Chronic hepatitis in dogs: a review of current understanding of the aetiology, progression, and treatment

Vet J. 2004 May;167(3):228-41. doi: 10.1016/S1090-0233(03)00118-7.


Chronic hepatitis is common in dogs in primary and referral practice but the cause is usually unknown. This paper reviews the literature on potential causes of chronic hepatitis in dogs (infectious, autoimmune, metabolic, toxic, and breed-associated) together with the literature on the progression of the disease and on treatments. This is compared with the current understanding of aetiology, progression, and treatment of chronic hepatitis in man. Unfortunately, little is known about the aetiology and progression of the canine disease and very few therapies have been subjected to critical trials. It is difficult therefore to draw conclusions about causes and effective treatment in dogs. Even the histological description for canine chronic hepatitis has yet to be standardised. Much research remains to be done and this review suggests some potential areas for future investigation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dog Diseases / drug therapy
  • Dog Diseases / etiology*
  • Dog Diseases / pathology
  • Dogs
  • Female
  • Hepatitis, Animal / drug therapy
  • Hepatitis, Animal / etiology*
  • Hepatitis, Animal / pathology
  • Hepatitis, Chronic / drug therapy
  • Hepatitis, Chronic / etiology
  • Hepatitis, Chronic / pathology
  • Hepatitis, Chronic / veterinary*
  • Humans
  • Male