Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis

January 8, 2022 / 5 mins read

At the University of Edinburgh Veterinary School we are particularly interested in Westie Lung Disease (WLD) and identifying new treatment options, and are currently running an exciting project funded by the Westie Foundation of America. The project is in its first year and will finish in September 2023. We are actively encouraging owners of dogs with WLD and their veterinarians to become involved with this project and the details can be found through this link The project aims to validate a new treatment approach that will markedly improve patient quality of life and survival. It also aims to examine how engagement with owners and veterinarians world-wide can help us better understand the disease, how it impacts on canine welfare and on owner emotional and financial stress. Recent work by ourselves have identified novel findings that has allowed us to re-appraise what type of disease WLD actually is. Knowing this greatly enhances our approach to the diagnosis, treatment and management of the disease. Previously it has been presumed that WLD is a condition known as Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF), but newer discoveries, in particular using High Resolution Computed Tomography (also commonly known as a Cat Scan) suggest otherwise and that WLD is more similar to a much rarer disease in people called Non-Specific Interstitial Pneumonitis (NSIP). The benefit of this newer view of WLD is NSIP is treatable (but not curable) while IPF is not. Any benefit WLD cases have had so far with treatment also suggest the condition is not IPF. If your dog is affected by WLD we would be delighted to hear from you, and liaising with your veterinarian we would offer to help with diagnosis, treatment and management. You could also help this project by spreading the message to other Westie owners.

Professor Brendan Corcoran MVB, PhD, DipPharm, MRCVS

Chair of Veterinary Cardiopulmonary Medicine

University of Edinburgh