• Open Access

Chronic Hepatitis in Labrador Retrievers: Clinical Presentation and Prognostic Factors

Authors

  • Julia L. Shih,

    1. Department of Clinical Sciences, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, North Grafton, MA.
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  • John H. Keating,

    1. Department of Biomedical Sciences, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, North Grafton, MA.
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  • Lisa M. Freeman,

    1. Department of Clinical Sciences, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, North Grafton, MA.
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  • Cynthia R.L. Webster

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Clinical Sciences, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, North Grafton, MA.
      200 Westboro Rd, N Grafton, MA 01356; e-mail: cynthia.leveille-webster@tufts.edu.
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  • Presented as an abstract to the 2006 ACVIM Forum.

200 Westboro Rd, N Grafton, MA 01356; e-mail: cynthia.leveille-webster@tufts.edu.

Abstract

Background: An increased incidence of chronic hepatitis has been reported in Labrador Retrievers.

Hypothesis: A breed associated hepatopathy occurs in Labrador Retrievers.

Animals: Twenty-four client-owned Labrador Retrievers.

Methods: Medical records of dogs with histopathologic confirmation of chronic hepatitis were retrospectively reviewed. A clinical score based on clinical signs and the results of biochemical tests was generated for each dog. Hepatic biopsy specimens were scored for disease activity, fibrosis, and copper accumulation.

Results: The median age was 9.3 years (range, 3.9–14.0 years). Clinical signs included inappetence, vomiting, lethargy, and weight loss. All dogs had increases in serum activity of one or more hepatobiliary enzyme. Hyperbilirubinemia and hypoalbuminemia were present in 45% and 21% of dogs, respectively. The median clinical score was 2.9, with a range of 0–8. The median histopathology activity and the fibrosis scores were 3.5 (range, 1–6) and 3.0 (range, 0–4), respectively. Rhodaninepositive copper staining was present in 15 of 17 biopsy specimens, with a median score of 2.0 (range, 0–3). Median survival was 374 days (range, 1–2645 days). A prolonged prothrombin time (P= .013) and thrombocytopenia (P= .041) were associated with survival < 2 months. The presence of anorexia (P= .049), hypoglobulinemia (P= .045), or prolonged partial thromboplastin time (P= .033) were associated with shorter overall survival times. The clinical score correlated with survival time (P= .030) and histopathologic staging (P= .049).

Conclusions and Clinical Importance: A progressive hepatopathy in Labrador Retrievers in this study was marked by chronic inflammation, fibrosis, and copper accumulation. A clinical scoring system that correlates with survival time may be useful as a noninvasive method to predict prognosis.

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