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Species affected: Dogs
Background: A toxic condition of the liver caused by an accumulation of copper in the liver as well as other tissues. There is an increasing incidence of purebred dog breeds having a congenital disorder causing this. In the congenital form, it may take several months to several years to manifest itself, by which time the symptoms and liver damage are irreversible.
Symptoms: The signs are those occurring with a gradual dysfunction and destruction of the liver: PU/PD, poor hair coat, lethargy.
Diagnostics: Blood tests of liver function, as well as toxicity testing, confirm the presence of the condition.
Special Notes: The toxicity can be a result of excess consumption of copper in contaminated feeds or from environmental sources such as cleansers and disinfectants; most commonly it is congenital. For affected animals, avoid multiple vitamins containing copper.
Principles for Supplementation: Support liver function and detoxification without overstimulating any one part of the detoxification system.


Formulas: Dosage: Mechanism/Purpose:


Dogs: 1 capsule/25 lb bid

Endogenous antioxidant, consisting of three amino acids, found in abundance in the liver.

Hepagen C12

Dogs: 1 capsule/ 25 lb sid

Balanced formula supports the hepatic detoxification pathways.


1 capsule per 20 lb bid or 1 scoop per 20 lb bid

Supports normal hepatic function.

Milk Thistle27

1 capsule per 20 lb bid or 1 scoop per 20 lb bid

Supports normal detoxification process. Protects the liver.


Dogs: ¼ capsule/ 25 lb sid (up to 1 capsule sid)

Used in the production of xanthine, oxidase, aldehyde dehydrogenase, and sulfite oxidase.

Pyridoxal 5’-

Dogs: ¼ capsule/ 25 lb sid (up to 1 capsule sid)

Pyridoxal-5’-phosphate is the active form of vitamin B6. Animals with compromised liver function may have a problem converting B6 to this active form.

Small Animal

Dogs: 2 capsules/ 25 lb sid


Zinc Citrate12

Dogs: 3 capsules bid for three days, then 1½ capsules bid

Zinc interferes with copper absorption and works to displace copper. For copper poisoning, use only until the problem is resolved. Monitor blood level of zinc every 2-3 months. Decrease as needed.

Section 1 - Canine and Feline Index of Pages


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