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  • Author or Editor: Grace Pei-Chun Lai x
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To describe short-term outcomes of dogs and cats undergoing surgery for traumatic bile peritonitis.


13 dogs and 4 cats.


Multi-institutional, retrospective study. Medical records from 6 institutions were reviewed for cases of traumatic bile peritonitis between 2006 and 2022. Clinical presentation, additional injuries, surgical treatment, and outcome were recorded.


Trauma occurred a median of 2 (range, 1 to 22) and 4 (range, 1 to 22) days prior to presentation in dogs and cats, respectively. Total bilirubin was increased in 11 of 13 dogs and 2 of 4 cats. Rupture occurred at the common bile duct (CBD) in 10 dogs and 1 cat, gallbladder in 3 dogs, cystic duct in 2 cats, and hepatic duct in 1 dog and 1 cat. The most common surgeries were cholecystoduodenostomy and CBD repair in dogs and cholecystectomy in cats. Eleven of 13 dogs and all cats survived to hospital discharge (88.2% overall survival). Median follow-up in surviving dogs and cats was 35 days (range, 14 to 401) and 30 days (range, 14 to 90), respectively. One dog that underwent cholecystectomy experienced recurrent bile peritonitis 20 days postoperatively. Short-term survival following surgical treatment of traumatic bile peritonitis was excellent and recurrence appears uncommon. The most frequent site of rupture was the CBD in dogs and the cystic duct in cats.


Measurement of peritoneal bilirubin should be considered in dogs and cats with peritoneal effusion following trauma. Surgeons should be prepared to identify and address ruptures in locations other than the gallbladder.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association