The Lowdown on Lymphoplasmacytic Gastritis

Here at My Pet Nutritionist, we see many dogs with severe gastritis. There are so many types of gastritis, and Lymphoplasmacytic, or Lymphocytic-plasmacytic, Gastritis is one of the common types of gastritis we see. It’s quite a mouthful of a word, so hopefully this blog should simplify it, and give our readers a deeper understanding of the condition, and how we can help through food, lifestyle changes, and supplementation.

What Is Lymphoplasmacytic Gastritis?

Don’t let the length of the word scare you – you may not have heard of Lymphoplasmacytic Gastritis before, but it’s likely you have heard of IBD; Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Lymphoplasmacytic Gastritis is a chronic form of IBD, whereby inflammatory cells and cytokines (the substance which stimulates inflammation of cells) penetrate the stomach and intestinal lining. As you can imagine, when inflammatory cells enter the digestive system, it causes havoc! The inflammatory cells invade the stomach and intestinal lining due to having been subject to an abnormal immune response.

There is a huge link to the lymphatic system in the gut too; which means a knock on effect to the rest of the body is very likely. This is where the name ‘Lymphoplasmacytic’ comes from – the link with the lymphatic system.

Lymphoplasmacytic Gastritis happens most commonly in older dogs, but has been known in dogs as young as 8 months old.

There are a number of conditions which have very similar symptoms to Lymphoplasmacytic Gastritis, including Giardia, a protozoan parasite we see regularly, Salmonella poisoning, Pancreatitis, and Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) which we also see frequently. A more severe health condition with similar symptoms is Lymphocytic Gastritis-Like T Cell Lymphoma. These similarities make diagnosis a little tricky.

Findings Here
Findings Here
Findings Here

Symptoms of Lymphoplasmacytic Gastritis

This leads us nicely on to spotting the signs and symptoms of Lymphoplasmacytic Gastritis. There are a variety of symptoms of Lymphoplasmacytic Gastritis, which are as follows:
  • Infrequent flares to start, gradually becoming more frequent as time goes on
  • Chronic diarrhoea
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Bloody vomit
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Dark, bloody stool
  • Coughing up blood
  • Lethargy
  • Some dogs may struggle to breathe

Diagnosing Lymphoplasmacytic Gastritis

As with any symptomatic patient, it’s incredibly important to visit your veterinary surgery, and have a consultation with your veterinarian in order to properly diagnose the condition and work out your next plan of action.

Your vet will take a sample of blood in order to run a full blood panel to look for potential issues with your dog’s blood values. The blood values are commonly within normal ranges for dogs suffering with this condition, but some are slightly anaemic, or have lower than normal levels of proteins in the blood.

A test for pancreatic function may be carried out to rule out the possibility of pancreatitis, and Vitamin B12 and Folate levels may be tested; this checks the intestines ability to absorb efficiently. You can read more on folate and B12 levels in our blog here!

The final, and possibly most helpful step in diagnosis of Lymphoplasmacytic Gastritis, is scanning. While standard x-rays tend to look ‘normal’, ultrasounds will show inflammation in the bowel area, and are often the key to diagnosis. Some vets may carry out a Barium radiograph, which is more useful than a standard x-ray, but not preferable to an ultrasound.

For definite confirmation of Lymphoplasmacytic Gastritis, a biopsy will be taken.

Findings Here

What Causes Lymphoplasmacytic Gastritis?

There are various causes of Lymphoplasmacytic Gastritis. Let’s take a look at them!
  • Breed predisposition: some breeds are genetically predisposed to the condition. These include the cocker spaniel, basenji, shar pei, German shepherd, Yorkshire terrier and wheaton terrier.
  • Food sensitivities: always a big topic here at MPN, food intolerances and allergies can be a huge factor for the development of Lymphoplasmacytic gastritis.
  • SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth): bacterial overgrowth damages the gut, which in turn leads to inflammation
  • Parasites: parasitic infection can lead to major inflammation in the gut and bowel.
  • Bacterial infection: having a bacterial infection causes an imbalance in the gut microbiome, which has a huge knock on effect within the body. Inflammation is a major issue caused by this.

Findings Here
Findings Here

Conventional Treatments

Of course, there will be pharmaceutical approaches your vet may offer. Once independently researching these, you may wish to proceed, but you may wish to support the body naturally. We cannot sway your opinion either way, so it’s important to listen to your veterinarian, and fully research recommendations, particularly longer term recommendations.

It’s likely your vet will prescribe a binding medication, which helps bind the contents of the bowel – these pastes usually contain a beneficial clay called Kaolin, and a probiotic to help repopulate the gut.

