Copper Storage Disease in Dogs

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Copper storage or hepatotoxicosisis is a disease that results because of excess saturation of copper in the dogs liver. All the dog breeds face the danger of contracting this disease but, there are certain breeds that are more prone to this than their fellow dogs. These dogs are Bedlington terrier, Doberman pinscher, Skye terrier and Western Highland White terrier and cause hepatitis and cirrhosis in all of them and is also a genetic disease. It is necessary to remember that if the disease remains untreated, then it can prove to be fatal for the dog.

Symptoms/ Signs of Copper Storage Disease

The signs of this disease vary from case to case depending on the damage that is caused to the liver. However, following are some of the signs-

1) Jaundice, Diarrhea, Ascites

2) Bleeding from gums or nostrils

3) Vomiting and weight loss

4) Release of small quantity of copper from the liver causes destruction of the red blood cells which amount to anemia, that is, absence of required level of hemoglobin in the blood.

5) In some cases, with the passing of urine there are traces of blood that are secreted from the body.

Treatment/ Vaccination of Copper Storage Disease

1) The treatment for this disease involves using of drugs like Penicillamine to help increase the process of throwing out copper from the body by way of urination.

2) Another method is using Zinc acetate which helps in avoiding copper to be absorbed in the body.

3) The dog is given antioxidant therapy by the way of providing extra Vitamin E that controls the liver damage. The dogs that have a tendency to saturate copper should not be given Vitamin C as it shoots up the chances of liver damage.

Also, along with the therapeutic treatment proper balanced diet will the ailing dog to recover fast. The very basic thing to do is to keep the dog on low diet of copper. This accompanied by daily dose of minerals and vitamins will help to cope up with lack nutrients. But care must be taken that these additional sources of minerals and vitamins should not have copper in them.

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