Dietary management of chronic enteropathy in dogs. Academic Article uri icon


  • Chronic idiopathic enteropathy is a clinical condition defined by the exclusion of infectious, metabolic or neoplastic causes of gastrointestinal signs and is categorised by a response to treatment including management with diet change, immunosuppressant medication or interventions that directly target the microbiome (e.g. antibiotics, faecal transplantation or probiotics). Animals that fail these therapies are categorised as non-responsive or refractory chronic idiopathic enteropathy. This specific categorisation implies that nutritional intervention is only needed for a subset of patients with enteropathy. However, often dogs with chronic idiopathic enteropathy are malnourished, have nutrient malabsorption or have gastrointestinal inflammation that occurs as a result of a breakdown in tolerance to luminal antigens including microorganism or dietary components. Thus, all dogs with chronic idiopathic enteropathy benefit from a nutritional assessment and targeted nutritional intervention. Among dogs presenting for chronic idiopathic enteropathy, the response rate to diet alone is roughly 50% in the referral population giving the impression that the overall response could be even higher especially when more than one nutritional intervention is attempted and strict adherence is maintained. The objectives of this review article are to outline the nutritional approach to a dog with chronic idiopathic enteropathy, including the nutritional assessment, and to highlight areas for nutritional intervention.

published proceedings

  • J Small Anim Pract

altmetric score

  • 10.75

author list (cited authors)

  • Tolbert, M. K., Murphy, M., Gaylord, L., & Witzel-Rollins, A.

citation count

  • 10

complete list of authors

  • Tolbert, MK||Murphy, M||Gaylord, L||Witzel-Rollins, A

publication date

  • January 2022