13 September 2010

Dealing with Gallbladder Problems in Pets

http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2010/11/16/symptoms-of-pet-gallbladder-sickness.aspx An integrative wellness veterinarian, Dr. Karen ...

hello this is dr. Karen Becker and today

we're going to discuss your pets gallbladder health the gallbladder is a balloon shaped organ or structure that sits in between the lobes of the liver and bile that's made in the liver is stored and concentrated in the gallbladder and then bile is released from the gallbladder travels down the common bile duct through the pancreas and into the small intestine there are four main functions the bile has in your pets body number one it alkalizes your pet small intestinal contents bile has a ph of 9.5 it's very alkaline and the reason the bile has to be so alkaline is that it's one of its primary goals is to be able to neutralize the really strong acidic stomach acid that's released from your pets stomach with the food into the small intestine dogs and cats dogs are scavenging carnivores cats are obligate carnivores which means their their bodies are able to consume raw living potentially disease-ridden meat you know cats catch barn mice and barn mice can be loaded with the whole host of different viruses bacteria and even fungi but that really strong acidic stomach acid that dogs and cats produce is designed to kill off many of those

pathogenic bacteria and viruses that enter into a pets body because they're not able to survive the stomach acid so that stomach acid is a blessing however when it moves into the small intestine it's highly irritating so bile with its pH of 9.5 neutralizes that potentially toxic stomach acid in the small intestine the second thing the bile does is it it is necessary for the emulsification of fats and oils so emulsification is the process of turning fats and oils into water-soluble compounds that can be absorbed and biles critical for the absorption of fat the third thing that bile does is it stimulates peristalsis and peristalsis is that action of moving food down the small intestine to be able to effectively process and absorb it the fourth thing that bile does is it has an immune function and it actually has a pretty big immune function over 50% of your pets immune health or immune system is located in its gastrointestinal tract your pets have hundreds of lymph nodes along their small and large intestine they're called peyer's patches and bile has a strong immuno regulatory function in your pets gastrointestinal

tract which means it balances your pets GI system it prevents an overreaction if you think about dogs and cats and everything that they eat dogs and cats can consume a lot of foreign antigenic allergy stimulating material and by it bio does a really good job of quieting down and balancing the immune system over reaction to some of these really noxious antigens bile also has an antibiotic property and antifungal property so bile but by nature is germicidal it kills fungus bacteria yeast and even viruses so many factors can affect bile flow in your pets and when flow with normal bile flow slows down it's called bio sludging that means that the bile instead of being fluid becomes too thick and if bile sludging occurs for a long enough period of time your pets can end up with a gallbladder stone or a gallstone and gall stones are unfortunately very common in veterinary medicine but we don't tend to address them until of course n stage when the stone has already occurred so we need to talk about some of the reasons that we have abnormal bile production and pets the first reason for abnormal bile

production is actually nutritional deficiency if your dog or cat is deficient and phosphatidylcholine glycine or taurine you can end up with a bile sludging problem in your pet likewise environmental toxins can also cause bio sludging so not just the flea and tick prevention that we put on our dog but dewormer vaccines air water chemicals taxes toxins that occur in your pets food aflatoxins mycotoxins that occur in processed foods all can affect normal bio flow from your pets gallbladder what this results in is three major issues bile deficiency in the intestine is what's most common and ultimately what happens is that your pet has signs of indigestion your pet has acid reflux and ulcers because they're strong hydrochloric acid is allowed into the small intestine and without bile to neutralize your pet can have small intestinal ulcers which causes bleeding GI upset anemia in some conditions because bile stimulates peristalsis if you have bowel deficiency in your pet peristalsis doesn't happen and your pets can become constipated what happens to constipation is that normal toxins are released

through normal bowel movements so you can see a purging episode where your dog or cat is not passing feces for several days and then followed by kind of an explosive bout of diarrhea followed by several days of constipation that can be a symptom of bile deficiency happening in your dogs and cats autoimmune reactions within the gastrointestinal tract as well as small intestinal bacterial overgrowth and symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease have all been linked to bile and sufficiency in dogs and cats the second thing that can happen is bile backwash which means the gallbladder becomes backed up with bile which in turn can back up the liver and create a condition called colon geo hepatitis which is the stagnation of the gall bladder and liver secondary to bile not flowing out of the gallbladder effectively the third thing that can happen is bile backwash into the pancreas as I mentioned previously the common bile duct passes through the pancreas before it enters into the small intestine if there is backwash of bile into the pancreas pancreatitis can occur which is inflammation of the pancreas and then secondary scarring can occur in

your pets pancreas and when the pancreas function is not up to par your pets can ultimately end up with type 2 diabetes because there's simply not enough pancreatic tissue left to produce adequate amounts of insulin so if your pet has had his or her gallbladder removed or if your pet you believe now is suffering from gallbladder problems if you have recurrent gastrointestinal problems vomiting diarrhea by a loss through a current vomiting intermittent soft stools followed by intermittent bouts of constipation your pet could be dealing with bile insufficiency I would encourage you to contact your integrative veterinarian to not only make a diagnosis that your pet could be having a gallbladder problem but to be able to put together and integrate a protocol to effectively address gallbladder stagnation before you have major problems and in turn require surgery