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Old 01-04-2009, 10:11 AM   #1
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Default Liver Shunts

I am wondering if anyone else had to deal with a liver shunt in their yorkie. I looked it up and talked to the vet, but i would like some info from someone that has gone through it with their yorkie. Does the surgery always work? Do the meds help? How long do they live with or w/o surgery? Please just let me know anything you can about this problem. Also, does anyone know any groups that help out military families with their dogs? Thank you!
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Old 01-04-2009, 10:49 AM   #2
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Also, how long is the recovery time for the surgery? luna is on the EN food right now. Is that food going to help her? We are moving soon overseas, do you guys think that she will be able to make the trip? Sorry for all the questions but my husband and i are really clueless.
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Old 01-04-2009, 11:04 AM   #3
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I'm sorry about your girl.

There is an endless amount of information about liver shunt on YorkieTalk from previous threads. You can use the search function at the top of the screen or the Google search (don't forget to click search on YorkieTalk if you use this one) at the bottom of your screen for lots of good threads.

What tests has she had and how was this diagnosed?
How does the vet know that it isn't MVD (microvascular dysplasia? MVD is small shunting throughout the liver that is inoperable and has to be managed by diet and supplements.

Have you considered switching to Science Diet L/D canned or Royal Canin LS 14 dry food?

If the surgery is successful (about 85% chance), most dogs live long and happy lives. Some places have better success rates than others and there are a few different surgery methods. It appears that the University of Tennessee has the best success rate and uses the best method (closure by ameroid constrictor). This closes the shunt over time instead of all at once, so it is less like that too much pressure will build up. Dr. Tobias at UT has taught other surgeons this method.

What supplements is she on?
The correct diet, supplements and protocol is extremely important for both LS and MVD. If she has surgery, it does not guarantee that there will not be issues afterwards. For the best prognosis, a young dog with an operable shunt should have surgery.

What are her symptoms?
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Old 01-04-2009, 11:18 AM   #4
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Thank you. I will search for that. Well she has had the bile acid test, which my vet said it was high. So she sent us to get an ultrasound done and the dr. said that she has a liver shunt. The reason she was tested was b/c she has had to major throwing up days. the vet took an xray and that's were the test came in and the ultrasound.
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Old 01-04-2009, 11:23 AM   #5
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Has the vet talked about supplements?
Denosyl or Vetri DMG
Milk Thistle
Omegas
Vitamin E
Lactulose

Is she having an neurologic symptoms?

After surgery, I would hesitate to take her out of the area until her bile acids are normal or until you are released from the surgeon's care.

If you have any specific questions, we can try to answer them for you.
Can you post the ingredients to the EN food? Along with the protein and fat percent?

UT is the cheapest place to get the surgery done.
It can be done at time of spay for under $1800.
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Old 01-04-2009, 12:03 PM   #6
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She is seems fine. She loves to play. If we find a place to do the surgery where we are moving too, will the plane ride effect her if she hasn't had the surgery. The vet gave us two meds, one that i have to get tomorrow (i don't know the name) and metronidazole. There hasn't been any talk about supplements. Should i bring it up to her tomorrow? and should i ask about the protien c test? We give her the EN gastroenteric from purina the wet and dry food.
The wet food says it has 6.5% crude protien, 3% crude fat,
.5% crude fiber and 74% moisture. It has water sufficient for processing beef, brewers rice, egg product, coconut oil, gum arabic, tricalcium phosphate, chline chloride, calcium carbonate, salt, potassium chloride, vit supplements (e,a,b-12,d3) there's a lot more ingredients.
I asked the vet about the SD liver and she said this food was fine. I want to switch sometime soon, bc where we are moving thats what they have. I know that surgery is the best thing for her,but how long does she have if we keep up with her meds, the right food, and get her on supplements? Will her life be ok if we do all this and not have surgery? We don't have the money for the surgery right now, but sometime this year i hope will.
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Old 01-04-2009, 03:46 PM   #7
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I am so sorry to hear about your pup's liver shunt. Paisley is my 14 month old yorkie. She was diagnosed with a liver shunt when she was about 6 months old. The vets recommended she have the surgery by the time she was a year old. Our vet told us we had some time since she was asymptomatic.

In the meantime I got her on prescription food for liver compromised dogs. I feed her small meals through out the day.

I took her to the University of Tennessee when she was 9 months old (after we saved money) for the surgery. She did very well during the surgery and recovery. We flew home soon after her surgery with the vets approval. Paisley was back to herself within a few days. But we kept her in a large crate for several weeks (per surgeon's instructions) to restrict her activity and help with recovery.

Paisley's bile acid numbers are not back to normal, but are significantly lower. She is still on a liver shunt diet with no symptoms.

