Gallbladder mucocoele (GBM) is an abnormal, intraluminal accumulation of inspissated
bile and/or mucous within the gallbladder. Older, small- to medium-breed dogs seem to be
predisposed, but no sex predilection has been identified. Clinical signs are often non-specific
and include vomiting, lethargy, anorexia, abdominal pain, icterus and polyuria–polydipsia.
Results of a complete blood count may be unremarkable, but serum biochemistry usually
reveals increased liver enzymes. The ultrasonographic appearance is diagnostic and well
described in the literature. Surgical intervention for the treatment of GBM remains the
therapeutic gold standard, with short- and long-term survival for biliary surgery being
66%. The worst outcome is seen in those dogs requiring cholecystoenterostomy. With GBM
becoming an apparently increasingly common cause of extrahepatic biliary disease in
canines, it is essential that clinicians become familiar with the current literature pertaining
to this condition. Numerous predisposing factors are highlighted in this review article and
the role of certain endocrinopathies (e.g. hyperadrenocorticism and hypothyroidism) in the
development of GBM is touched upon. Furthermore, the aetiopathogenesis of this disease
is discussed with reference to the latest literature. Cholecystectomy remains the treatment
of choice, but other options are considered based on a current literature review.