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Dog Bile Acid Test

Dog Bile Acid Test - Information on Bile Acid Test For Dogs, Results and Cost

A dog bile acid test is done to examine the functioning of the liver.

The liver functions properly only when it has an adequate amount of healthy cells and proper blood supply. When the liver has sufficient healthy cells, it is referred to as adequate functional mass. A liver with adequate functional mass and healthy blood supply is able to use bile acids well while a damaged liver is unable to perform this function.

Bile Acid Test For Dogs


A bile acid test for dogs is recommended when there are low albumin levels or increased liver enzymes. These conditions may be indicative of liver disease.

Congenital liver defects in young dogs are also detected through a bile acid test. Pets that have experienced a seizure must go through this test as it could be a result of liver disease.

Bile acids are produced by the liver and contained in the gall bladder. When an individual consumes food, the gall bladder contracts and releases bile acids into the small intestine.

The acids then combine with the food and the fats are broken down into smaller particles which can be absorbed by the body. The bile acids are later absorbed and passed into the blood stream back into the liver.

The liver, once again, sends them into the gall bladder where they remain until food is consumed again. Prior to this test, the dog must remain on an empty stomach for about 12 hours. The test can only be done when there is very little or no bile acids at all in the blood stream. Hence the fasting period is essential. Treats and chew toys must also be kept away from the dog. A bile acid test is done by first obtaining a preliminary blood sample. Then some canned food is given to the dog. Two hours later, another sample is taken. Both blood samples are then examined for bile acid levels.

Dog Bile Acid Test Results and Cost

If the liver is functioning in a healthy manner, then there will be low levels of acids in the first blood sample and slightly higher levels in the second one. This means that the bile acids secreted from the gall bladder during the meal were retrieved properly by the liver. In some cases, the dog bile acid test results may be normal even if there is a liver problem. This may occur when only a part of the liver is affected. In such cases, further diagnostic testing may be recommended. Dog bile acid test cost may vary from clinic to clinic.

  Submitted on January 24, 2012