Animal & Bird Medical Center of Palm Harbor
Medical Database

Gastrointestinal Disorders

Copper-Associated Hepatitis

Animals Affected – Dog

General Information
Copper-associated hepatitis is a chronic inflammation of the liver caused by the accumulation of copper in liver cells. While the exact mechanism of the disease is unknown, it seems to be caused by an inability to excrete or remove copper from liver cells. Copper is highly destructive once significant concentrations develop within the liver cells. The disease is not caused by abnormal amounts of copper in the diet.

The disease is inherited, and most cases have occurred in Bedlington Terriers, Doberman Pinschers, and West Highland White Terriers. Although the disease may be chronic, mild, and slowly progressive in some dogs, in others the condition is rapidly fatal. Affected dogs should not be used for breeding purposes.

Treatment is necessary throughout the dog’s life, and the prognosis is always guarded.

Important Points in Treatment
1. Various laboratory tests and biopsy of the liver are usually necessary to determine the degree of illness and to monitor treatment.

An Important Update From Animal & Bird Medical Center On COVID-19

We are committed to offering a safe and healthy environment for our clients, pets and hospital team here at Animal and Bird Medical Center. The best way to avoid becoming ill is to avoid exposure to the virus. Taking typical preventive actions is key.

In being cautious and mindful of everyone’s safety, we are actively working to minimize your exposure to crowded exam rooms and long waits in the lobby.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have made some changes to our protocols in-hospital for the time-being…

In order to limit exposure while still providing quality care for your pet, we will be implementing special protocols to keep you safe.

We will have our veterinary technicians get a history of the patient’s symptoms and owner’s concerns via phone prior to coming into the clinic.

  • Upon arrival, owners can call us from the curb in front of the clinic and we will have a technician assistant come to your car and bring your pet inside.
  • From here, your pet will be examined and the doctor will develop a treatment plan which he will then communicate via phone with the owner.
  • At the end of the visit, an invoice will be brought out to your car and payment can be taken via phone.

Our goal is for you to be able to bring your pet in for medical care but have no risk for you or our dedicated staff of transmitting the COVID-19 virus.

The Doctors and staff are dedicated to making sure your pet’s medical needs are taken care of during this national crisis.

We can still fill prescriptions for pick up, however, for those who prefer, non-narcotic and non-urgent prescriptions can be mailed to your home.

As always, careful hand-washing and other infection control practices can greatly reduce the chance of spreading any disease.