Canine Copper-Associated Hepatopathy

Copper-Associated Hepatopathy (Copper storage disease, Copper hepatoxicosis, Copper storage hepatitis, Copper toxicosis, Copper-associated hepatopathy, Hepatic copper toxicosis, Wilson disease, BTCT, CT)

Canine Copper-Associated Hepatopathy is recognized with increasing frequency in dogs. While most evidence and occurrences currently points to genetics, growing studies are demonstrating it is possible that a dietary ingredient, copper (cu), plays a role due to several industry changes, which may give answers to those with an unknown etiology. If you are pet owner affected with this chronic, complex disease, you can appreciate any new and evolving knowledge.

Meet Riggs. April 2022 – a bright, 13 year old, Old English Sheepdog. Brave. Silly. Advanced in having life figured out. But most of all, lives in the moment. He taught me how to do that, too. Throughout my career, I have worked with many dogs with special needs, but perhaps the most complex case of them all has been my own – my heart and soul dog – Sheepdog Riggs. The true inspiration at times for honing my skills, and restructuring my business in order to honour his legacy as Soul Dog Synergy.

“Unheard” of in this breed, we are affected by a hepatopathy with a secondary copper storage toxicity disease (micronodular hyperplasia dissecting fibrosis and cirrhosis official dx) in 2017. It took us 8 months to uncover our official diagnosis. Several years later, this disease is not so rare: it affects any breed, purebred or mixed breed, and we would like to share with you our new findings with evidence based science linking an alarming rate of affected companion dogs to the disease.

I was told many things from, “we don’t know”, “we can’t help you,” to “figure it out”, leaving me stranded with an ill dog. Though, as part of his treatment protocol, I knew lifelong follow up and dietary management was important. I desperately researched for help, and not always from reliable sources. At that time, ultimately I had no choice but to start formally educating myself as I quickly enrolled back to school as time was of the essence for Riggs’ health. I started my journey into science based small animal nutrition and I have not stopped. The more I learn, the more I learn I have more to learn.

Like many who are affected with the disease, I knew nothing about the disease. Nobody did. Riggs was my responsibility. We needed answers. How could this happen? I did everything right. I was determined to learn everything I could; not only so that I could make knowledgeable decisions about his care, but to find the right people who could help us.

If you are like us and have been diagnosed with Copper Storage Disease, there is no easy answer to, “What does Riggs have? What does that mean? What can he have? What do you feed him?” Those are loaded questions.

We hope you will support us in this mission, and in turn our support will assist you in your time of desperation, fear, worry, helplessness, panic, should you find yourself affected.

I feel confident that at the end of Riggs’ journey, I did everything I could for him. I uphold those same standards of care, ethics, and compassion for all animals. Would you like that confidence, too?

What does supporting Soul Dog Synergy have to offer?

I feel confident that at the end of Riggs’ journey, I did everything I could for him. I uphold those same standards of care, ethics, and compassion for a. Would you like that confidence, too?

  1. Terminology: What does all this mean when dealing with an ill dog?
  2. Clinical Symptoms: What are the symptoms of this disease?
  3. Advocacy: How do I advocate for my dog and the best treatment for successful long term management?
  4. Asking the right Questions: What questions do I need to be asking my veterinary team?
  5. Veterinary Team & Specialists: Who do I need to look after my dog and where do I find the best of the best who is experienced to handle complex cases?
  6. Diagnosis: How are diseases diagnosed? What can I expect?
  7. Life After Diagnosis and the emotions
  8. The Science of Biopsies: Why, When, & Techniques
  9. The Liver and its Function
  10. Anatomy
  11. Why is Science Important?
  12. Nutrition:
  • Nutrition Fundamentals
  • Dietary Management
  • Commercial Diets
  • Homemade Diets
  • Balance & Formulation
  • Understanding the Pet Food Industry
  • Debunking Myths
  • Cu

13. Supplements

14. Medication

15. Blood Analysis: What Tests do you need, what do they mean?

16. Pet Insurance

17. Maintenance

18. Studies

19. Product Spotlight

We promote the highest level of pet standards through education and resources by giving you the industry guidelines and organizational consensus. We believe that pet owners that are educated are more informed and make better choices for the health and care of their pet. Misinformation is more appealing, while the most compelling and convincing is not reliable. Working in the pet industry, we strive to continue to learn and improve within our trade, as well as aspire to be a figure of a responsible pet owner ourselves so we can develop information that benefit pets and their families for best practices. We provide all the relevant content for pet owners in order to feel like you are able to provide the best care possible.

We stand behind the principles of evidence-based thinking, objectivity, and skepticism. This means that our position on any issue will be the most scientifically rigorous and unbiased one possible. It is a position that follows the science — where factual evidence and not beliefs, fads, or trends, are the foundation of everything we do. If you are not already a proud member of our Pack, we invite you to join us on this standard of care.

Motivated by science, inspired by evidence. We are the science of pet care.

Synergistically Yours,

Danielle & Sheepdog Riggs

Did you find this information helpful? Do you enjoy my content or learn something new? Consider showing your support by buying me a coffee. This goes towards my labour of love of this website in science based education, advocating for Canine Copper-Associated Hepatopathy, and – text books!

Has your dog been affected by Canine Copper-Associated Hepatopathy? Please see our Members Page or Join or Facebook Group.

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