Gall bladder mucoceles in border terriers – a breed predisposition

Fergus Allerton, Faye Swinbourne, Lucy Barker, Vicki Black, Aarti Kathrani, Mickey Tivers, Tiago Henriques, Caroline Kisielewicz, Mark Dunning, Andrew Kent

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
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Background: Gall bladder mucoceles (GBM) are a leading cause of biliary disease in the dog with several breeds, including the Shetland Sheepdog, American Cocker Spaniel, Chihuahua, Pomeranian and Miniature Schnauzer reported as predisposed.

Objective: To determine the risk, clinical features and response to treatment of gall bladder mucoceles in Border terriers (BT).

Animals: Medical records of 99 dogs (including 51 BT) with an ultrasonographic (+/- histopathologic) diagnosis of gall bladder mucocele from three referral centers in the United Kingdom were collected. A control group of 87 similar-aged BT with no ultrasonographic evidence of gall bladder disease were selected for comparison.

Method: Retrospective case-control study. Odds ratios were calculated to establish breed predisposition. Signalment, presence of endocrine disease, clinicopathologic results and outcome were compared between the BT, other breeds and control BTs.

Results: The odds of identifying a GBM in a BT in this hospital population was 85 times that of all other breeds (95% confidence interval 56.9-126.8). Border terriers had similar clinical signs and clinicopathologic changes to other breeds with GBM. Comparison with unaffected BTs identified hypercholesterolemia as a potential risk factor; there was no evidence that endocrinopathies were associated with GBM in BT.

Clinical significance: From this multi-center study, a robust breed predisposition to GBM is established for the BT. This breed represents a candidate for inclusion in the search for contributing genes via genome-wide association studies. This study also highlighted an association of hypercholesterolemia with GBM in BTs. However, the nature of this relationship remains to be elucidated.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Early online date5 Aug 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 5 Aug 2018


  • biliary disease
  • hypercholesterolemia
  • cholecystectomy
  • liver
  • extrahepatic biliary tract obstruction

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