Dog Bile Acid Testing for Liver Disease

If your canine is vomiting dog bile-a thin yellow or orangish liquid-he could be suffering from liver disease. The presence of bile acid within your dog's body is completely normal, but frequent dog vomiting could be a red flag that your dog's liver or gall bladder are not functioning properly. The easiest way to determine if the dog bile is in fact indicative of a liver condition is through a bile acid test.

What Bile Acid Is

The liver creates bile which is then stored in the gall bladder for use in the digestion process. Once the bile finishes breaking down food in the small intestine, it is reabsorbed into the blood stream and returns to the liver to be recycled.

How a Bile Acid Test Works

A bile acid test is a blood test taken after the dog's body has been deprived of dog food for a certain period of time, and then fed. Fasting essentially creates a "clean slate" in the bloodstream. An initial blood sample is taken, and then the patient is given a small amount of dog food and, two hours after finishing his meal, a second blood sample is taken. The two blood samples are compared to determine the efficiency of the liver in removing bile from the bloodstream. A bile acid test merely indicates if there is or is not a problem with the liver-it does not provide enough information to make a diagnosis.