Horse Side Vet Guide ®

Equine Health Resource

Cholangiohepatitis, Cholelithiasis

Synonyms: Bile Stones

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.

Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP

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