Use of zinc acetate to treat copper toxicosis in dogs

George J. Brewer From the Departments of Human Genetics (Brewer, Dick, Yuzbasiyan-Gurkan) and Internal Medicine (Brewer), University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI (48109-0618), and from the Departments of Small Animal Clinical Sciences (Schall, Yuzbasiyan-Gurkan), Pathology (Mullaney, Padgett), and Radiology (Thomas), College of Veterinary Medicine, Michigan State University, Lansing, MI (48824-1314).

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Robert D. Dick From the Departments of Human Genetics (Brewer, Dick, Yuzbasiyan-Gurkan) and Internal Medicine (Brewer), University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI (48109-0618), and from the Departments of Small Animal Clinical Sciences (Schall, Yuzbasiyan-Gurkan), Pathology (Mullaney, Padgett), and Radiology (Thomas), College of Veterinary Medicine, Michigan State University, Lansing, MI (48824-1314).

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William Schall From the Departments of Human Genetics (Brewer, Dick, Yuzbasiyan-Gurkan) and Internal Medicine (Brewer), University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI (48109-0618), and from the Departments of Small Animal Clinical Sciences (Schall, Yuzbasiyan-Gurkan), Pathology (Mullaney, Padgett), and Radiology (Thomas), College of Veterinary Medicine, Michigan State University, Lansing, MI (48824-1314).

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Vilma Yuzbasiyan-Gurkan From the Departments of Human Genetics (Brewer, Dick, Yuzbasiyan-Gurkan) and Internal Medicine (Brewer), University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI (48109-0618), and from the Departments of Small Animal Clinical Sciences (Schall, Yuzbasiyan-Gurkan), Pathology (Mullaney, Padgett), and Radiology (Thomas), College of Veterinary Medicine, Michigan State University, Lansing, MI (48824-1314).

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Thomas P. Mullaney From the Departments of Human Genetics (Brewer, Dick, Yuzbasiyan-Gurkan) and Internal Medicine (Brewer), University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI (48109-0618), and from the Departments of Small Animal Clinical Sciences (Schall, Yuzbasiyan-Gurkan), Pathology (Mullaney, Padgett), and Radiology (Thomas), College of Veterinary Medicine, Michigan State University, Lansing, MI (48824-1314).

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Carol Pace From the Departments of Human Genetics (Brewer, Dick, Yuzbasiyan-Gurkan) and Internal Medicine (Brewer), University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI (48109-0618), and from the Departments of Small Animal Clinical Sciences (Schall, Yuzbasiyan-Gurkan), Pathology (Mullaney, Padgett), and Radiology (Thomas), College of Veterinary Medicine, Michigan State University, Lansing, MI (48824-1314).

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Janet Lindgren From the Departments of Human Genetics (Brewer, Dick, Yuzbasiyan-Gurkan) and Internal Medicine (Brewer), University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI (48109-0618), and from the Departments of Small Animal Clinical Sciences (Schall, Yuzbasiyan-Gurkan), Pathology (Mullaney, Padgett), and Radiology (Thomas), College of Veterinary Medicine, Michigan State University, Lansing, MI (48824-1314).

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Michael Thomas From the Departments of Human Genetics (Brewer, Dick, Yuzbasiyan-Gurkan) and Internal Medicine (Brewer), University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI (48109-0618), and from the Departments of Small Animal Clinical Sciences (Schall, Yuzbasiyan-Gurkan), Pathology (Mullaney, Padgett), and Radiology (Thomas), College of Veterinary Medicine, Michigan State University, Lansing, MI (48824-1314).

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George Padgett From the Departments of Human Genetics (Brewer, Dick, Yuzbasiyan-Gurkan) and Internal Medicine (Brewer), University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI (48109-0618), and from the Departments of Small Animal Clinical Sciences (Schall, Yuzbasiyan-Gurkan), Pathology (Mullaney, Padgett), and Radiology (Thomas), College of Veterinary Medicine, Michigan State University, Lansing, MI (48824-1314).

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Summary

Zinc acetate was used for the treatment and prophylaxis of hepatic copper toxicosis in 3 Bedlington Terriers and 3 West Highland White Terriers. Two dogs of each breed were treated for 2 years, and 1 of each breed for 1 year. A dosage of 200 mg of elemental zinc per day was required to achieve therapeutic objectives related to copper, which included a doubling of plasma zinc concentration to 200 μg/dl and a suppression of oral 64 copper absorption. The dosage was later reduced to 50 to 100 mg/day to avoid an excessive increase in plasma zinc concentration. The preliminary clinical results were good. Three dogs had mild to moderate active liver disease and high liver copper concentrations at the time of initiation of zinc administration. Biopsy of the liver 2 years later revealed a reduction in hepatitis and copper concentrations. One other dog without active hepatitis also had a reduction in hepatic copper concentrations over a 2-year period. All 6 dogs have done well clinically. On the basis of these findings, we believe zinc acetate to be an effective and nontoxic treatment for copper toxicosis in dogs.

Summary

Zinc acetate was used for the treatment and prophylaxis of hepatic copper toxicosis in 3 Bedlington Terriers and 3 West Highland White Terriers. Two dogs of each breed were treated for 2 years, and 1 of each breed for 1 year. A dosage of 200 mg of elemental zinc per day was required to achieve therapeutic objectives related to copper, which included a doubling of plasma zinc concentration to 200 μg/dl and a suppression of oral 64 copper absorption. The dosage was later reduced to 50 to 100 mg/day to avoid an excessive increase in plasma zinc concentration. The preliminary clinical results were good. Three dogs had mild to moderate active liver disease and high liver copper concentrations at the time of initiation of zinc administration. Biopsy of the liver 2 years later revealed a reduction in hepatitis and copper concentrations. One other dog without active hepatitis also had a reduction in hepatic copper concentrations over a 2-year period. All 6 dogs have done well clinically. On the basis of these findings, we believe zinc acetate to be an effective and nontoxic treatment for copper toxicosis in dogs.

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