Internal Medicine Service

Study of inflammation and neurological dysfunction in dogs with liver disease

Adam Gow and colleagues have recently published their latest work from their ongoing programme of research which is exploring the pathogenesis of hepatic encephalopathy in dogs with liver disease.

They examined the presence of inflammation by measuring an acute phase protein called c reactive protein (CRP) in the serum of a population of healthy dogs and dogs with liver disease. They found that dogs with neurological signs and liver disease had a significantly higher serum CRP concentration whereas dogs with liver disease but no neurological disturbances have CRP concentrations which were not significantly different from healthy dogs.

Our study is the first to demonstrate an association between inflammation and neurological dysfunction in dogs with liver disease. We hope this study, alongside our other studies into the pathogenesis of hepatic encephalopathy in dogs, will clarify what factors drive this debilitating complications of liver disease in dogs. Ultimately, we hope our programme of research will provide a foundation for the development of therapies which improves treatment outcomes for dogs with liver disorders.

Richard Mellanby

This work was published in Metabolic Brain Diseases, further information can be found below.