Copper-associated Hepatopathy in Dogs

Copper-associated hepatopathy is a condition caused by an excess of copper in the liver. Copper can enter the body through diets high in this mineral, or through copper in the environment. Some breeds of dogs, dalmations and labradors seem more predisposed to develop this condition. 

The symptoms of copper-associated hepatopathy include an unhealthy looking coat, lethargy, and frequent drinking and urinating. The problem is diagnosed through blood tests, which include toxicity testing to determine if there is an excess of copper in the blood stream.

Traditional treatment for this condition includes feeding of a special diet based on dairy or soy protein, along with drug treatment to help the body rid itself of copper. Natural remedies, such as glutathione, pyridoxal 5'-phosphate and zinc, can be helpful in treating hepatophy by supporting liver function and helping to detoxify the body.