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Old 07-03-2008, 10:40 PM   #1
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Default newbie here. questions about liver shunts.

Hi. My name is Natasha, mom of two cavalier king charles spaniels Piper and Veda.

First of all, I hope its okay that I am posting here as I do not own a yorkie but i do love them! One of my cavaliers has been recently diagnosed with a intrahepatic liver shunt. Currently she is at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis and we pick her up tomorrow. We were unaware that her liver shunt was intrahepatic until they went in to perform surgery on what they thought was an extrahepatic shunt but were unable to continue with the surgery. I guess I stumbled upon the yorkie talk website (i happen to be a part of cavalier talk which is a very similar site) while researching liver shunts.

Through online research most sites say that intrahepatic shunts are inoperable however the surgeon at the U told us that she could be operated on in Tennessee or Michigan. I have read though, that the success rate of that kind of shunt isn't as high though.

I guess I'm wondering how many of you have dogs with intrahepatic shunts and was surgery performed or are you managing with medicine alone? Piper has been on Lactulose for the last month or so and low protein kibble made by royal cannin. She started out on 5 ML three times a day but had some blood in her stool so she was down to 3ML three times a day. We accidently skipped a dose one night and the next day she was acting strange and towards the night time had a seizure. we rushed her to the vet where they put her up to 5ML four times a day. after that her stools went from being soft and mushy to watery and I feel like thats too much. For those of you using Lactoluse, how much are you giving? Maybe I should mention Piper is around ten pounds.

Im also wondering what to expect in terms of her life expectancy without the surgery? She really is the happiest most energetic and loving dog i have ever met. (im sure everyone says that about their lil babies!) I can't imagine her not loving my face everyday.

Thanks again and i can't wait to hear your stories.
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Old 07-03-2008, 10:44 PM   #2
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Also i should mention I am a part of the Yahoo liver shunt and MVD support group but don't understand how to use the site or the forum and the messages seem jumbled so it doest me no good. Maybe i need a tutor! ha.
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Old 07-04-2008, 04:06 AM   #3
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I'm sorry to hear this ! There's alot of information here on Liver shunt and if you keep or maybe reach out to someone who posted about it - maybe you'll find the answers you need....but in reality - the vet is who you should be talking to - maybe a 2nd opinion would be something to look into ??? GOOD Luck !!

ps edited to add - you could do a search in the top bar to see if there are posts about that particular LS - I've never heard of it myself but that doesn't mean it hasn't been discussed here -

Last edited by red98vett; 07-04-2008 at 04:07 AM.
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Old 07-04-2008, 04:54 AM   #4
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Welcome!! I am sorry to hear about your Piper. My Gf has a ruby cavalier and she is the sweetest girl. My Cali has a very mild MVD Internal shunt. She was very sick as a puppy but does not require any meds for her MVD. I do keep her on a lower protein diet. What symptoms does Piper have?
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Old 07-04-2008, 07:05 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aperfectsonnett View Post
Also i should mention I am a part of the Yahoo liver shunt and MVD support group but don't understand how to use the site or the forum and the messages seem jumbled so it doest me no good. Maybe i need a tutor! ha.
Those are the people that will be able to help you.
It is a great group.
It can be confusing but maybe someone can explain how to use it.
You could also PM Yorkieluv here on YorkieTalk (or she will eventually see this thread). She should be able to help you.
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Old 07-04-2008, 07:21 AM   #6
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I know the Yahoo group can be confusing to get around...It's an email-based group rather than a forum, so it's very different than this. Just go to the website and click on where it says POST. Type in a subject line and then type out your situation. You should get responses pretty soon. Just watch the subject lines of the messages that come up and you will see if the responses are for you or for others. It's helpful to read the other messages though...You can also read through the FILES which are very informative, particularly some of the articles in the Diet, Nutrition, Supplements section.
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Old 07-04-2008, 07:29 AM   #7
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Okay, now I will try to answer your questions and give you some helpful tips...

Lactulose should be split up into 3x/day rather than one big dose.....This will help with the diarrhea and then constipation issues that you're encountering.
The amount of lactulose should be completely dependent on your baby having 2 soft but formed stools. Not firm and not diarrhea..You can adjust up or down by .5 ml...The only side effect to this is diarrhea. It may take some time to get the dosage just right.
In the simplest terms, lactulose pulls the toxins from the blood into the colon where it can be passed from the body. Giving lactulose 3x/day to achieve 2 Soft stools per day is extremely important. You can give the lactulose with meals.

