Species affected: Dogs
Background: A toxic condition of the liver caused by an accumulation of copper in the liver as well as other tissues. There is an increasing incidence of purebred dog breeds having a congenital disorder causing this. In the congenital form, it may take several months to several years to manifest itself, by which time the symptoms and liver damage are irreversible.
Symptoms: The signs are those occurring with a gradual dysfunction and destruction of the liver: PU/PD, poor hair coat, lethargy.
Diagnostics: Blood tests of liver function, as well as toxicity testing, confirm the presence of the condition.
Special Notes: The toxicity can be a result of excess consumption of copper in contaminated feeds or from environmental sources such as cleansers and disinfectants; most commonly it is congenital. For affected animals, avoid multiple vitamins containing copper.
Principles for Supplementation: Support liver function and detoxification without overstimulating any one part of the detoxification system.