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Old 03-14-2009, 04:14 PM   #1
DAB
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Love Emma liver shunt

HI Everyone.
Just wanted to let you know that I picked Emma up at Tufts this afternoon. She is no worse for wear. Everyone there loves her because she is such a doll. As you now know, she does have a shunt. We will be speaking to a surgeon from Tufts who specializes in soft tissue soon to determine the options. I am still fearful of seizures and will be asking about them. Again, has anyone had liver shunt surgery done on Yorkies at Tufts. What was the result? Also, are there other specific questions I should be asking the surgeon? Please advise. According to the doctor who has been seeing her, it could be that the surgeon suggests not operating. Then what? Thanks for all the great input.

Hope you are enjoying your weekend.

DAB
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Old 03-14-2009, 04:32 PM   #2
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Sorry I can't be of any help, but I will keep Emma in my prayers!
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Old 03-15-2009, 03:33 AM   #3
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Default wishing you well

Though Tufts would not be my first choice they are on my list of places I'd consult with. I think they are perfectly capable of doing the surgery and I really like that they are considering options other than surgery. IMO some places are too quick to do surgery when that is not necessarily the best therapy. I don't follow these YT threads on a regular basis, but seem to recall there was confusion over Emma's BATs at first, but the severity of her symptoms does make it appear that surgery is very likely for her. She's lucky you can do all this. Should you decide to seek help outside of Tufts, Angell in Boston is an excellent choice, Cornell and U.Tenn. would be the best. You should notify the breeder as this important and could influence future breeding decisions.
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Old 03-15-2009, 01:43 PM   #4
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Love Liver Shunts

After Theo's 1st birthday he became sick and went into a seizure...after almost losing him a few nights in a row we were also told he has a liver shunt. After many test and a lot of prayer we have decided not to operate since there could be multi-shunts and then there is nothing that can be done..I have done a lot of research and spoke with several internal medicine vets and came to the conclusion that we don't want him to go through anymore painful test or surgeries .We are treating our little boy with a special diet of L/D Science Diet food and medicine. Since there is no certainty that he can make it through surgery and even if he did there are many test to follow...We have already gone in debt over $5000 just for his week hospitalization an several bile acid test, his personality has changed and he now is very touchy and mistrusting. He has been running around the house with his little brother and enjoying his life what ever time God gives him. We pray when his time is up that he goes in peace and that we made the right choice. Please let us know what happens with your lil one and also is he a teacup yorkie like Theo? I am so angry with the breeder who had to of known that she was breeding sick puppies and not caring one bit...Our prayers will be with you.
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Old 03-15-2009, 02:06 PM   #5
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Please join this group:

DogLiverDisease : Dog Liver Disease

They follow Dr. Center and her recommendations. There are a lot of people that have LS and MVD babies. Some have had surgery and some are not candidates. They can guide you with all aspects, along with food and supplements.

My first choice for an LS surgery would be Cornell University, and I am sure that the cost for LS surgery is pretty cheap compared to most specialty hospitals.

If surgery is the way to go, that is what I would do. LS babies that have had surgery do remarkable well and move onto living a very happy and long life....
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Old 03-15-2009, 06:17 PM   #6
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Thank you so much. Emma is not a tea cup. Her mom weighed in at 7 or 8 lbs. and had long legs. Her dad was short and stocky. Emma is short but is 10 " long. She is about 5 lbs. or so.

Will keep you posted after all options are reviewed with the surgeon. Again, I do fear the seizure/blindness complications which may go along with surgery. That is my main concern. Additionally, I would hate to see her personality change. The doctor at Tufts stated that some Yorkies can live a long life with a shunt. It all depends. He said he has seen a 12 year old Yorkie which was diagnosed at that age with a shunt.

As far as cost---since December to now the cost has been $2000. Surgery would be at least a few more thousand dollars on the low side. Incidently, Emma is covered by VIP insurance [I am paying for the best premium policy including the extra cancer coverage] but all bills I have submitted are now on hold for consideration/review. I know that any treatments for a liver shunt will not be covered as it is congenital and congenital problems are not covered. I am guessing that VIP will try not to pay for any of the diagnostic procedures up to this point either.

