What is Gallbladder Disease?
The Gall Bladder is a balloon shaped organ that lies between the lobes of the liver and its sole function is the storage of bile. Bile is a yellow-green fluid which aids in the digestion of fats. Once the bile is produced in the liver, it is stored and concentrated in the gall bladder from where it is excreted into the small intestine via the bile duct.
Gall bladder disease can occur when there is some obstruction of the gallbladder or bile ducts that restricts the flow of the bile from the gall bladder. When this happens, the bile thickens and becomes more concentrated resulting in the production of gall stones and/or inflammation.
What are the symptoms of gall bladder disease?
- poor or lack of appetite
- abdominal discomfort or pain
- fever may or may not be present
- pale colored stools
- poor condition of the coat
What Causes Gallbladder Disease?
Gall bladder disease is not very common in pets and when it does occur it is often the result of an inflamed pancreas, known as pancreatitis.
Other causes include:
- gall stones
- cancerous tumors which press on the gall bladder
- physical trauma such as being hit by a car
- inflammation of the gall bladder which is often caused by bacterial infection
Diagnosing Gallbladder Disease
Because the symptoms of gall bladder problems are so vague and common to many other conditions, your pet’s veterinarian will need to do a thorough physical examination and run a few tests that will help to make an accurate diagnosis. You should expect the vet to do blood tests, urine analysis, as well as imaging scans such as an ultrasound before a diagnosis of gall bladder disease is made.
Help for Gallbladder Disease
The first step of treatment is to determine the underlying cause of the gall bladder problems and treat that. When gall bladder disease is of the non-obstructive type, then it can often be treated with antibiotics, however, a common form of treatment for gall bladder disease is the removal of the actual gall bladder. Just like humans, animals can live a healthy life without their gall bladder provided that they eat a reduced fat diet; however, the operation itself is not without complications.
Natural herbal and homeopathic ingredients can be used as a part of a program to help prevent and treat liver, pancreatic and gall bladder problems. Herbs such as Milk Thistle have been shown to be highly effective in expelling toxins and promoting overall liver health, while Greater Celandine is an excellent tonic herb for any pancreatic or gall bladder problems. The antibiotic properties of Burdock also make it a useful herb to help prevent and treat infections that may cause gall bladder problems.
In addition to herbal ingredients, there are a number of homeopathic ingredients to help with liver, gall bladder and pancreatic health. Kali. Mur. is a tissue salt used to cleanse the system and promote balance and wellbeing in all living cells. Other beneficial tissue salts include Nat phos which promotes both gall bladder and liver health, and Nat sulph which supports gall bladder and pancreatic health.