Canine chronic hepatitis Academic Article uri icon


  • 2018 Verlag M. und H. Schaper GmbH. All rights reserved. Although chronic hepatitis is a common diagnosis in the dog, it is usually idiopathic. One proven cause is the COMMDi mutation in Bedlington terriers resulting in chronic hepatitis due to copper toxicity. Chronic hepatitis occurs in middle-aged to older dogs of any breed, although certain breeds appear to be predisposed to the condition. The clinical signs are often nonspecific. Although laboratory testing and diagnostic imaging are important diagnostic modalities in dogs with suspected chronic hepatitis, histopathological examination of a liver biopsy specimen is required for establishing a definitive diagnosis. The disease characteristics are hepatocellular apoptosis/necrosis, inflammation, an infiltration with mononuclear cells, and fibrosis. If an etiology can be identified, specific therapy may be attempted. However, in most patients, the therapeutic options remain symptomatic and supportive, and include anti-inflammatory drugs, antioxidants and the treatment of complications. Chronic hepatitis is the most common cause for hepatic fibrosis in dogs. Since fibrosis can lead to severe complications and hepatic failure, early diagnosis is crucial. Effective antifibrotic drugs are currently not available.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Eulenberg, V. M., Mischel, M., & Steiner, J. M.

complete list of authors

  • Eulenberg, Vera M||Mischel, Madeline MM||Steiner, Jorg M

publication date

  • January 2018