Another important thing is to give small, frequent meals. 4-6 meals is preferred if at all possible. This helps lighten the load on the liver...You mustn't let your baby eat as much as he wants at each meal b/c basically he will overdose on protein...This will cause your baby to refuse food at the next meal and have symptoms...Split up the food into 4-6 meals.
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Old 07-04-2008, 01:38 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yorkieluv View Post
I know the Yahoo group can be confusing to get around...It's an email-based group rather than a forum, so it's very different than this. Just go to the website and click on where it says POST. Type in a subject line and then type out your situation. You should get responses pretty soon. Just watch the subject lines of the messages that come up and you will see if the responses are for you or for others. It's helpful to read the other messages though...You can also read through the FILES which are very informative, particularly some of the articles in the Diet, Nutrition, Supplements section.
Is there any way that i can "search" for certain words or phrases the way you can here on the forum? Ill try and post something there. Thanks again for your help. Yorkiluv, what is your story and how do you know so much about liver shunts? it seems everyone waits upon your response which must feel good on your part!

In response to the others, we brought Piper home today. For the most part, she seems pretty normal and she wants to run amok like always so keeping her imobile is difficult but very necessary. Im going to ask the vet on monday about her Lactoluse dosage. Also we have been feeding Piper Royal caninn LP and i was wondering the difference between that and the LS formula because i read that that one was specific for livers. Maybe there isn't much difference, i'll find out.

anyway, keep the posts commin! Im eager to read.

Thanks again.
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Old 07-04-2008, 06:13 PM   #9
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aperfectsonnett,
I wish I did not have to know so much about liver shunts/liver disease because if that were the case, my yorkie would be healthy.
Unfortunately, we have been dealing with liver problems in my yorkie for 4 yrs now. I have studied and researched as much as possible about liver disease, bladder stones, nutrition in humans and dogs in order to medically manage my dog...His condition is inoperable. The vets gave a very grim prognosis for him. They gave me general guidelines to follow, and I have had to do a lot of research on my own along with another one of the moderators from the liver shunt and mvd group in order to keep my baby alive. A few years ago, they said he probably would not live long, but he was improving and actually doing very well. At this point, he was not getting MAXIMUM liver support because I only had the general guidelines my vet had given me and I hadn't started the insane amount of reading yet. The lack of maximum liver support caused his condition to worsen and we encountered severe hepatic encephalopathy symptoms (seizures, etc) over time and tons of ammonium urate stones, and he had to have surgery to remove the stones AGAIN...At this point, the vets said there was nothing more they could do for Miko...I did not give up...I started researching nutrition, bladder stones, liver disease, etc. and I found many things that work for him and other liver compromised dogs...Dr. Center has information on Nutrition Support that has been absolutely invaluable to me. There she recommends the proper diet, the amount of times they should eat, supplements, etc. and they all make a huge difference. He is now healthier than ever and he has been free of stones and seizures for a long time.
Royal Canin Hepatic LS 14 is preferred for symptomatic dogs...The fact that your baby acts "strange" sometimes is a symptom.
LP 11 contains chicken meal which is not recommended for liver compromised dogs. It is an animal protein and produces a high amount of ammonia which is not able to be filtered properly by a malfunctioning liver therefore causing ammonia to enter the bloodstream...It can build up and damage the liver more and cause worse symptoms as time goes on.
LS 14 does not contain chicken meal and is much better for liver compromised dogs.
Most vets will say that LP is okay for liver compromised dogs because it is lower in protein, but it is very important to keep in mind the TYPE of protein which the majority of vets don't do.
Animal protein is hard on their livers and should not be given. I have seen vets recommend people give their liver compromised dogs food with chicken, and then they end up with numbers through the roof.
http://www.homevet.com/petcare/docum...veranddiet.pdf
That link provides invaluable info on how to care for dogs/cats with liver problems. I gave a copy of it to my vet, and she loved it.
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Last edited by Yorkieluv; 07-04-2008 at 06:15 PM.
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Old 07-05-2008, 04:23 AM   #10
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Zeus has MVD diagnosed as a puppy at 10 mos. He was very ill. He is now 7 years old and doing really well. Have had him on many supplements, etc. over the years and have him "weaned" down to a regimen that is working very well for him. My vet I feel most comfortable having him on the simplest, bare bones protocol that is appropriate and gives him good health at any given time. If I need to supplement is some other way as he ages then I have some different options. He is currently on a prescription diet and Denosyl SD 4. He is happy, active, and his bloodwork is really good. Good luck finding what works best for you and your puppy. Juliet
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