GALLBLADDER MUCOCELES IN DOGS: retrospective evaluation of clinicopathological parameters and different treatment modalities 23 CASES (2005-2013)
Noort, A.J. van
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Objectives: To describe clinical features and long-term outcome and to determine risk and prognostic indicators in dogs diagnosed with gallbladder mucocele (GM). Design: Retrospective study. Animals: Twenty-three client-owned dogs of the referral patient population of the Utrecht University clinic in the period 2005-2013 in which a GM was diagnosed. Methods: Data from medical records and follow-up were analysed, including signalment, medical history, physical examination findings, clinico- and histopathological findings, survival time, and prognostic factors for survival time. Results: Dogs had a mean age of 8 years and gender was equally distributed. Eighteen dogs had a history of non-specific clinical signs (vomiting, anorexia, lethargy, polyuria and polydipsia, weight loss and diarrhoea) of acute or subacute onset. Physical examination findings revealed abnormalities in twenty-two dogs and included abdominal discomfort, icterus, abdominal distension, tachycardia, signs of dehydration and fever. Blood examination revealed a leucocytosis, an abnormally high alkaline phosphatase, alanine aminotransferase and fasting bile acids, and a hypoalbuminaemia in the majority of dogs. Thirteen dogs underwent cholecystectomy, two dogs were treated medically, and eight dogs received no treatment. Mortality due to the GM was 43.5% and estimated median survival time for the total group was 33 months. There was no significant difference in survival time between treatment groups. Risk factors for reduced survival were not identified. Conclusion and clinical relevance: There is no difference in survival between dogs that underwent cholecystectomy and dogs that received no or medical treatment. Spontaneous resolution of clinical signs and the GM was reported. Rupture of the gallbladder warrants surgical intervention but does not preclude a positive outcome. A more expectative approach might be in place for dogs without gallbladder rupture.