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Gallstones in Dogs




There is disagreement over whether an attempt to medically dissolve the stones is appropriate if the dog does not seem to be in danger. If intravenous (IV) treatment is indicated, your dog will need to be hospitalized until it is stable. In some cases, exploratory surgery will be the treatment route chosen. If this is a chronic problem for your dog, new stones may form even if there is surgery to remove the existing ones.


Medications that can be used to treat the stones, and any related complications, will be pills to help dissolve the stones; vitamin K1 will be given intravenously if the patient is jaundiced; vitamin E will be prescribed if high liver enzymes or inflammation in the liver and bile duct are diagnosed; S-Adenosylmethionine (SAMe) may be prescribed to improve liver function and bile production; Antibiotics may also be warranted to treat associated infections, bacterial complications, or to prevent infection when outside intervention needs to be used (e.g., IV, surgery, or any treatment that necessitates going into the body).


Living and Management


A fat-restricted, high protein diet is most likely to be prescribed for the long term.


If your dog had surgery, a physical examination and testing will be needed every two to four weeks for as long as your veterinarian recommends it. Periodic ultrasound exams to evaluate the ongoing functioning of the liver and bile system will be called for. You will need to watch for any sudden onset of fever, abdominal pain, or weakness, since it may indicate infection from a breakdown in the bile functioning process.



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