Gallbladder disease is a condition which results in inflammation of the gall bladder and/ or the formation of gall stones. The gallbladder is an organ that stores and thickens bile produced by the liver. Bile is a digestive fluid used to break down fats.
When bile is not able to leave the gallbladder and enter the small intestine risk of gallbladder disease develops. Since the bile is stuck inside the gallbladder, it thickens more than necessary thus producing gallstones or causing inflammation. However, gallbladder disease does not generally occur in pets.
As a pet owner, some symptoms of gallbladder disease to look for include:
Gallbladder disease can be diagnosed by your veterinarian performing a physical examination. A variety of methods can then be used to determine if your pet has gallbladder disease. These include: X-rays, ultrasounds, blood tests, and urine analyses.
Gallbladder disease is not commonly seen in pets. The leading cause of gallbladder disease in animals is pancreatitis. Pancreatitis is a condition involving the inflammation of the pancreas. Other causes include bacterial infections, tumors, gall stones, and physical trauma.
Older animals are more likely to develop gallbladder disease in comparison to younger animals. Also, dogs that have liver disease have a greater chance of developing gallbladder disease.
Gallbladder disease is treated differently depending on what caused it. If Pancreatitis is responsible for causing gallbladder disease in your pet, then inflammation of the pancreas must first be reduced before further treatment can occur. Over-the-counter medication also plays a large role in the treatment of gallbladder disease. However, there are also many natural remedies available to aid your pet's overall health.
In addition, gallbladder disease is often treated by simply removing the gallbladder altogether. The gallbladder is not a vital organ and your pet can still live a healthy life without it. If your pet is to live without his/ her gallbladder, a diet low in fats is recommended. A situation where surgery would be necessary is the rupture of the gallbladder due to physical trauma.