A 7 yr old castrated male Cavalier King Charles spaniel presented for evaluation of liver enzyme elevations. Abdominal ultrasound revealed a small liver with mixed echogenicity, small hypoechoic nodules, and an irregular surface. Histologic examination and copper quantification of the liver obtained by laparoscopy diagnosed copper-associated hepatitis. One month later the dog developed hyperkeratosis of all four foot pads and ulcerations of feet, legs, and rectum. Punch biopsies confirmed superficial necrolytic dermatitis. After a total of 2 mo of chelation with no changes to medications, skin lesions began to improve, continuing over the following 6 wk to almost complete resolution. At this point the skin lesions returned and had minimal response to four amino acids infusions. The dog was switched from penicillamine to trientine. Zinc acetate was initiated 6 wk after the switch to trientine, and skin improvement was noted soon thereafter. At the time of death, skin lesions were improving and the dog was clinically comfortable. Copper-associated hepatitis should be considered as a possible etiology for superficial necrolytic dermatitis. Treatment of superficial necrolytic dermatitis is often unrewarding, and copper chelation, when copper-associated hepatitis has been confirmed, represents another therapeutic option.

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