02544: Medical Resolution of Gallbladder Mucocele Formation in Dogs

Grant Status: Open

Grant Amount: $220,333
Jody L. Gookin, DVM, PhD; North Carolina State University
October 1, 2019 - September 30, 2025

Sponsor(s): American Miniature Schnauzer Club, American Shetland Sheepdog Association, Border Terrier CECS/Genetics Research Fund, Border Terrier Club of America, Border Terrier Club of America Health and Scholarship Foundation, Bull Terrier Club of America

Breed(s): -All Dogs
Research Program Area: Hepatic Disease
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Gallbladder mucocele formation is a disorder of the gallbladder where excess secretion of abnormally thick mucus results in obstruction to the normal flow of bile or rupture of the gallbladder contents into the abdominal cavity. The disease has a breed predisposition for Shetland Sheepdogs, Border Terriers, Cocker Spaniels, Schnauzers, Pomeranians, Bichons Frises, Chihuahuas, Pugs, and Beagles and uncommonly affects mixed breed dogs. The only curative treatment for the disease is a costly surgery to remove the gallbladder and on average, 27% of dogs will die from post-operative complications. This objective of this study is to establish whether the course of mucocele formation can be reversed by correcting metabolic disturbances documented in affected dogs. Recent published data, generated by support from the AKC Canine Health Foundation (Grant #01986), demonstrated that dogs with mucocele formation are relatively deficient in essential dietary compounds that play key roles in normal metabolism and/or whose biological activity may help to promote normal secretory function of the gallbladder epithelium. This study will determine whether supplementation with such dietary factors will arrest and reverse the course of mucocele formation in dogs. If successful, this research will have an important positive impact by providing an immediate benefit to dogs with this disease.

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