• Canine;
  • Liver;
  • Portosystemic shunt;
  • Tracheal collapse

Background: Postprandial (PP) serum bile acid (SBA) stimulation is an important test for detecting hepatic dysfunction in dogs. However, this test is influenced by numerous variables, and a standardized approach using an injectable cholecystokinin analog (ceruletide) may be advantageous.

Hypothesis: Ceruletide SBA stimulation test is more sensitive than PP SBA stimulation in dogs.

Animals: Animals with portosystemic shunt (PSS) (n = 11) and dogs with upper respiratory disease (URD) (n = 9) were investigated. Healthy dogs (n = 13) and dogs with other diseases (n = 17) served as controls.

Methods: All dogs underwent SBA stimulation with food and ceruletide. Stimulation blood samples were drawn at 60/120 minutes and 20/30/40 minutes, respectively. Results were compared statistically, and the sensitivity and specificity were determined with receiver-operating characteristic curves.

Results: Stimulated SBA were significantly higher in both study groups than in controls. For dogs with PSS, the sensitivity and specificity (>35 μmol/L) were 100% postprandially (120 minutes) and 91 and 100%, respectively, postceruletide (30 minutes). The difference between these values was not statistically significant. For dogs with URD, the sensitivity and specificity (>22 μmol/L) were 44 and 88% postprandially (120 minutes) and 100 and 88% postceruletide (30 minutes).

Conclusions and Clinical Importance: Ceruletide SBA stimulation circumvents exogenous and endogenous influences associated with PP SBA stimulation. The results indicate that ceruletide SBA stimulation performs as well as PP SBA stimulation in dogs with PSS and is more sensitive for the detection of hepatic dysfunction in dogs with URD.