Percutaneous ultrasound-guided cholecystocentesis was performed on 13 healthy beagle dogs to determine whether percutaneous ultrasound-guided cholecystocentesis in the dog was a feasible and safe procedure. Clinical, laboratory and ultrasonographic examinations were done at 0 and 10 minutes, in the 2nd and 16th hour, and on the 7th day. They included a detailed physical examination of the mucous membranes, cardiorespiratory system and abdominal organs. Laboratory examinations of the blood consisted of a complete blood count, determination of packed cell volume (PCV), haemoglobin (Hb), total plasma protein (TPP), parameters of haemostasis including prothrombin time (PT), activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT), and enzyme activities reflecting hepatobiliary function, i.e. aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), and gamma-glutamyltransferase (GGT). Ultrasonographic findings of the gallbladder (size, shape, wall, content) and appearance of the biliary tract and the surrounding cranial intraabdominal organs were also evaluated. Percutaneous ultrasound-guided cholecystocentesis was performed easily during the study, and dogs tolerated well the procedure performed without anaesthesia. All laboratory parameters of the blood remained within normal limits throughout the study. However, some follow-up values, i.e. PCV, TPP, APTT and ALT, demonstrated statistically significant differences when compared to baseline measurements, which might reflect the effect of 24-hour fasting before the experiment, as well as day-to-day metabolic fluctuations due to feeding and water supply during the study. There were no visible signs of bleeding from the liver, bile leakage from the gallbladder or accumulation of free peritoneal fluid during repeated ultrasonographic examinations. Percutaneous ultrasound-guided cholecystocentesis seems to be an important diagnostic procedure in canine gallbladder diseases and can be used safely and easily to gain gallbladder bile for diagnosis of bacterial cholecystitis or for investigating hepatobiliary function in the dog.
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