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  • Author or Editor: Tim Ulrich x
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Medical records of 29 dogs with cholelithiasis were reviewed. Aged female small-breed dogs were overrepresented. Mean age was 9.5 years, and mean weight was 12 kg. Vomiting, anorexia, weakness, polyuria/polydipsia, weight loss, icterus, fever, and signs of abdominal pain were the most common clinical signs. Leukocytosis, neutrophilia with left shift, monocytosis, high activity of serum hepatic enzymes, hypoalbuminemia, and high concentrations of serum total bilirubin were common. Radiopaque choleliths were evident on abdominal radiography of 13 of 27 dogs. Microbial culturing of bile isolated organisms in 15 of 20 dogs. Gram-negative bacteria were most common.

Surgery was performed in 22 dogs. Four dogs were treated medically, and 3 dogs were euthanatized without treatment. Surgical treatment consisted of cholecystectomy in 11 dogs, choledochotomy in 5 dogs, cholecystotomy in 4 dogs, and cholecystojejunostomy in 1 dog. Sphincter of Oddiotomy was performed in 1 dog. Five dogs had concurrent generalized peritonitis attributable to bile. Multiple choleliths were detected in most of the dogs. Choleliths were located in the gallbladder in 20 dogs and in the bile ducts in 14 dogs. The most common abnormalities of the gallbladder, identified histologically, were chronic cholecystitis, mucosal hyperplasia, and pericholecystic inflammation. The most common abnormalities of the liver were cholestasis, hepatocellular degeneration, and periportal fibrosis. Survival rate of dogs that underwent cholecystectomy tended to be higher (86%) than that of dogs treated via cholecystotomy (50%) or cholecystectomy in combination with choledochotomy (33%). Dogs that underwent medical treatment, abdominal exploratory, cholecystojenunostomy, choledochotomy, and sphincter of Oddiotomy died or were euthanatized because of redevelopment of clinical signs associated with cholelithiasis. None of the 9 surviving dogs had return of signs associated with cholelithiasis. Cholecystectomy in combination with antibiotic administration appeared to be the treatment associated with the lowest morbidity and mortality in dogs with clinically evident cholelithiasis.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association