Serum bile acids are often used to evaluate dogs with liver disease. Values of these acids fluctuate because of enterohepatic circulation, which can confuse interpretation. This study looked at the usefulness of measuring urine bile acids to diagnose hepatobiliary disease. Samples were collected from dogs without liver disease, dogs with liver disease, and dogs with clinical signs similar to those of liver disease but that were ultimately diagnosed with nonliver disorders. Serum biochemistries, serum bile acids, and urine samples were collected from the dogs. Three types of urine bile acid tests were investigated: urine sulfated bile acids, urine nonsulfated bile acids, and a test that combined the two. The combined test was accurate and reproducible and has potential as an alternate method for diagnosing liver disease in dogs.

Urine sulfated and non-sulfated bile acids as a diagnostic test for liver disease in dogs. Center SA, Balkman CE, Randolph JF, et al: WSAVA Proceedings, Vol 2, 2002, p 199.