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Gallbladder mucocele in dogs: 30 cases (2000–2002)

Fred S. Pike DVM, DACVS1,2, John Berg DVM, MS, DACVS3, Norval W. King DVM, DACVP4,5, Dominique G. Penninck DVM, DVSc, DACVR6, and Cynthia R. L. Webster DVM, DACVIM7
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  • 1 Department of Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, North Grafton, MA 01536.
  • | 2 Present address is Veterinary Specialty Hospital, PO Box 9727, Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92067.
  • | 3 Department of Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, North Grafton, MA 01536.
  • | 4 Department of Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, North Grafton, MA 01536.
  • | 5 Present address is Idexx Laboratories, Idexx Animal Health, 1 Centennial Dr, North Grafton, MA 01536.
  • | 6 Department of Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, North Grafton, MA 01536.
  • | 7 Department of Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, North Grafton, MA 01536.

Abstract

Objective—To determine long-term outcome of dogs with gallbladder mucocele.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—30 dogs with gallbladder mucocele, including 23 that underwent cholecystectomy.

Procedure—Medical records were reviewed for signalment, history, and clinical, ultrasonographic, and surgical findings. Follow-up information was obtained for all dogs that survived the perioperative hospitalization period.

Results—23 dogs had signs of systemic illness; 7 had no clinical signs. Median values for serum activities of alanine aminotransferase and alkaline phosphatase, serum total bilirubin concentration, and total WBC count were significantly higher among dogs with gallbladder rupture than among dogs without rupture. Sensitivity of sonography for detection of rupture was 85.7%. Overall perioperative mortality rate for dogs that underwent cholecystectomy was 21.7%; mortality rate was not significantly greater for dogs with rupture. Aerobic bacteria were isolated from the bile or gallbladder wall in 8.7% of dogs. All 18 dogs discharged from the hospital had complete resolution of clinical signs. In dogs that underwent in-hospital reexamination, serum liver enzyme activities were significantly decreased, compared with preoperative activities. Persistent increases in serum activities of 1 or more liver enzymes were detected in 9 of 12 dogs; 6 of 12 dogs had persistent abnormalities in hepatic echogenicity. Mean follow-up period was 13.9 months.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that cholecystectomy is an effective treatment for gallbladder mucocele. Although perioperative mortality rate is high, prognosis after discharge from the hospital is excellent. Rupture of the gallbladder warrants emergency surgical intervention but does not preclude a positive outcome. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004;224:1615–1622)

Abstract

Objective—To determine long-term outcome of dogs with gallbladder mucocele.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—30 dogs with gallbladder mucocele, including 23 that underwent cholecystectomy.

Procedure—Medical records were reviewed for signalment, history, and clinical, ultrasonographic, and surgical findings. Follow-up information was obtained for all dogs that survived the perioperative hospitalization period.

Results—23 dogs had signs of systemic illness; 7 had no clinical signs. Median values for serum activities of alanine aminotransferase and alkaline phosphatase, serum total bilirubin concentration, and total WBC count were significantly higher among dogs with gallbladder rupture than among dogs without rupture. Sensitivity of sonography for detection of rupture was 85.7%. Overall perioperative mortality rate for dogs that underwent cholecystectomy was 21.7%; mortality rate was not significantly greater for dogs with rupture. Aerobic bacteria were isolated from the bile or gallbladder wall in 8.7% of dogs. All 18 dogs discharged from the hospital had complete resolution of clinical signs. In dogs that underwent in-hospital reexamination, serum liver enzyme activities were significantly decreased, compared with preoperative activities. Persistent increases in serum activities of 1 or more liver enzymes were detected in 9 of 12 dogs; 6 of 12 dogs had persistent abnormalities in hepatic echogenicity. Mean follow-up period was 13.9 months.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that cholecystectomy is an effective treatment for gallbladder mucocele. Although perioperative mortality rate is high, prognosis after discharge from the hospital is excellent. Rupture of the gallbladder warrants emergency surgical intervention but does not preclude a positive outcome. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004;224:1615–1622)