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Doberman hepatitis (inflammation of the liver) is a hereditary disease which causes severe illness in affected dogs. The diagnosis is made based on examination of a liver biopsy, often in late stages of the disease. Immune deregulation as well as copper accumulation in the liver plays a role in the development and progression of disease. However, the exact mechanism and cause of the disease are not completely understood. This makes Doberman hepatitis difficult to treat with often poor patient outcomes. To help address this issue, researchers will try to identify DNA mutations responsible of Doberman hepatitis. With this information, the team hopes to develop DNA tests to help reduce disease incidence in the breed. The team also will try to develop noninvasive blood biomarker tests to improve early diagnosis and disease monitoring. Together, these findings may lead to more effective ways to diagnose and treat this devastating disease in Dobermans.

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Utrecht University
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Hille Fieten, PhD