Intestinal Lipid Malabsorption


Intestinal lipid malabsorption affects the digestion of fat from the diet, specifically the long-chain fatty acids (LCFAs). Affected dogs are most severely affected as puppies and have stunted growth. They begin to normalize as they reach six months of age, but always have larger volumes of stool and fat present in their feces.

  • Signs and symptoms

    Affected puppies are much smaller than their littermates, have a tremendous appetite, yellowish loose stool, and fail to thrive. When they are fed a solid diet with digestive enzyme supplementation, their stool begins to appear more normal. At six months, most clinical signs resolve, but they will always produce larger stools and do not tolerate high-fat foods.

    When affected dogs are born, they appear to be the same as their littermates. After a few weeks, they may show different rates of growth. They appear to outgrow most clinical signs by six months of age.

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  • Diagnosis

    This condition is diagnosed based on clinical signs and genetic testing. An intestinal biopsy can be used to assess changes associated with chronic inflammation.

  • Treatment

    Low-fat diets and digestive enzyme supplements can be used to manage this condition.

  • What to do if your dog is at risk


    • Please follow your veterinarian’s nutrition advice and avoid high-fat diets.

  • Genetic Information

    This variant was first described in the Australian Kelpie.

    This variant is inherited in an autosomal recessive manner, meaning that a dog requires two copies of the variant to show signs of intestinal lipid malabsorption.

    Gene names:

    ACSL5 ‐ chr

    Inheritance type:


  • Breeds affected

    This health condition affects the following breeds

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