Bile duct carcinoma is a malignant cancer of the lining of the hepatic bile ducts, more commonly seen in the intra-hepatic bile ducts than in the extra-hepatic bile ducts and more likely to be found in the left lobe of the liver. The condition causes a failure of the bile to pass through the bile ducts due to the blockage.
Metastasis is common and it is difficult to completely remove them by surgical means. Bile duct carcinomas commonly metastasize to the lungs, lymph nodes of the liver, peritoneum and also to the other regional lymph nodes, like the diaphragm, intestines, pancreas, spleen, kidneys, urinary bladder, and the bone. The prognosis is usually poor.
It has been found to be more common in female dogs, and in dogs that are ten years of age or older.
Often, dogs with bile duct cancer will have a round or swollen abdomen, which can be due to an enlarged liver or fluid in the abdomen. Other common symptoms associated include lack of appetite, lack of energy, excess need to urinate and drink, vomiting and yellow mucous membranes.