THE MERCK VETERINARY MANUAL
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Diseases of the Gallbladder and Extrahepatic Biliary System in Small Animals

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Jaundice is often the primary presenting sign in animals with disorders involving the gallbladder or extrahepatic biliary structures; abdominal effusion may reflect bile peritonitis. Finding a higher bilirubin concentration in an effusion relative to serum (>10-fold difference) confirms leakage of bile into the abdominal cavity and constitutes a surgical emergency.

Last full review/revision May 2015 by Sharon A. Center, BS, DVM, DACVIM

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