Dog diagnosed with a mature mucocele - what are my next steps / what questions should I ask a surgeon?


New member
Nov 26, 2022

First post! I hope this is OK.

My dog has had IBD and lots of allergies for a number of years. Her skin was super red and she was itching for a while, so I brought her in for some allergy meds. The vet suggested a yearly blood test. The results were a high ALT (liver numbers) in the 600s. The vet suggested an ultrasound.

That found a mature mucocele. My dog remains pretty healthy otherwise, and is playful. It seems too late for meds (or meds may / may not work and take a long time) so the only proactive solution is to remove her gallbladder.

One vet said she would be 50/50 on surgery, and I brought the dog to another vet who said the mucocele could burst within a day or within a few years - and that the recovery from surgery would be tough, but there was less of a chance something would go wrong than if we just let "nature take its course." IE, without the surgery there was a good chance of an event that would lead to death.

Anyway, I'm taking the dog to a surgeon to talk over the issue. I guess my questions are - does anyone have experience with this issue, and what questions should I ask the surgeon?



Active member
Mar 13, 2014
New Hampshire
if the dog is considered a senior I"d think long and hard before consenting to surgery older dogs don't always handle anesthesia well. At the very least have blood work done to make sure its ok to put her to sleep.

If it were my dog I'd take her to a vet teaching school or hospital and brings all your records with you. You will find the best answers and alternatives there.


Author of The Cats of Stony River
Apr 20, 2016
Western NC
Maybe there are other options? A teaching place might be an answer. Praying for the best.