Intestinal Diseases That Include Thickening of Intestinal Wall in Dogs

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Thickening of a dog's intestinal walls can be a sign of various illnesses and diseases. These diseases have numerous symptoms and treatments, and your veterinarian will be able to help you decide on the best treatment for your dog's health.

Large Granular Lymphosarcoma

Large granular lymphosarcoma (LGL) is also called leukaemia and can be found in both dogs and cats. According to University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine, studies have shown that female dogs are more likely to develop LGL than males. An x-ray or ultrasound may be done to reveal masses, and an ultrasound may also detect an enlargement of the kidneys. Palpation (feeling with the hands) may reveal thickening of the intestinal walls, enlarged lymph nodes and ascites.

Other symptoms of LGL may include a cough, depression, lethargy, enlarged lymph nodes and jaundice.

Treatment for LGL may include steroids such as Prednisone, or a combination of chemotherapy. The administration of Prednisone and chlorambucil may give the dog three years of life after the diagnoses of LGL.


Pythiosis Insidiosum is a parasitic spore capable of entering a dog's body through the nose, skin or oesophagus. Affected dogs will exhibit signs such as lesions on the tail, head, neck, inside of the thigh or the perineum. Pythosis has been nicknamed "swamp cancer" because it typically occurs in swampy areas in the southeastern United States.

Symptoms of pythiosis may include vomiting, diarrhoea, an abdominal mass, pain in the abdomen and enlarged lymph nodes. Pythiosis of the skin will cause non-healing wounds, pus filled nodules and eventually tissue death.

Your veterinarian may have an x-ray done to show any thickening of the intestinal walls, blockages or masses.

Treatment for dogs suffering from pythiosis include surgery to remove the affected tissue, and laser treatment for any tissue that can not be removed. Itraconazole is the drug of choice when treating pythiosis and should be given for a minimum of six months after surgery.

Intestinal Adenocarcinoma

Cancer of the intestines can be seen in dogs of any age. Symptoms of intestinal adenocarcinoma (ADC) include weight loss, diarrhoea, vomiting and anorexia.

During an exam, your veterinarian will look for things such as abdominal masses, dehydration, tumours, mural lesions, mucosal ulcerations and thickening of the intestinal wall, according to the Veterinary Society of Surgical Oncology.

Treatment may include surgery, and/or a combination of the medications 5-fluorouracil and cisplatin.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Inflammatory Bowel Disease, often known as IBD, is a disease causing chronically inflamed intestines or stomach. There are four types of IBD such as lymphocytic, suppurative, regional granulomatous and eosinophilic. The type of IBD is determined by the type of cells that are infiltrating the intestines.

The cause of IBD is unknown and may be due to genetics, infections and other abnormalities.

Symptoms of IBD include mucous or blood in the stool, diarrhoea, vomiting, and in severe cases, the dog may exhibit signs of depression and loss of appetite.

During a physical exam, a veterinarian will palpate to feel for thickening of the intestines.

IBD is treated with proper diet, anti-inflammatory medications, corticosteroids and other immunosuppressant drugs.


To get a proper diagnoses for any intestinal problems, your dog should be examined by a veterinarian. Your veterinarian may do various testing including blood tests, X-rays and ultrasound. Getting the correct diagnoses can assure your dog gets the proper treatment for his illness.