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Dr. Stacy
Dr. Stacy, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 1570
Experience:  10 years of experience in general practice.
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My dog had a gall bladder aspiration yesterday and the fluid

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My dog had a gall bladder aspiration yesterday and the fluid withdrawn was white. Why? What does this mean
Thank you for your question. My name is***** I have been a small animal veterinarian for 14 years and I'd like to help with your question. There really is absolutely no reason that the bile in the gall bladder should be white. Even if there was an infection and there was puss in the gall bladder then it should be an opaque color, but still have a greenish tinge to it. My first though is that they aspirated something other than the gall bladder. Can you give me a bit more information.... Is you dog ill? Do you know what changes he has had on bloodwork? Did you watch the procedure? Do you know how much fluid they aspirated and if it is being sent for analysis and culture?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Mollie is a nearly 10yr old cavalier. She is small in size and weighs just 6 kilos because she was the runt of the litter. Her weight has now dropped a little to 5.7. She was referred to the small animal hospital at Newmarket by my vet after having three unexplained infections with raised temperature, not eating, being lethargic and anaemic on blood count plus protein I think in blood. The last time her blood sugar dropped to 2.8! They did a gall bladder aspiration three weeks ago at Newmarket and found infection in fluid when sent for culture and she had a gall stone on the MRI plus the infection had backed up into the liver somewhat. She has been on antibiotics since and appetite has returned. A blood test 10 days ago was clear of infection and temperature was ok also. In a throw away line when I picked her up yesterday the intern said "Rather bizarre her aspiration was white like the first time". My response was you didn't say anything about that last time and she replied we put it down to the infection. She is Polish I think and despite being a linguist myself I find her English difficult to understand, I wanted to speak to her supervisor but he was in surgery and when I asked for a call back this afternoon I did not get one. Whether by white she means clear I don't know. Mollie recovered each time with the last infections on the antibiotics but the feeling poorly returned soon after stopping the antibiotics, which she is still on at the moment. When I said I'm rather worried I got a placating answer of well don't be if the worst happens we may have to remove the gall bladder but that is not a major operation. Having had my own gall bladder out I know that is hardly true! I am well educated with several degrees albeit in German and Theology and hate being placated like some middle aged idiot.
I'm thinking that she means opaque..... I suspect it was still a little green. Think milk with a few drops of green dye. The white color can come from two possible sources... either white blood cells or fat. White blood cells would indicate infection. That is likely what they attributed it to last time, but if they just did a culture and not an analysis then it could have been fat causing the color change. Some dogs that have problems that cause them to metabolize fats differently can have fat in their gallbladder. I have to say that it isn't something I have seen, but it is possible. I imagine that this kind of problem makes them more prone to gall stones. If they are only doing a culture, find out if they can do a fluid analysis on the fluid also... to check the fat level. You may need to change to a very low fat diet and see if that helps. If there is a stone in the gall bladder you may be heading to a gall bladder removal. But I agree with you.... it is not a small surgery. It is a big deal. However, it might be a good solution.What I would do is ask about a fluid analysis of the fluid. If it is high in fat, consider trying a very fat restricted diet. If the problem continues to reoccur then gall bladder removal would be the next step to consider. I hope that helps, but if you have more questions please let me know.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What are the risks of gall bladder surgery in a dog of this age and size? How long is the recovery period and what are the implications. Diet wise she already only has a dried food diet and likes Pedigree Seniors. Apart from the odd rich tea biscuit and I mean about one a week, that is her only food. As she is nearly 10 could she just stay on permanent antibiotics. I forgot to add she is on anti seizure medication but the annual blood test for that has always been spot on in the middle of the range and because of keeping salt in her diet low, we have never given her anything else but dried food. Last time they only talked about an infection in the culture and did not mention fluid analysis but they could have done it.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Are there any further questions you can think I should ask tomorrow if I can speak to her supervising senior vet?
Gall bladder surgery has all the risks of any surgery... Anesthesia, bleeding, plus the risk of leaking. It's not a high risk surgery, but there is risk. There are prescription low fat diets that are more fat restricted than senior diets. A fluid analysts would not be a standard test but in this case I'd want to do it. I can't think of anything else at this time to ask..., other than what your options are if you don't want any surgery.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. May I contact you again if I think of anything else?
Yes, just reply in this discussion.
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