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Old 07-17-2008, 08:30 AM
 
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Question Puppy Liver Shunt - Very Sad

Have any of you in here ever had a pet that suffered from portosystemic liver shunt & hepatic encephalopathy as a result?

My little 3 month old Dachshund/Spitz has been in ad out of ERs since Sunday w/o a diagnosis until yesterday because most vets were leaning toward toxicosis while all the symptoms we described actually pointed to shunt!

Once we deduced his symptoms to shunt (based of a relapse after a protein diet) and a subsequent test Ammonia test showed levels well out of range; we knew immediately that it was time to go to a specialist (which we planned on doing any way, but from a neurological standpoint). Once the ultrasound was done, the condition was confirmed.

Now we have him on Hills KD and he'll be a surgery candidate next week again this morning, he is exhibiting signs this morning of hepatic encephalopathy despite his Lactulose, low protein diet, and Antiboiotics. It's such a stressful time for us. His perception is all out of whack when he's like this (e.g. can't hear anything, walks into walls, head shakes, drools and seizured the other day).

We've only had him for a 2 months and when this is all said and done we'll be well over 3 grand in the hole, but we love him so dearly and couldn't live with ourselves if he didn't have a chance.

Anyone else have a similar story,experiences; or advice for us?

Last edited by tekka-maki; 07-17-2008 at 09:36 AM..
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Old 07-17-2008, 09:24 AM
 
Location: Santa Barbara CA
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I have heard of that but do not know anyone that has had to go through that with their dog.

I am sorry you and your puppy are having such a tough start together. With a dog with cancer I know what it is like to be running to specialist and spending lots of money and I really feel for you. Do the vets say it is something that can be fixed with surgery or controlled in some way?


I will send prayers for his improved health.
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Old 07-17-2008, 09:33 AM
 
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Thank you for your prayers.

Yes, he is scheduled for surgery to bind/constrict the shunt next week. The procedure has an 85% success rate and costs around ~ $1500-2000. We've already spent well over 1k but I know this pales in comparison to some folks I've met recently. I'd give one of my kidneys to get it done for the poor little guy. I just hope he pulls through this thing. Dogs who don't get the surgery usually only live about 10 months because the seizures and unhealthy diet become too much. I am thankful to finally have a diagnosis and hope that no mini shunts are created after surgery.

A super low protein diet and life long meds is not the ideal way to live, but we have to do what we have to do I suppose.

I'm sorry to here about your dog. How is he/she doing now?
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Old 07-17-2008, 09:58 AM
 
Location: Santa Barbara CA
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I am glad to hear that there is an 85% chance for success rate with the surgery. Dogs heal much faster then people do from surgery as they do not waste time feeling sorry for themselves so your pup will be up and going before too long. The hard part is keeping them quiet while they do heal!

My dog is doing Ok, He is in the nasal cancer thread. He got a new radiation called IMRT and I opted to only do palliative therapy to improve the quality of what time he has left and it has been a success as he is 10 weeks past the IMRT and his quality of life is much better so he and I are enjoying the time we do have together.

New things keep popping up in the way of treatments for many illnesses so it is worth it to seek out a specialist as you never know what they may have to offer. IMRT in animals is rare and not offered in many places but in our case it was and he is the oncologist's guinea pig which is oK as maybe it will mean IMRT will become the normal and dogs getting radiation will not suffer so much. Sometimes we go through things not just to benefit our situation but hopefully to benefit the next dog with the same diagnosis and then all the others after that. I think with cancer ( human and animals) it is often the maverick doctor that is willing to step outside the treatment protocols and try something new that has patients that survive the longest.
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Old 07-17-2008, 02:38 PM
 
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I'm glad to here your dog is doing o.k. I had to up the dosage of Lactulose today to 1 mg. My mini Dachshund is still exhibiting symptoms of hepatic encephalopathy. I can't wait until he gets the surgery. I hate to see him like this...
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Old 07-17-2008, 08:04 PM
 
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no liver shunts... anyone? well, that's a good thing I guess. it's a horrible thing for a dog to undergo.
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Old 07-17-2008, 08:16 PM
 
Location: Right here, see??
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My kitten had one.....he did not make it.
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Old 07-18-2008, 08:45 AM
 
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That's too bad... Do you mind if I ask specifically what caused the death (i.e. the shunt symptoms or the surgery)?
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Old 07-18-2008, 09:20 AM
 
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so sorry to heart that.by your side,every day,every hour,every minute,accident happens.such as,eight magnitude of Wenchuan earthquakes ,so you must see the sun,not the earth.wish you happy forever.
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Old 07-18-2008, 01:03 PM
 
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Recently, my GSD was diagnosed with a metastasized bone cancer. After biopsy, the diagnosis was changed to a systemic fungus infection. The total treatment plan is estimated ~$20K (6K already spent) with no guarantee of success. My GSD is only 3.5 yr old and we are fortunate enough to have some savings. We are fighting it. The road is still very long and sometime is very hard. Hope, faith and love are keeping us going.
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