Anti-nausea medication may be essential in the initial recovery of your dog, to enable the dog to stop vomiting, and hopefully encourage eating.

As your dog will likely be dehydrated due to the chronic diarrhoea and vomiting they will likely suffer, it will be important to rehydrate through intravenous fluids. IV fluids will be carried out at the veterinary practise.

To help the initial recovery, your vet may also prescribe antibiotics in case of infection, steroids to help reduce inflammation in an effective and timely manner, and diuretic medication to reduce the amount of excess fluids in the body.

After the first round of medication, your dog will be reassessed, and further treatment decided upon, if necessary. Your vet may offer an antiparasitic medication at this point, however we would advice a full faecal panel first, as there’s no point treating something that is not there!

Your vet may discuss dietary changes to help reduce the risk of reoccurrence, and this is where we can help!

Findings Here
Findings Here

Supporting the Body Naturally

So how can we support the body naturally, to keep on top of Lymphoplasmacytic Gastritis?


Diet plays a large role in supporting the body. As always, fresh food is most suitable for those with Lymphoplasmacytic Gastritis. Dry food can be very drying on the gut as it is only between 6 and 10% moisture. It can also be very inflammatory due to the excessive processing it undergoes during manufacture, and the high amount of carbohydrates. Feeding a fresh diet is far less inflammatory, and therefore preferable for those suffering with Lymphoplasmacytic Gastritis.

The link between Lymphoplasmacytic Gastritis and food sensitivities also needs to be explored in your dog. Common food allergens causing the onset of this condition include dairy products, gluten, and meat proteins, as well as food preservatives, colourings and other additives. Try to avoid dry food, and avoid treats which are not 100% meat. Many of the treats on the market are filled with colourants and additives to make them look and smell more appealing to the pet and owner.

Adding extra fibre to your dog’s meals could be beneficial as this gives the digestive system a helping hand in gut motility. Ensure your dog’s diet is not high in fat, as fat can cause inflammation I the gut. It may also be important to factor in the time of the day your dog is fed. A human based study shows eating at regular intervals can reduce the risk of a gastritis flare.

Findings Here

Feeding the right food is incredibly for immune health. Due to Lymphoplasmacytic Gastritis being a reaction to abnormal immune responses following gut damage, once you get the diet to a good place, you’re well on your way to a healthier pet! 70-80% of the immune system lays in the gut, so treat it with care!


Gut-friendly supplements play an essential role in supporting the body with Lymphoplasmacytic Gastritis. As gut health is paramount, a gut-healing mucilage would be a great addition, such as slippery elm, marshmallow root, or deglycyrrhizinated liquorice.

A probiotic will help replenish the gut microbiome, which is all-important in supporting the body. A soil based probiotic may be preferable, as the strains of probiotic are generally well tolerated.

Our supplement Gut Guardian contains the three aforementioned mucilage herbs, calming chamomile, and high quality soil based probiotics making it ideal for most cases!

Other Lifestyle Changes

As Lymphoplasmacytic Gastritis happens as a response to abnormal immune responses, it’s very important not to over-vaccinate. Suppressing the immune system temporarily post vaccination can cause havoc with the immune system, which would allow for a flare up. Instead, you can titre test your dog if proof of immunity is required. You can read more about vaccines and over-vaccination in our blog here!

Changing your flea and worm prevention to natural products may also be beneficial. Pharmaceutical worm and flea treatments can be very detrimental to gut health. They are made from potent chemical ingredients, which aim to kill any parasitic burdens, however in the process of this, the gut lining is hindered, enabling leakage, which leads to the abnormal immune response so often associated with Lymphoplasmacytic Gastritis. You can learn how to switch to natural preventatives in our blog here!

Lastly, but not least, we cannot stress enough (no pun intended), how important it is to reduce stress in your dog. Stress can cause internal inflammation due to the gut-brain axis, so keeping your dog as calm as possible is essential to avoid regular flares of gastritis.

Findings Here

Our team hopes this blog has helped you further understand what Lymphoplasmacytic Gastritis is, and how some changes to lifestyle and diet can help your dog. If your dog has been diagnosed with gastrointestinal inflammation, or any digestive conditions and you feel you could benefit from some tailored, 1-2-1 advice, please don’t hesitate to contact our team and book in for a consultation.

Team MPN x

Keep up to date

Subscribe to our newsletter for recipes, DIY products, health solutions and more.

You have been successfully Subscribed! Ops! Something went wrong, please try again.

Customer Reviews

Related articles