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Study offers insight into canine hepatobiliary disease in UK dogs

The Journal of Small Animal Practice has published the first study documenting the histopathological frequency of hepatobiliary diseases in a large cohort of dogs in the United Kingdom

The first study to document the histopathological frequency of hepatobiliary diseases in a large cohort of dogs in the United Kingdom has been published in the Journal of Small Animal Practice (JSAP). The researchers hope that, with knowledge of the varying histopathological frequencies of different canine hepatobiliary diseases in the UK as well as potential breed predispositions, the work may help to increase a veterinary surgeon’s index of suspicion of a particular liver disease, particularly if a biopsy-confirmed diagnosis is not possible.

In the study titled “Histopathological frequency of canine hepatobiliary disease in the United Kingdom”, histopathology reports from canine liver tissues submitted to a commercial veterinary laboratory by UK first and second opinion practices were retrospectively reviewed. Data collected included breed, age, sex, gross and histological descriptions, diagnosis and additional comments. Data were then grouped into 23 categories according to World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) histological criteria for canine hepatobiliary diseases using the four main morphological groups of vascular, biliary, parenchymal and neoplastic disorders. Breed analysis was then performed on the top five ranking breeds within each individual category.

A total of 4,584 histopathology reports of canine liver tissue were included in the analysis. The most common histopathological diagnoses were reactive hepatitis (16.8 percent), chronic hepatitis (16.0 percent) and reversible hepatocellular injury (RHI) (12.9 percent). Labrador retrievers were found to have increased odds for reactive hepatitis (OR 1.57, 95 percent CI 1.23-1.99), whilst crossbreeds demonstrated reduced odds (OR 0.65, 95 percent CI 0.54-0.79). Breeds with increased odds of chronic hepatitis included the Labrador Retriever (OR 4.14, 95 percent CI 3.47-4.93), Springer Spaniel (OR 6.30, 95 percent CI 5.10-7.79), Cocker Spaniel (OR 2.78 95 percent CI 2.20-3.53) and West Highland White Terrier (OR 3.23, 95 percent CI 2.24-4.65). Within the RHI group, the Schnauzer (OR 8.06, 95 percent CI 5.77-11.26) and Bichon Frise (OR 5.19, 95 percent CI 3.63-7.42) had increased odds of disease.

Yuvani Bandara, corresponding author for the paper, said: “This is the first study to report the histopathological frequency of hepatobiliary diseases and to identify possible breed predispositions in a large cohort of dogs in the UK.

“Despite multivariable analysis not being performed to account for confounding factors, we hope that this information informs and supports future investigations for hepatic disease in particular breeds and potential predispositions.”

Nicola Di Girolamo, Editor of JSAP, concluded: “By increasing knowledge of the varying histopathological frequencies of different canine hepatobiliary diseases in the UK and by providing data on breed predispositions, this study may help assist in increasing a veterinary surgeon’s index of suspicion of a particular liver disease. This may be particularly important in cases where a biopsy-confirmed diagnosis cannot be obtained.”

The full article can be found in the September issue of the Journal of Small Animal Practice and can be read online.

The Journal of Small Animal Practice is published monthly and access to articles is free for British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) members. For information on how to become a BSAVA member visit the membership page on the BSAVA website.

Veterinary Practice

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