Chronic hepatitis in Doberman pinschers. A review

Vet Q. 2004 Sep;26(3):98-106. doi: 10.1080/01652176.2004.9695173.


Chronic hepatitis in Doberman pinschers is predominantly seen in female dogs, usually between 4 and 7 years of age and was first recognized in the early eighties. The histopathological characteristics of Doberman hepatitis are those of micronodular cirrhosis with histological features of fibrosis, piece meal necrosis and progressive lymphocyte and plasma cell infiltration of the portal triads. Currently there are two hypotheses on the pathogenesis although neither of them has been elucidated. The first hypothesis is that of a copper toxicosis. The second is that of autoimmunity. Similarities and differences with other breeds and studies on both hypotheses are reviewed, as well as results of recent research of our group. Based on recent findings chronic hepatitis in Doberman pinschers is most likely to be a form of copper toxicosis. Although there are several indications that suggest autoimmunity as well, this still remains unclear.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autoimmune Diseases / veterinary
  • Breeding
  • Copper / adverse effects*
  • Copper / pharmacokinetics
  • Copper / physiology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Dog Diseases / etiology
  • Dog Diseases / immunology
  • Dog Diseases / pathology*
  • Dogs
  • Female
  • Hepatitis, Animal / etiology
  • Hepatitis, Animal / pathology*
  • Hepatitis, Chronic / etiology
  • Hepatitis, Chronic / pathology
  • Hepatitis, Chronic / veterinary*
  • Humans
  • Liver / pathology
  • Liver Cirrhosis / etiology
  • Liver Cirrhosis / pathology
  • Liver Cirrhosis / veterinary
  • Male
  • Sex Factors


  • Copper