Starting in October 1966, 19 dogs have been subjected to massive parenteral iron loading using intravenous iron-dextran and intramuscular iron-sorbitol. Although 13 animals died, in many cases the deaths were attributable to fighting. The large doses of iron employed (up to 5·8 g/kg) were well tolerated by the surviving animals, and after 35 to 47 months five of the six survivors have developed hepatic cirrhosis with massive siderosis; the dog which has not yet developed cirrhosis received the smallest iron load. The liver pathology in many ways resembles that of human haemochromatosis, and may provide an experimental model for the study of chronic iron-induced liver injury.
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