• Open Access

Association of Dietary Copper and Zinc Levels with Hepatic Copper and Zinc Concentration in Labrador Retrievers

Authors


Corresponding author: H. Fieten, Department of Clinical Sciences of Companion Animals, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, Yalelaan 108, 3584 CM Utrecht, The Netherlands; e-mail: H.Fieten@uu.nl.

Abstract

Background

Copper-associated hepatitis is an inherited disease in the Labrador Retriever. Apart from genetic factors, dietary intake of copper and zinc are suspected to play a role in the pathogenesis.

Objectives

To investigate whether dietary copper and zinc levels of commercially available dry diets are associated with hepatic copper and zinc concentrations in Labrador Retrievers.

Animals

Fifty-five Labrador Retrievers that were fed a single brand and type of commercial dry food for at least 1 year. Of these, 44 dogs were family members of Labrador Retrievers with copper-associated hepatitis.

Methods

Liver biopsies, blood samples, and diet samples were obtained. Liver specimens were scored histologically and copper and zinc concentrations were quantified. Dietary concentrations of copper and zinc were measured. The association between dietary intake of copper and zinc and hepatic copper and zinc concentrations was investigated by linear regression analysis.

Results

High dietary copper and low dietary zinc levels were significantly associated with high hepatic copper levels. No association between dietary intake and hepatic zinc was present.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance

Dietary copper and zinc at current levels in commercially available dry dog food can influence hepatic copper and can be a risk factor for the development of copper-associated hepatitis in Labrador Retrievers with a genetic susceptibility to copper.

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