Cholangiohepatitis is inflammation of the bile duct passages and adjacent liver. This disease is uncommon and poorly understood in horses, but is thought to involve bacterial infection of the bile ducts in the liver.
Horses affected by the problem are depressed, have a fever, and may show signs of colic. Most cases caught early respond well to treatment with antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, management changes, and other medications. Careful monitoring for recurrence is critical to successful management.
Cholelithiasis (bile stones) is a related condition in which obstructive stones (choleliths) develop that may partially or fully block the bile duct, causing severe pain. In some cases, surgical removal of these stones is required.
Other Diagnoses Considered
Treatments May Include
Prognosis & Relevant Factors
Prognosis depends on the severity of liver damage associated with it. Early response to treatment is an indicator that successful treatment is likely. However, once a horse has severe enough liver disease that they show neurologic signs, the prognosis is poor.
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