The gallbladder rests in the abdomen where it's attached to the liver and pancreas. It’s a small, pear-shaped organ that stores bile, a liquid secreted through the liver and discharged into the small intestine to help eliminate waste from the body and facilitate digestion and the absorption of fats.
Diseases of the gallbladder are not common in cats but when they do occur they generally affect middle-aged and older cats. Gallbladder disorders are generally divided into three categories: obstructive disease, non-obstructive disease, and rupture of the gallbladder. Tumors can also affect the gallbladder.
Inflammation of the gallbladder is usually caused by a bacterial infections that starts in the intestine and travels up the bile duct or spreads through the blood. Inflammation can also spread to the surrounding branches of the bile duct and the liver.
Obstructive disease occurs when an abnormal pancreas compresses the bile ducts that lead from the liver to the gallbladder or when gallstones are present, which is rare.
Non-obstructive disease usually occurs as the result of a bacterial infection. If the gallbladder ruptures, it is usually caused by blunt trauma, gallstones, or inflammation of the gallbladder.
- abdominal discomfort
If you suspect a gallbladder disorder in your cat, a vet examination will help determine the problem. Herbs such as Milk Thistle are effective in supporting the liver and gallbladder.