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Gallbladder aspirate from a dog



Abstract A 7-year-old, male, castrated, Labrador Retriever with a history of pancreatitis and inflammatory bowel disease presented for vomiting and anorexia. Serum biochemistry findings were indicative of cholestasis, hepatocellular insult, and decreased hepatic function. Ultrasound examination showed sediment and gas within the gallbladder, and a diagnosis of emphysematous cholecystitis was made. Emergency gallbladder resection was performed. Cytologic examination of bile fluid collected at surgery showed a mixed population of bacteria (bactibilia) together with fungal organisms consistent with Cyniclomyces guttulatus (previously known as Saccharomycopsis guttulatus). Similar fungal organisms were seen on a fecal smear. Bacteria cultured were normal gastrointestinal flora, supporting ascending infection; the fungal organisms were interpreted as incidental. Histopathology of the gallbladder indicated active (suppurative) and chronic (lymphocytic) cholecystitis and sections of liver tissue had evidence of chronic liver disease. A positive liver culture indicated concurrent bacterial hepatitis or cholangiohepatitis. Despite supportive care, the dog continued to decline and was euthanized 30 days later. Necropsy results confirmed end stage liver disease, but an initiating cause was not found. This case highlights the role of bactibilia in the development of acute cholecystitis and the unique cytologic appearance of C guttulatus as an incidental finding in bile fluid.