Biliary sludge in dogs: what it is, how it develops and what treatment is needed

 Biliary sludge in dogs: what it is, how it develops and what treatment is needed

Tracy Wilkins

Biliary sludge in dogs is a disease that affects the dog's digestive system. Although it is little known, the condition is related to the production of bile, an essential substance in the digestion process. Often confused with cholecystitis in dogs, biliary sludge does not cause the dog so much health inconvenience at first, but it can lead to more serious inflammation of the organ. Because it is a harmfulmost unknown disease, many questions arise: what causes biliary sludge? Dogs with the disease need what kind of treatment? In cases of biliary sludge in dogs, are the symptoms usually severe? O Paws of the House talked to Fábio Ramires, general practitioner of small domestic animals, who explained to us everything about biliary sludge in dogs. check out!

What is bile sludge in dogs?

"Biliary sludge is caused by the accumulation of bile in the gallbladder, which sediments and forms the sludge. We can have several causes, such as partial obstruction of the bile ducts, lack of contraction of the gallbladder for bile ejection and neoplasms ", explains Fábio Ramires. The gallbladder is the organ that forms bile, a substance that aims to help the liver emulsify fats. Therefore, sheis extremely important for the dog's digestive system.

What does bile sludge in dogs cause in the pet's body?

In a case of biliary sludge, dogs start to produce this fluid in excess and, thus, it ends up accumulating, which can cause obstruction of the gallbladder and, consequently, inflammation and digestion problems, in addition to favoring the appearance of cholecystitis in dogs (gallstones). Every dog of any breed, age or sex can develop biliary sludge. Obese dogs, however, have a higher risk of developing biliary sludge.He also points out that certain hormonal problems, such as canine diabetes, hyperadrenocorticism and hypothyroidism are also risk factors for causing biliary sludge. As in dogs, biliary sludge can also exist in cats.

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Don't confuse: biliary sludge is not the same as cholecystitis or biliary mucocele in dogs

Diseases that affect the gallbladder are not so frequent in dogs, but it is important to always be aware. Biliary sludge in dogs is often confused with two other conditions that can affect the organ: cholecystitis in dogs and biliary mucocele in dogs. Fábio Ramires explains the difference between them so that there is no doubt: "Biliary sludge is the accumulation of sedimented bile inside the gallbladder.Cholecystitis in dogs is the inflammation of the gallbladder. Finally, biliary mucocele in dogs is the abnormal accumulation of bile with increased viscosity within the gallbladder."

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Biliary sludge in dogs: symptoms may be slow to appear

When it comes to biliary sludge in dogs, the symptoms are not always very apparent. At first, it is quite difficult for them to manifest themselves, as the excess bile does not prevent the organ from functioning. In many cases of biliary sludge, these signs usually appear when an inflammation begins. The symptoms can be very reminiscent of those of cholecystitis in dogs. "The dog with biliary sludge may show a loss of weight.appetite (anorexia), abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, jaundice and in some cases diarrhea, "explains Fábio. It is also common to see the dog vomiting yellow or greenish because of the bile.

It is very common for bile sludge in dogs to be discovered by chance

As we have explained, the symptoms of biliary sludge in dogs may not manifest themselves at first, so the most common way to discover the disease is through routine examinations. This is also quite common in cases of biliary sludge in cats. Sometimes the animal is having an ultrasound for another reason and discovers the problem - which requires imaging tests to have the diagnosis confirmed. " The best oneThe diagnostic option is imaging, through abdominal ultrasound. In some cases, we can also use computed tomography for greater detail, "explains Fábio.

Biliary sludge treatment: dogs need dietary changes

In most cases, biliary sludge in dogs can be treated with changes in the dog's diet. "The treatment should be based mainly on the diet of this animal, avoiding the intake of fatty foods in order to correct dyslipidemia, and the use of medications with cholagogue, choleretic and hepatoprotective action", explains Fábio. When biliary sludge in dogs is causing amore serious inflammation and greatly compromising the animal's health, surgery called cholecystectomy can be performed. In it, the gallbladder is removed in order to prevent the rupture of the ducts, which can happen when there is a large concentration of bile sludge in dogs. It is worth mentioning that only the veterinarian will be able to specify which treatment is indicated for your dog's

The diet of a dog with biliary sludge needs to be low in fats

Dogs with biliary sludge need to undergo serious dietary changes. Bile is responsible for helping the liver to digest fats. Biliary sludge makes it more difficult to carry out this process of absorbing lipids. Therefore, Fábio explains that the animal with biliary sludge should be given a low-fat diet. The diet with low lipid intake is extremely important in the process of digesting fats.treatment of any case of biliary sludge in dogs, especially when the animal's gallbladder needs to be removed by surgery.

Tracy Wilkins

Jeremy Cruz is a passionate animal lover and dedicated pet parent. With a background in veterinary medicine, Jeremy has spent years working alongside veterinarians, gaining invaluable knowledge and experience in caring for dogs and cats. His genuine love for animals and commitment to their well-being led him to create the blog Everything you need to know about dogs and cats, where he shares expert advice from veterinarians, owners, and respected experts in the field, including Tracy Wilkins. By combining his expertise in veterinary medicine with insights from other respected professionals, Jeremy aims to provide a comprehensive resource for pet owners, helping them understand and address their beloved pets' needs. Whether it's training tips, health advice, or simply spreading awareness about animal welfare, Jeremy's blog has become a go-to source for pet enthusiasts seeking reliable and compassionate information. Through his writing, Jeremy hopes to inspire others to become more responsible pet owners and create a world where all animals receive the love, care, and respect they deserve.