If you have any other questions feel free to ask me.
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Old 01-04-2009, 05:03 PM   #8
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Guaranteed Analysis (Dry)
Crude Protein (Min) 23.0%
Crude Fat (Min) 10.5%
Crude Fiber (Max) 2.0%
Moisture (Max) 12.0%
Zinc (Zn) (Min) 200 mg/kg
Vitamin E (Min) 350 IU/kg
Vitamin C (Min) 100 mg/kg
Omega-6 Fatty Acids* 1.76%**
Omega-3 Fatty Acids* 0.25%**
*Not recognized as an essential nutrient by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles.
**Actual Analytical
Guaranteed Analysis (Canned)
Crude Protein (Min) 6.5%
Crude Fat (Min) 3.0%
Crude Fiber (Max) 0.5%
Moisture (Max) 74.0%
Zinc (Zn) (Min) 70 mg/kg
Vitamin E (Min) 140 IU/kg
Vitamin C (Min) 35 mg/kg
Omega-6 Fatty Acids* (Min) 0.30%
Omega-3 Fatty Acids* (Min) 0.03%
*Not recognized as an essential nutrient by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles.
Packaging
Cases of 24, 12.5-oz. cans. Bags of 8, 20 and 35 lbs.
Ingredients (Dry)

Brewers rice, corn gluten meal, whole grain corn, chicken meal, coconut oil, animal digest, animal fat preserved with mixedtocopherols (form of Vitamin E), calcium phosphate, calcium carbonate, potassium chloride, L-Lysine monohydrochloride, sodium bicarbonate, soybean oil, fish oil, salt, choline chloride, Vitamin E supplement, zinc proteinate, L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), manganese proteinate, ferrous sulfate, niacin, copper proteinate, Vitamin A supplement, calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin supplement, Vitamin B-12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, garlic oil, folic acid, Vitamin D-3 supplement, calcium iodate, biotin, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of Vitamin K activity), sodium selenite.

P-4552
Ingredients (Canned)

Water sufficient for processing, beef, brewers rice, egg product, coconut oil, gum arabic, tricalcium phosphate, choline chloride, calcium carbonate, salt, potassium chloride, vitamin supplements (E, A, B-12, D-3), L-Lysine monohydrochloride, riboflavin supplement, niacin, calcium pantothenate, ascorbic acid (Vitamin C), zinc sulfate, biotin, ferrous sulfate, thiamine mononitrate, folic acid, manganese sulfate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, copper sulfate, menadione sodium bisulfite complex, calcium iodate, sodium selenite.

I-4553
Purina Veterinary Diets - EN GastroENteric - Canine



I would not feed either of these foods to a liver compromised dog.
Red meat produces the most ammonia (toxins) which builds up and can cause neurological symptoms. It is hard on the liver. Organ meat is also not good. The dry contains unnamed animal ingredients. The amount of protein is important but the type is just as important. Remember that when feeding canned it has to be converted to a dry matter basis to get actual protein content. How much protein does the vet want your pup on?
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Old 01-05-2009, 06:59 AM   #9
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I have no idea how much protien. My vet has not told me anything. I have learned more from you and on here then her. I guess changing her food is a better. I think i should change vets. I am just annoyed now that my vet didn't tell me all this info.
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Old 01-05-2009, 07:22 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LunaBaby View Post
I have no idea how much protien. My vet has not told me anything. I have learned more from you and on here then her. I guess changing her food is a better. I think i should change vets. I am just annoyed now that my vet didn't tell me all this info.
I'd be annoyed too.
Most vets believe that liver compromised dogs need low protein but don't take the type into consideration. If that is the case, you may not do much better with another vet. Since this pup is symptomatic, I would probably lower the protein a bit just to see if it helps. Does she ever get shaky?
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Old 01-05-2009, 07:46 AM   #11
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She gets slightly shaking sometimes, not everyday. Do i need to get the science diet from a vet?
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Old 01-05-2009, 08:11 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LunaBaby View Post
She gets slightly shaking sometimes, not everyday. Do i need to get the science diet from a vet?
That is a sign of hepatic encephalopathy (HE), especially if it happens a couple hours after eating. HE or neurological symptoms mean toxins are building up. She needs to be on a food for liver compromised dogs. Science Diet L/D wet (not dry because some of the ingredients are very questionable) or Royal Canin LS 14 dry (very palatable but RC makes lots of Yorkie itchy). She also needs to be on lactulose to push the toxins out of her system. This should be given 3x per day to produce two soft but formed bowel movements.

With shaking going on, I would have her on SAMe (Denosyl or equivalent....cheap from entirelypets.com) and milk thistle would be a good idea along with vitamin e.

She should not be free fed or fed large meals. Liver compromised dogs should be fed 4-6 small meals per day to lessen the load on the liver and to make sure that their bodies aren't be overloaded by too much protein at one time. So measure out what she should get for the day and break it up into at least 4 meals.
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Old 01-05-2009, 08:28 AM   #13
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Thank you SO much for this info. where would i get the food and those extras?
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Old 01-05-2009, 09:25 AM   #14
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Thank you SO much for this info. where would i get the food and those extras?
You're Welcome.

You need a prescription for the food. There may be places online that you can get it with the script or your vet should be able to order it for you.

You can get Denosyl at EntirelyPets Discount Pet meds Pet Supplies & Flea Medicine. Vetri DMG, the precursor to Denosyl, is available online but I've never used it, so I'm not sure what site has a good deal on it. You can choose one or the other. Most vets only know about Denosyl. It is more expensive though. Denosyl cannot be crushed and has to be given at least one hour before eating.

If you have a GNC, milk thistle is available there and it is completely vegetarian. Do you know how to dose this? You should also give vitamin e. Ellie was on 400IU for awhile but that is quite high. That is probably the dose I'd go with though. There are also veterinary products with milk thistle and vitamin e combined if you want to go that way...

You need a prescription for lactulose. I've heard that Walmart's generic for this is cheap.

Did that answer your question?
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Old 01-06-2009, 05:24 PM   #15
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If you can get your vet to write you a prescription for Royal Canin Hepatic dry food, you can take it over to any Petsmart that has a Banfield. They will have you fill out a form and then give you a prescription card so that you can purchase the food anytime. If your vet won't do this for you, you can order the prescription food from: at SouthernAgriculture.com
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