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J Feline Med Surg. 2006 Apr;8(2):91-103. Epub 2005 Nov 8.

Feline cholecystitis and acute neutrophilic cholangitis: clinical findings, bacterial isolates and response to treatment in six cases.

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  • 1Allambie Veterinary Clinic, Allambie Heights, NSW, Australia.


Clinicopathological findings from six cats with confirmed cholecystitis or acute neutrophilic cholangitis are presented. Historical findings included lethargy and anorexia or inappetence of up to five days duration. On physical examination all cats were pyrexic and four out of six were jaundiced and had cranial abdominal pain. Bile samples were obtained by cholecystocentesis at exploratory coeliotomy (two cases) or by percutaneous, ultrasound-guided cholecystocentesis (four cases). Gall bladder rupture and bile peritonitis occurred subsequent to ultrasound-guided cholecystocentesis in one case. The most common bacterial isolate was Escherichia coli (four cases); E coli was isolated alone in two cases, in combination with a Streptococcus species (one case) and in combination with a Clostridium species (one case). Streptococcus species alone was isolated from one case, as was Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium. The latter is the first reported case of Salmonella-associated cholecystitis in a cat. Concurrent pancreatic or intestinal disease was detected histologically in three cases. All cases were treated with antimicrobials based on in vitro susceptibility results. Treatment was successful in five cases. One cat with concurrent diffuse epitheliotropic intestinal lymphoma was euthanased. Percutaneous ultrasound-guided cholecystocentesis is an effective, minimally-invasive technique enabling identification of bacterial isolates in cats with inflammatory hepatobiliary disease.

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