01986: Profiling the Metabolic and Lipid Imbalances that are Causative of Gallbladder Disease in Dogs

Grant Status: Open

Grant Amount: $135,354
Jody L. Gookin, DVM, PhD; North Carolina State University
January 1, 2014 - December 31, 2019
Sponsor(s): American Shetland Sheepdog Association, Collie Health Foundation, Finnish Lapphund Club of America, Inc., Hoffman Miniature Schnauzer Donor Advised Fund, Orthopedic Foundation for Animals
Breed(s): Shetland Sheepdog, Cocker Spaniel, Miniature Schnauzer
Research Program Area: Hepatic Disease


The gallbladder mucocele (GBM) is one of the most common, poorly understood and deadliest biliary diseases of dogs. A GBM develops when the gallbladder secretes abnormal mucus that eventually obstructs or ruptures the gallbladder. GBM formation afflicts all dogs, but especially Shetland Sheepdogs, Miniature Schnauzers and Cocker Spaniels, and in general, dogs with disorders of steroid hormone or lipid metabolism. By the time a diagnosis of GBM is made, emergency surgery to remove the gallbladder is often required. After surgery, only 22-50% of dogs survive to be discharged from the hospital. There is a critical need to determine why dogs form a GBM, so we can prevent the high cost and lost lives of these dogs. Based on the breeds and diseases that predispose to GBM, the investigator hypothesizes these dogs have a unique disturbance in cholesterol or lipid metabolism. If the cause of this disturbance can be identified then the investigators will be able to understand why GBM form, develop tests for early diagnosis and design diets or drugs to prevent GBM formation.


Aicher, K., Cullen, J., Gookin, J., Seiler, G., Lunn, K., Mathews, K., & Correa, M. (2016). HP02 Association of gallbladder mucocele formation with occult hypothyroidism in dogs: A matched case-controlled study. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine. 40(4), 1407-1519. https://doi.org/10.1111/jvim.13952

Aicher, K. M., Cullen, J. M., Seiler, G. S., Lunn, K. F., Mathews, K. G., & Gookin, J. L. (2019). Investigation of adrenal and thyroid gland dysfunction in dogs with ultrasonographic diagnosis of gallbladder mucocele formation. PLOS ONE, 14(2), e0212638. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0212638

Gookin, J. L., Correa, M. T., Peters, A., Malueg, A., Mathews, K. G., Cullen, J., & Seiler, G. (2015). Association of Gallbladder Mucocele Histologic Diagnosis with Selected Drug Use in Dogs: A Matched Case-Control Study. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, 29(6), 1464-1472. https://doi.org/10.1111/jvim.13649

Gookin, J. L., Mathews, K. G., Cullen, J., & Seiler, G. (2018). Qualitative metabolomics profiling of serum and bile from dogs with gallbladder mucocele formation. PLOS ONE, 13(1), e0191076. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0191076

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