Treatment of Idiopathic Chronic Hepatitis and Copper Associated Hepatopathy in Dogs

The purpose of this study is to:

  1. Prospectively evaluate the therapeutic efficacy of
    • Cyclosporine in idiopathic chronic hepatitis (ICH)
    • D-penicillamine and low copper diet in copper associated hepatopathy (CAH)
  2. Identify biomarkers that correlate with treatment response

Patients must come back to CSU for rechecks at one month, three months, and six months, and a recheck liver biopsy is required for the study.

The initial diagnosis of ICH or CAH is not covered by the study but all fees associated with the required rechecks and liver biopsy are entirely covered by the study.


idiopathic chronic hepatitis

eligibility information

Dogs may be eligible for the study if they have an elevated serum ALT activity for >two months or if >two times elevated above reference range and ALT>ALP.

Dogs are eligible if diagnosed with ICH or CAH via histopathology but must be enrolled prior to starting therapy. Must have liver heavy metal analysis in addition to culture of the liver.

Exclusion criteria include:

  • Already on penicillamine, zinc, or immunomodulatory medications for two weeks or more
  • Already on low copper diet for four weeks or more
  • Receiving phenobarbital
  • If hepatoprotective medications like s-adenosyl methionine, n-acetylcysteine, vitamin E, and/or ursodeoxycholic acid are not discontinued prior to enrollment
  • If liver biopsy was performed with 18G tru-cut needle biopsy (14-16G tru-cut will be permitted if at least two are obtained for histopathology, one for culture, one for heavy metals)
  • Diagnosed hepatic neoplasia or a gall bladder mucocele

Enrollment Deadline

Enrollment ends June 30, 2022

contact information

If interested or if you want to know if your dog qualifies, please feel free to email us.