Comparison Charts - Hereditary Diseases

Chart of Hereditary Diseases

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DISEASE SYMPTOMS Lab. abnormalities often associated with the Disease
Renal Dysplasia (RD)
Renal dysplasia is a congenital or neonatal disease which causes maldevelopment of the kidneys in utero, or early in life.

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Increased water consumption. Increased urination (dilute urine). Poor doer, decreased appetite Vomiting Possibly prone to urinary tract infection. Low urine specific gravity Elevated creatinine and BUN Small kidneys, small, hyperechoic kidneys with or without cysts seen via abdominal ultrasound
Protein Losing Enteropathy (PLE)
PLE is usually caused by inflammatory bowel disease or lymphangitis/lymphangiectasia. In affected Wheatens there is a stimulation of the immune system in the bowel wall.

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Vomiting, Diarrhoea, Weight loss, Ascites, oedema, pleural effusion.

Not all laboratory abnormalities are seen in every case. The most important are indicated with *

*Hypoalbuminemia, *Hypoglobulinemia, Eosinophilia, Hypocholesterolemia Lymphopenia
Protein Losing Nephropathy (PLN)

PLN is difficult to diagnose.

The initial stages of the disease may be mistaken for liver, glandular or other enteric or kidney diseases. Wheatens with PLN may have serious thromboembolic events before renal failure starts, even before there is increased serum creatinine or BUN. An abnormality of the glomeruli usually causes PLN.

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Listlessness/depression, Decreased appetite, vomiting, weight loss, Ascites, oedema, pleural effusion, Increased water consumption, increased urination (less common), Thromboembolic phenomena and hypertension (less common).

Not all laboratory abnormalities are seen in every case. The most important are indicated with*

*Hypoalbuminemia, Elevated serum creatinine, BUN (later), Hypercholesterolemia, Elevated MA (Microalbuminuria), *Elevated urine protein/creatinine ratio.
Addison's Disease
Addison's disease (Hypoadrenocorticism) is the insufficient production and secretion of hormones (glucocorticoids, mineralocorticoids) by the adrenal gland cortex. The clinical signs are often non-specific and can mimic those of multiple other medical disorders.

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Listlessness/depression. Decreased appetite, vomiting, diarrhoea, weight loss. Inability to handle stress. Sudden collapse. Slow heart rate. Decrease in Na/K ratio. (Sodium/potassium ratio), Abnormal ACTH stimulation test, Elevated serum creatinine, BUN,  Sometimes,  low urine specific gravity.
Further information on all of these diseases can be found in this site: RD, PLE & PLN, Addison's disease, Also the health section of the SCWT Club of America's Website:

RD and PLN - Comparison

Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers who exhibit signs of kidney failure need to have careful diagnosis made, as RD and PLN can be mistaken for each other especially in the later stages of the disease process. The following chart assists with this comparison.

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Renal Dysplasia (RD) Protein Losing Nephropathy (PLN)
Usually referred to as Juvenile Renal Dysplasia. Dogs generally die between the ages of 6 weeks to 3 years. Dogs tend to show their illness at 5-7 years old, but onset can be both earlier and later than this.
Dogs drink large amounts of water. Their Urine Specific Gravity (USG) is often low and the urine is dilute. Dogs may not have these symptoms and can usually concentrate their urine until they reach end stage renal failure.
Dogs tend to lose little protein in the urine and the serum albumin stays normal. Dogs lose large quantities of protein in the urine and their serum albumin drops. They also have a high protein/creatinine ratio.
Dogs eventually have high serum creatinine and Urea (BUN). Dogs do not have low albumin and high cholesterol. Dogs eventually have high serum creatinine and Urea (BUN). Dogs have low albumin readings and high cholesterol.
Dogs are born with small, malformed kidneys. Usually have normal sized kidneys until later stages of the disease.
In the renal cortex are microscopic cystic lesions, decreased and immature foetal glomeruli and cystic glomeruli. Dogs show glomeruli changes, such as glomerulonephritis and/or glomerulosclerosis. They do not have many foetal glomeruli.
Dogs are not usually predisposed to effusions and thromboembolism (clots). Dogs can throw clots, in the lung, heart, brain, portal vein or distal aorta (saddle).

See also Article by Meryl P. Littman VMD DACVM - Differentiating RD from PLN, December 2006 (pdf)