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Clinical features and outcomes in 38 dogs with cholelithiasis receiving conservative or surgical management.

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BACKGROUND: Ursodeoxycholic acid is used in human medicine for litholytic management of choleliths, but the efficacy of medical management in dogs with cholelithiasis is unknown. OBJECTIVES: To describe the clinical features and outcomes of dogs with cholelithiasis, focusing on cases that received medical treatment, and to identify patient factors that influenced decision-making for surgical or medical management. ANIMALS: Thirty-eight dogs with cholelithiasis identified on abdominal ultrasonography (AUS). METHODS: Medical records of dogs with cholelithiasis on AUS between 2010 and 2019 were retrospectively reviewed. Cases were classified as symptomatic (n = 18) or incidental (n = 20) and divided into medically treated (n = 13), surgically treated (n = 10), and no treatment (n = 15) groups. Biochemical variables and cholelith location were compared between symptomatic and incidental groups using Mann-Whitney U and chi-squared tests, respectively. Survival times were compared using Kaplan-Meier survival analysis. RESULTS: Symptomatic cases had higher alkaline phosphatase (P = .03), gamma-glutamyl transferase (P = .03), and alanine transferase (P = .02) activities than did incidental cases. A higher proportion of symptomatic cases (44.4%) had choledocholithiasis than did incidental cases (0%; P = .003). Seventy percent of surgically managed dogs, 7.7% of medically managed dogs, and 0% of nontreated dogs had choledocholiths at presentation. Seventeen dogs had follow-up AUS: cholelithiasis completely resolved in 4/8 medically treated, 5/7 of surgically treated, and 1/2 nontreated dogs. Median survival time was 457.4 days, with no significant difference between incidental and symptomatic dogs. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL IMPORTANCE: Medical treatment can be effective for management of cholelithiasis in dogs, with clinical presentation and cholelith location playing important roles in treatment decision-making.



biliary tract, cholecystectomy, cholelith, gall bladder, ursodeoxycholic acid, Abdomen, Animals, Cholelithiasis, Dog Diseases, Dogs, Humans, Retrospective Studies, Ultrasonography

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J Vet Intern Med

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