Dog Bile Acid Test: Everything You Need To Know In 2023

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What Is a Bile Acid Test?

A bile acid test is a blood test that measures the levels of bile acids in your dog’s bloodstream. Bile acids are produced by the liver and are essential for the digestion and absorption of fats in the small intestine. The test is used to evaluate liver function and diagnose liver disease in dogs.

Why Is It Important?

Dogs with liver disease may not show any symptoms until the disease has progressed to an advanced stage. A bile acid test can detect liver disease early, allowing for prompt treatment and better outcomes. The test is also useful in monitoring the effectiveness of treatment and detecting any recurrence of liver disease.

How Is the Test Performed?

The bile acid test is a simple blood test that can be performed by your veterinarian. Your dog will need to fast for at least 12 hours before the test to ensure accurate results. During the test, a small amount of blood will be drawn from your dog’s vein and sent to a laboratory for analysis.

What Do the Results Mean?

The results of a bile acid test are reported as a set of numbers that indicate the levels of bile acids in the bloodstream. High levels of bile acids can indicate liver disease, while low levels can indicate a problem with bile acid production or absorption. Your veterinarian will interpret the results and recommend further testing or treatment if necessary.

What Are the Risks?

The bile acid test is a safe and non-invasive procedure that carries minimal risks. Some dogs may experience mild discomfort or bruising at the site of the blood draw, but these side effects are rare.


The bile acid test is an important diagnostic tool for liver disease in dogs. Early detection and prompt treatment can improve outcomes and prolong your dog’s life. If you suspect your dog may have liver disease, talk to your veterinarian about the possibility of a bile acid test.