Standardised histological criteria are now available for the diagnosis of canine chronic hepatitis (CH). CH is common in dogs, but no studies have reported breed, age and gender distributions in the United Kingdom (UK). The objective of this study was to determine which breeds had an increased risk for developing CH in the UK and to report the age and gender distribution for those breeds. The databases of six veterinary histopathology laboratories were searched for cases with a histological diagnosis of CH according to standardised criteria. The breed, age and gender of dogs was recorded and compared to a control population to calculate the odds ratio and 95% confidence intervals for developing CH.
A total of 551 cases of CH were identified, consisting of 61 breeds. Nineteen breeds were represented by five or more cases. Breeds with an increased risk for developing CH included the American cocker spaniel, Cairn terrier, Dalmatian, Dobermann pinscher, English cocker spaniel, English springer spaniel, Great Dane, Labrador retriever and Samoyed. The median age at diagnosis for all breeds with CH was 8 years (range 7 months to 16 years). Dalmatians, Dobermann pinschers and English springer spaniels with CH were significantly younger than Cairn terriers, English cocker spaniels and Labrador retrievers with CH. Females were over-represented when all cases were examined together. In conclusion, several breeds in the UK have an increased risk of CH, some of which have not been previously reported. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.