Chronic intestinal pseudo-obstruction
This condition is caused by intestinal neuromuscular disease resulting from disorders of myenteric plexi, abnormalities of the interstitial cells of Cajal or primary involvement of intestinal smooth muscle cells.
Only a few cases of this disease have been reported in dogs.
These dogs typically present with a distended, painful abdomen, chronic anorexia, vomiting and diarrhea non-responsive to therapy.
A presumptive diagnosis can be based on clinical findings supported by radiographic and ultrasonographic examinations revealing dilated intestines with air-fluid level.
A definitive diagnosis requires histological examination of biopsied intestinal tissues, showing characteristic small and large intestinal atrophy and infiltration of serosa with mononuclear cell infiltration, as well as fibrosis of the tunica muscularis. Occasionally, degeneration of smooth muscle fibers and diffuse inflammatory cell infiltration in the tunica muscularis of the stomach and/or bladder, submucosal plexi and myenteric plexi.
Exploratory laparotomy usually reveal severely dilated intestinal loops with a flaccid wall and watery contents.
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