Best of luck with your baby. I will keep him in my prayers as well.
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Old 03-16-2009, 05:23 AM   #7
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I am looking into giving Theo Milk Thistle since I feel he needs some additional help and I have read articles online about it. Our decision not to go forward with anymore test or surgery is so heavy on my heart. I will always wonder if he had only one shunt or many and if he did would of the surgery would of he lived long after it. I keep reminding myself I am going with my gut feelings on this and he has such a personality from all the needles he has been stuck with. He growls when you go to pick him up if he is laying on the couch. Has anyone used Milk Thistle or any holistic remedies and know the correct dosage a 4 lb Yorkie should get and is it used on an empty stomach or with food. I desperately want to give him anything that would help and wish I could afford a holistic vet but everything is so expensive. We already tried one holistic pill our vet suggested but he couldn't swallow it and crushing it up in his food didn't allow the pill to have very much effect. Since Milk Thistle comes in a liquid form I thought that would be better. I need to be prepared for what may come so if anyone has been in my situation and has lost their little furry one to LD please let me know what I can expect in their last days. I keep praying he will have several more years ahead of him since he is only 1 but I just don't know what to expect.If I knew he was in pain I would put him to sleep but there is just no way of knowing. I also don't know if I should have his double teeth pulled since he does have a mouth full of them and that can't be good or will putting him under to do it kill him. This is all so overwhelming so please I you have any suggestions please send them this site is the only place I trust since I know you all have and love your Yorkies as I do.
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Old 03-16-2009, 05:46 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheryl1022 View Post
I am looking into giving Theo Milk Thistle since I feel he needs some additional help and I have read articles online about it. Our decision not to go forward with anymore test or surgery is so heavy on my heart. I will always wonder if he had only one shunt or many and if he did would of the surgery would of he lived long after it. I keep reminding myself I am going with my gut feelings on this and he has such a personality from all the needles he has been stuck with. He growls when you go to pick him up if he is laying on the couch. Has anyone used Milk Thistle or any holistic remedies and know the correct dosage a 4 lb Yorkie should get and is it used on an empty stomach or with food. I desperately want to give him anything that would help and wish I could afford a holistic vet but everything is so expensive. We already tried one holistic pill our vet suggested but he couldn't swallow it and crushing it up in his food didn't allow the pill to have very much effect. Since Milk Thistle comes in a liquid form I thought that would be better. I need to be prepared for what may come so if anyone has been in my situation and has lost their little furry one to LD please let me know what I can expect in their last days. I keep praying he will have several more years ahead of him since he is only 1 but I just don't know what to expect.If I knew he was in pain I would put him to sleep but there is just no way of knowing. I also don't know if I should have his double teeth pulled since he does have a mouth full of them and that can't be good or will putting him under to do it kill him. This is all so overwhelming so please I you have any suggestions please send them this site is the only place I trust since I know you all have and love your Yorkies as I do.
If the pill the vet gave you was Denosyl, it is absolutely necessary. If the pill isn't doable, you can replace it with Vetri DMG (liquid).

The milk thistle dose can be found here:
MILK THISTLE

Lactulose should be given and possibly omegas (fish oil.
Vitamin E should also be used.
Sometimes probiotics and antibiotics are recommended.

The behavior change could be from going to the vet but it is also a symptom of liver disease. Aggression can happen if toxins are building up.
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Old 03-18-2009, 04:29 AM   #9
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Default Theo is in heaven now

I don't know how to say this because I am still very overwhelmed. Our little boy became very sick again and we had to have him put to sleep. We know this is what he wanted I could see it in his eyes and I couldn't bare putting him through anymore test. We did our best to save him but God had bigger plans for him. I knew he was in heaven the minute his little body went limp as the vet adminstered the medication to let him go to sleep. Thank you everyone for all your lover prayers and support. I will keep Emma and all the little sick yorkies in my prayers for God has different plans for each one of them. Have faith in your vet and go with your gut feelings and live each day with them as it is your last. That's what we did with Theo and he did have a very full happy year and 3 months here on Earth. He even got to go to college and dorm with my daughters so he is probably teaching the puppies in heaven all about that. I will come back and visit you all as soon as I feel a little stronger. God bless you all.
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Old 03-19-2009, 12:40 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DAB View Post
HI Everyone.
Just wanted to let you know that I picked Emma up at Tufts this afternoon. She is no worse for wear. Everyone there loves her because she is such a doll. As you now know, she does have a shunt. We will be speaking to a surgeon from Tufts who specializes in soft tissue soon to determine the options. I am still fearful of seizures and will be asking about them. Again, has anyone had liver shunt surgery done on Yorkies at Tufts. What was the result? Also, are there other specific questions I should be asking the surgeon? Please advise. According to the doctor who has been seeing her, it could be that the surgeon suggests not operating. Then what? Thanks for all the great input.

Hope you are enjoying your weekend.

DAB
Hi DAB,

My yorkie Ruby had liver shunt surgery in December at Texas A&M University, and she is making a full recovery. She had one large shunt on the outside of the liver, in which they said surgery is a good route to go. They would not have performed surgery on her, they said, if she had multiple smaller shunts. Some of the questions that I asked, that helped me deicde to go forward were:
1) What are the risks
2) How will the surgery, if successful, improve her quality of life and how will it affect her lifespan
3) What will her quality of life be without the surgery vs. with the surgery
4) Are there chances for relapse.

I just joined the site so I may have missed more that you have written, so I am sorry if it is not very helpful. But, My girl Ruby is a changed dog- she has been taken off all of her meds since surgery and has more energy than ever. In her 3 month post op checkup they determined it to be a success, when before the surgery I saw 3 vets who all told me surgery was not an option and she would not be with me very long. I wish you the best!
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Old 03-19-2009, 01:07 PM   #11
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I went through the same thing with my baby sebastian. Damn breeder. He is great now after the surgery. He is on LD diet and takes fish oil pills for his hair. He acts like a normal dog and I hope the same results for you.
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