Health and Nutrition

Chronic Hepatitis

Chronic hepatitis is the diagnosis for several diseases associated with liver disease. Causes may include viruses, bacterial infection, and some medications. A predisposition to the development of chronic hepatitis exists in some breeds:

Bedlington Terriers and West Highland White Terriers are affected by an inherited defect in the metabolism of copper (known as copper-associated hepatitis or copper toxicosis in Bedlington Terriers).

For Bedlington Terriers, it is estimtaed that 25% have the disorder and 50% are carriers.

Other breeds affected by chronic hepatitis include the Doberman Pinscher (more commonly seen in females), the American Cocker Spaniel, the English Cocker Spaniel, the Skye Terrier, and the Labrador Retriever.

The first signs of liver disease may include loss of appetite, vomiting, weight loss, depression, lethargy, and/or increased drinking and urination. As the disease progresses, more specific signs to liver failure occur, such as jaundice, coagulation problems, extreme weight loss, and neurologic abnormalities.

Additional Information:

Note: This section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website is intended as a source of information only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional care. Always consult with your Veterinarian about health related matters.

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