Copper storage hepatopathy is a condition caused by an abnormal accumulation of copper in the animal's liver, which leads to hepatitis and progressive damage and scarring of the liver (cirrhosis) over the long term. This condition may be secondary to a primary disease or the result of genetic-based abnormal copper metabolism.
Bedlington Terriers, Doberman Pinschers, and Labrador Retrievers are dog breeds known to be susceptible to this type of genetically based disease. In the case of Doberman Pinschers, copper storage hepatopathy is more prevalent in females than males.
The condition or disease described in this medical article can affect both dogs and cats. If you would like to learn more about how this disease affects cats, please visit this page in the PetMD health library.
Primary copper liver diseases (medically referred to as hepatopathies) generally fall into one of three categories:
Conversely, secondary copper hepatopathies show symptoms of progressive signs of liver disease due to chronic hepatitis or progressive cirrhosis. Liver disease in which the flow of bile is slowed or stopped is known as cholestatic liver disease; the abnormal flow of bile results in secondary copper retention.
Both types may display symptoms in their acute or chronic forms; they are as follows:
It is important to note that dogs can be affected by copper storage hepatopathy at any age. Genetics, however, is the main contributing factor in contracting this liver disease. Here is some information that is known about the contributing genetic factors:
A complete blood profile will be conducted, including a chemical blood profile, a complete blood count, and a urinalysis. You will need to give a thorough history of your dog's health, including a history of its symptoms, and possible incidents that might have precipitated this condition. The history you provide may give your veterinarian clues as to whether the condition is of primary or secondary origin.
A tissue sample will then be taken from the dog's liver for laboratory analysis (biopsy), and ultrasound images will be taken of the abdominal area to examine the condition of the liver.
A condition in which the skin becomes yellow in color as do the mucous membranes; this is due to excess amounts of bilirubin.
Transmitting genes from parent to child
A condition in which the liver becomes inflamed
The term for black feces that has blood in it
Another term for jaundice
A condition of dead tissue
An in-depth examination of the properties of urine; used to determine the presence or absence of illness
A medical condition involving excessive thirst
Referring to the liver
The group of processes that involve the use of nutrients by the body
Eliminating or the material that has actually been eliminated
The fluid created by the liver that helps food in the stomach to be digested.
The collection of fluid in the peritoneal cavity.
Any substance known to eliminate feeling; usually applied during a painful medical procedure.
A condition of the blood in which normal red blood cell counts or hemoglobin are lacking.
A certain pigment that is produced when hemoglobin is destroyed.
The process of removing tissue to examine it, usually for medical reasons.
A substance that causes chemical change to another
A disease of the brain of any type
The process of making something larger by dilating or stretching it
Term used to imply that a situation or condition is more severe than usual; also used to refer to a disease having run a short course or come on suddenly.