinical signs vary greatly and include diarrhea, vomiting, muscle tremors and seizures because of low calcium and magnesium levels, severe low total protein, low serum vitamin D concentration.7

Treatment is aimed at controlling the kidney failure. Affected Wheatens should be placed on a gluten-free diet with a protein source from fish, venison or other protein source not common in dog food. Some Wheatens show sensitivity to chicken.


  1. Littman MP, Dambach DM, Vaden SL, Giger U. In: J Vet Intern Med. 2000 Jan-Feb;14(1):68-80. Familial protein-losing enteropathy and protein-losing nephropathy in Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers: 222 cases (1983-1997).
  2. E. Vaden SL, Hammerberg B, Davenport DJ, Orton SM, Trogdon MM, Melgarejo LT, VanCamp SD, Williams DA. In: J Vet Intern Med. 2000 Jan-Feb;14(1):60-7. Food hypersensitivity reactions in Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers with protein-losing enteropathy or protein-losing nephropathy or both: gastroscopic food sensitivity testing, dietary provocation, and fecal immunoglobulin
  3. Steven L. Stockham, Michael A. Scott. Fundamentals of Veterinary Clinical Pathology.
  4. Margaret H. Bonham, Michele Earle-Bridges. Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers.
  5. Debra M., DVM Eldredge, Liisa D., DVM Carlson, Delbert G., DVM Carlson, Jame M., MD Giffin, Beth Adelman. Dog Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook.
  6. Small Animal Practice Client Handouts. Rhea V. Morgan DVM
  7. Clinical Features, Intestinal Histopathology, and Outcome in Protein‐Losing Enteropathy in Yorkshire Terrier Dogs S.M. Simmerson,corresponding author 1 P.J. Armstrong, 2 A. Wünschmann, 3 C.R. Jessen, 3 L.J. Crews, 4 and R.J. Washabau 5 J Vet Intern Medv.28(2); Mar-Apr 2014

Kidney Failure

Nephritis, X-linked

Renal Dysplasia

Protein-losing Nephropathy


Familial Renal Disease

Fanconi Syndrome