Lipid metabolism and hyperlipidemia in dogs

Vet J. 2010 Jan;183(1):12-21. doi: 10.1016/j.tvjl.2008.10.011. Epub 2009 Jan 23.


Lipid metabolism in dogs can be divided into exogenous and endogenous pathways and exhibits some unique characteristics compared to other species. Hyperlipidemia is common in dogs, and can be either primary or secondary to other diseases. Secondary hyperlipidemia is the most common form and can be a result of endocrine disorders, pancreatitis, cholestasis, protein-losing nephropathy, obesity, and high fat diets. Primary hyperlipidemia is less common and usually associated with certain breeds. Hypertriglyceridemia of Miniature Schnauzers is the most common type of primary hyperlipidemia in dogs in the United States, and appears to have a genetic basis although its etiology remains unknown. Possible complications of canine hyperlipidemia include pancreatitis, liver disease, atherosclerosis, ocular disease, and seizures. Management is achieved by administration of low fat diets with or without the administration of lipid-lowering agents such as omega-3 fatty acids, gemfibrozil, and niacin.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Diet, Reducing
  • Dog Diseases / etiology*
  • Dog Diseases / therapy*
  • Dogs / metabolism*
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / therapeutic use
  • Hyperlipidemias / complications
  • Hyperlipidemias / etiology
  • Hyperlipidemias / therapy
  • Hyperlipidemias / veterinary*
  • Hypertriglyceridemia / complications
  • Hypertriglyceridemia / therapy
  • Hypertriglyceridemia / veterinary
  • Hypolipidemic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Lipid Metabolism / physiology*
  • Liver Diseases / complications
  • Liver Diseases / drug therapy
  • Liver Diseases / veterinary
  • Niacin / therapeutic use
  • Obesity / complications
  • Obesity / therapy
  • Obesity / veterinary
  • Pancreatitis / complications
  • Pancreatitis / drug therapy
  • Pancreatitis / veterinary


  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3
  • Hypolipidemic Agents
  • Niacin