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I too lost my precious friend to a gallbladder mucocele

Discussion in 'Diseases & Illnesses' started by who'dathunk, Apr 14, 2019.

  1. who'dathunk

    who'dathunk Forums Novice

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    Hi, I have been reading posts here occasionally over the years and today I see threads about mucoceles. It seems they are becoming more common, or are better diagnostics finding them now? My sweet guy was asymptomatic but was diagnosed when a wellness check blood panel showed high liver enzymes and bilirubin and then an ultrasound showed sludge. He was almost 9 when he was diagnosed. I made the decision to not remove his gallbladder, so we medically managed it with Ursodiol twice a day and follow-up ultrasounds. His lab values returned to normal ranges and he remained asymptomatic for a few years. Eventually he got sick and over the course of a week he deteriorated and we lost him. I feel so blessed to have had him at all, but those extra few years were a big gift. Even so, losing him was still terribly sad and I miss him every single day.
     
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  2. Ann

    Ann Moderator

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    You're right, awareness of GB mucoceles has risen among Sheltie people in the last 5 to 7 years as it's become more common. There was a seminar about it at last year's Sheltie National given by the vet who is heading the research on it, and information on the ASSA website. I'm afraid we lost Shelties for years without knowing it was due to mucoceles. Now, at least, we know the signs and symptoms to look for. I'm so glad you were able to manage your boy, and sorry that you lost him.

    I have three of my six dogs in treatment for mucoceles. Two had their gallbladders removed when we saw the sludge increase in the gallbladder and beginning signs of mucoceles forming. My third also takes Ursidiol twice daily and is doing well. I have them ultrasounded every year or more as needed after age 5 and my vet now recommends that to all his Sheltie people too.

    Thanks for sharing your experience. One of my Lacey's littermates just died due to mucoceles too. It's so important that everyone who has Shelties knows about the danger this poses to our breed.
     
    who'dathunk and KarenCurtis like this.
  3. Chris

    Chris Premium Member

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    KarenCurtis likes this.
  4. ghggp

    ghggp Moderator

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    Reading your post hit home! My first rescue sheltie also passed from it. It was through losing Billy to this disease that I was made aware of the symptoms. He was in ICU for 5 days and we almost lost him. He was 8 and very weak so he was not a candidate for surgery. Once I got him home he was on Ursodiol twice a day as well. I was told to get him ultrasounded in 6 months. He had a massive attack at five months, and I had to let him go to Rainbow Bridge.
    From that day forward, I was always hypersensitive to any symptoms and my heart dog Mr. Chance was diagnosed and lived to be 14 on Ursodiol twice a day since he was diagnosed at 6.
    He had annual ultrasounds and we kept the sludge under control with the medication/

    I will always have my shelties ultrasounded at age 5. Preventative maintenance will always be my motto...

    I am so sorry for your loss and I completely understand how you can miss your beloved sheltie every single day. It never gets easier, you just learn to live with it.
    Have you put a memorial on Sheltie Nation Angels page? It helped me a great deal... Just a thought to give a tribute to your beloved sheltie. So glad to hear how blessed you feel that this special soul entered your life! I truly know the feeling...
     
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  5. Shelby's mom

    Shelby's mom Forums Enthusiast

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    I am so sorry for your loss. We also lost our 1st Sheltie to a mucocele. She was 13, almost 14. She was sick off and on for years and my vet said it was from Lyme disease (which I now know it was not). Then her liver enzymes were very high and the vet said it was because of the anti inflammatories she was on for a previous dislocated shoulder (and we now know that was wrong too). Then one day she became very ill, would not eat. Rushed her to the vet who thought it was just a GI bug, but blood work showed she was in liver failure. Finally ultrasound showed the mucocele. She was telling too sick and too old to tolerate surgery so we helped her to the bridge.
     
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  6. who'dathunk

    who'dathunk Forums Novice

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    "I am so sorry for your loss and I completely understand how you can miss your beloved sheltie every single day. It never gets easier, you just learn to live with it.
    Have you put a memorial on Sheltie Nation Angels page? It helped me a great deal... Just a thought to give a tribute to your beloved sheltie. So glad to hear how blessed you feel that this special soul entered your life! I truly know the feeling...

    Thank you :) My other two Shelties will be getting ultrasounds at 5 as well. I have a four year old boy and a female puppy who are each wonderful in their own ways. I'm sorry for all of us who have loved and lost our precious fur friends. Thanks for letting me know about the memorial site. I went there and put one up for him.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2019
  7. who'dathunk

    who'dathunk Forums Novice

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    Three of six? That is a staggering number. My guy was also on thyroid so it seems he had several risk factors. Thanks for your reply :)
     
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  8. who'dathunk

    who'dathunk Forums Novice

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    Thank you for letting me know about her research. I went to the site and read her study and am so glad people are interested in the details of the chemistry and inner working of animal gallbladders. Also, how fortunate for Layla to have been diagnosed at that time instead of her falling ill. Thanks for your reply :)
     
    KarenCurtis likes this.
  9. who'dathunk

    who'dathunk Forums Novice

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    How frustrating and sad that your dog suffered as a result of several misdiagnosis. You were lucky to have her for so long, but still it's never long enough. Thanks for your reply :)
     
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  10. SRW

    SRW Premium Member

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    After reading about this I decided to have Devon genetically tested for it. I was going to have him tested for MDR1 anyway, so while I'm at it I'll have him tested for this too. If he has the mutation then I'll know in the coming years that he will need to occasionally have a gallbladder ultrasound and to take any digestive issues that may occur seriously.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2019
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