02644-A: Evaluation of Gallbladder Motility in Dogs with Hyperlipidemia

Grant Status: Closed

Grant Amount: $9,148
Stefanie DeMonaco, DVM, MS; Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine
February 1, 2019 - January 31, 2021

Sponsor(s): American Shetland Sheepdog Association

Breed(s): Shetland Sheepdog, Miniature Schnauzer
Research Program Area: Hepatic Disease
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Gallbladder (GB) diseases are frequently recognized in dogs as a significant cause of illness and potentially death. In particular, gallbladder mucoceles (GBM), the distention of the GB with mucus, can rupture and cause a critical condition that can quickly lead to death if not addressed immediately.  Currently, the cause of GBM is unknown making treatment and preventative strategies difficult. Dogs with GBM have poor GB motility and often increased lipid levels, such as cholesterol and triglycerides.  Impaired GB motility occurs in people and rodents with increased lipid levels suggesting that this may also occur in dogs, therefore, it is possible that increased lipid levels may lead to abnormal GB motility and eventually GBM formation in dogs. Breeds with inherited disorders resulting in increased lipid levels, such as Shetland Sheepdogs and Miniature Schnauzers, are the same breeds that have the highest risk for GBM formation. However, it has yet to be determined if increased lipid levels are associated with impaired GB motility in dogs. The investigators will utilize ultrasound to compare GB motility between healthy dogs and those with increased lipid levels in an attempt to ascertain an association between increased lipid levels and abnormal GB motility. If this is established, then diets and medications aimed to reduce lipid levels in conjunction with vigilant monitoring for the development of GB disease may prove beneficial to prevent or reduce disease severity and risk of death, particularly in predisposed breeds.

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