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Keywords:

  • ejection fraction;
  • gallbladder motility;
  • ultrasonography;
  • bile;
  • cholestasis;
  • microlithiasis

Biliary sludge in dogs is dismissed commonly as an incidental finding. On the other hand, gallbladder mucocele is reported increasingly in dogs and can lead to biliary obstruction or gallbladder rupture. Cholestasis is suspected to play a role in development of sludge and mucoceles, though there are no data in dogs to support this. We investigated gallbladder emptying, a key factor in biliary flow, in dogs with mobile sludge, immobile sludge, or gallbladder mucocele and in healthy controls. Gallbladder ejection fraction estimated by ultrasonography was used as the index of gallbladder emptying. The ejection fraction at 60 min after eating was significantly decreased in all three abnormal groups. Moreover, all dogs with sludge or a mucocele had gallbladder distension. These changes were the greatest in the mucocele group. Thus, biliary stasis occurs not only in dogs with gallbladder mucocele but also in dogs with biliary sludge. Cholestasis may play a role in the pathogenesis or progression of these diseases in dogs.