Every veterinarian should know about the sonographic finding of the gallbladder halo sign, its rule outs, and its use as supportive evidence for canine anaphylaxis.

Moreover, just like yesterday (December 28, 2018), a previously healthy, acutely collapsed preempted by vomiting, 17-month old intact female Yorkshire Terrier in Virginia, now having an abdominal fluid score of 4 with an impressive gallbladder halo sign and an initial ALT of 634.  Hemoconcentration PCV > 55% another feature (bleeding masses would not be expected to be hemoconcentrated).

The attending veterinarians had no idea of canine AX and sonographic striation of the gallbladder wall, nor hemoabdomen as a complication.  Fortunately, the internist reviewing the case, steered the attending in the right direction.  The case was reviewed by my wife, Stephanie Lisciandro, DVM, DACVIM (SAIM), the working diagnosis changed from “open” to canine anaphylaxis with hemoabdomen.

Hemoabdomen was diagnosed via abdominocentesis and fluid analysis and cytology.  Coagulation profile in-house out of range PT and aPTT. The dog had received no glucocorticoids since admission 24-hours earlier.

Treatment then included FFP for the coagulopathy and glucocorticoids (prednisone) and histamine 2 blockers (famotidine).  You must treat with glucorticoids up front (or as soon as your realize this is an anaphylactic hemaabdomen) to stop the persistent oozing from the second episode of inflammation.

Once bleeding stops, expect the abdominal fluid score (AFS) to go to small volume (AFS 1) to negligent within 24-hours.

No other practice has recognized this complication more than we have, at least 100 cases, having recognized the complication back in 2009, published as an Lisciandro GR JVECC Abstract in 2016.

All veterinarians MUST be aware of its heparin-induced medially-treated hemoabdomen.

Read over our Proceedings. Watch the Webinar (yes it needs some tweaking but it gets to the point). And Use our Treatment Sheet to prevent rounds and rounds of FFP and even blood transfusions.  Maropitant and pantoprazole do NOT treat anaphylaxis.

Here are Our MOST Updated 2018 Proceedings (please cite us):

  1. Anaphylaxis (AX) is more than the Gallbladder Halo Sign and AX-related Hemoabdomen

Here is our recommended Treatment Sheet for Canine Anaphylaxis.


STAY CONNECTED and Become a FASTVet Premium Member! If you enjoy these cutting-edge applications we encourage you to get trained properly either by Online FASTVet Global FAST Courses (Learn Online) or Hands-on Training (Learn Hands-on) and BECOME a FASTVet Premium Member to use similarly styled resources and our didactic blogged video library.


Buy our Big Saving

We are BUNDLING the AFAST®-TFAST®-Vet BLUE®-Global FAST® Online Course Fee for a signup of ALL 3 Courses for $895.

Sign up for our FASTVet Newsletter

By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: . You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact