Bile Duct Obstruction in Your Cat

What is a Bile Duct Obstruction in Cats?

Bile is a yellow-green fluid which is created and released by the cat’s liver and stored in the gallbladder. The bile stays in the gallbladder until food has been ingested. Once food is ingested, the bile is released into the small intestine to aid in digestion. If a cat has an obstruction of the bile duct, the duct is blocked and does not allow bile into the intestine.

Symptoms of a Bile Duct Obstruction

Symptoms include:

  • Jaundice
  • Weight loss
  • Dark urine
  • Discolored skin
  • Pale stool
  • Lethargic behavior
  • Lack of appetite
  • Excessive hunger

Causes of Bile Duct Obstruction

Bile Duct Obstruction is generally associated with an underlying medical condition including a parasitic infestation, inflammation of the liver, pancreatitis and/or gallstones.

Diagnosis and Treatment

The veterinarian will analyze the history of the cat to determine if a bile duct obstruction is probable. The veterinarian will also analyze the cat’s symptoms and inquire about recent injuries or prior surgeries. A blood test and urinalysis are likely to be performed. An abdominal x-ray and ultrasound may also be necessary. If these tests are not effective, the veterinarian will recommend exploratory surgery to have the ability to look inside to see if there is an obstruction.

The treatment of the obstruction heavily depends upon the underlying medical condition associated with the obstruction. The treatment also varies based upon severity. If the cat is dehydrated, IV fluids will be administered.

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