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Old 06-18-2012, 07:12 PM   #1
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Default My first post: Our sick little Yorkie

My boyfriend and I bought a Yorkie from a wonderful breeder last February, he is 1 year and 5 months old. After a few months of having him, and everything going wonderfully....he started acting soo odd. My boyfriend and I recorded him looking really "out of it," tipping over, and what we assumed was having seizures. This was the worst time of our lives with this new SWEET little boy! We showed our vet, and she diagnosed him with a liver shunt We switched his diet to a low protein diet ( Which most of you are probably familiar with) He has gone on a loooong spell of doing great! Lately he has been acting odd again...pacing all night long, shaking, etc. Has anyone else tried the milk thistle or Sam E?? He is our baby, and I want to do anything I can since surgery is out of the question. Thank you so much!! ( Also, thanks for listening to our background history)
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Old 06-18-2012, 07:16 PM   #2
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I am so sorry to hear that your baby is ill. I am not very familiar with LS,but many here are. Hopfully someone will come along that can give you some good advice.
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Old 06-18-2012, 08:19 PM   #3
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I am so sorry for your little boy....liver shunts can appear in ANY breeding program...it does not suggest this breeder did anything wrong or not up to par...how she handles the situation determines what kind of a breeder she is. Have you contacted your breeder....how far is she willing to go with you as far as care for baby.....you know as the breeder, she will ALWAYS be responsible for what is going on genetically with that baby....and now, we separate the wheat from the shaft. That being said, how bad is the liver shunt? Is it past the time to just do medical management with diet, etc? In my opinion, the benchmark for liver shunt surgery and care is University of Tennesee, Dr. Tobias and her excellent team. I would be making arrangements to go to UT and have Dr.Tobias establishing a plan of care. But that is just me...I jump right in and grab the bull by the horns, get parameters set, know exactly where I am in any given situation, and have a clear plan of attack. I had a friend that had used milk thistle on her baby that had end stages of LS...I dont really know if it helped as she was also using several other drugs....I give all my dogs milk thistle, just to detox their system from heart worm meds, flea, meds, worming meds in the heartworm med, etc....I know they have given milk thistle in Germany for patients with Hepatitis , with excellent results....I figure it wont hurt anything.....
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Old 06-19-2012, 04:47 AM   #4
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As was noted above, some dogs can be maintained quite well with just adjusting the diet; others are going to require some additional medical intervention.

That could be in the way of medication, supplements, or surgery if your dog is a candidate for surgery.

Bottom line - what does your Vet say about the latest symptoms your little one is showing?

Best of luck. My Lucy has mild MVD that we have maintained, so far, with diet alone.
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Old 06-19-2012, 08:52 AM   #5
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No no, our breeder is amazing! She couldn't believe this happened ( and still doesn't believe it's a LS) because none of her other pups have it. Marley was the runt, and remained small, in turn caused a lot of other problems. We can't financially afford the surgery and the food seems to be cutting it (except of lately) I just wanted to try any other method that I could....to see if it helps any. I will check into milk thistle, he has an appt for his rabies shot soon! Thanks for the feedback
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Old 06-19-2012, 09:29 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marleyboy167 View Post
No no, our breeder is amazing! She couldn't believe this happened ( and still doesn't believe it's a LS) because none of her other pups have it. Marley was the runt, and remained small, in turn caused a lot of other problems. We can't financially afford the surgery and the food seems to be cutting it (except of lately) I just wanted to try any other method that I could....to see if it helps any. I will check into milk thistle, he has an appt for his rabies shot soon! Thanks for the feedback
A really good breeder would return the purchase price to pay for the cost of the surgery. As Yorkiemom1 says, "how she handles the situation determines what kind of a breeder she is". I'm sorry you are going through this, but your breeder does have a responsibility to the dogs she produces. Some dogs are small because of hereditary reasons, and others are small due to health problems such as liver shunt. Your breeder should have been aware of that, and suggested you get testing at 16 weeks. I'm also concerned about the rabies shot, haven't you had one already? Many people say the 1 year shot lasts as long as the 3 year shot. Are you sure you need this? I think I would do more research on the matter. A rabies shot has to be hard on the liver, and your dog probably isn't around very much wild life anyway is he?
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Old 06-19-2012, 11:14 AM   #7
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[QUOTE=Nancy1999;3950767]A really good breeder would return the purchase price to pay for the cost of the surgery. As Yorkiemom1 says, "how she handles the situation determines what kind of a breeder she is". I'm sorry you are going through this, but your breeder does have a responsibility to the dogs she produces. Some dogs are small because of hereditary reasons, and others are small due to health problems such as liver shunt. Your breeder should have been aware of that, and suggested you get testing at 16 weeks. I'm also concerned about the rabies shot, haven't you had one already? Many people say the 1 year shot lasts as long as the 3 year shot. Are you sure you need this? I think I would do more research on the matter. A rabies shot has to be hard on the liver, and your dog probably isn't around very much wild life anyway is he?[/QUOTE]

REALLY need to do research here....rabies shots ARE hard on the dogs system, and they only need to be given every three years....the dogs immunity is good for AT LEAST that long...if he is having liver shunt issues, dont need to go there! Your breeder should be either refunding 100% of the purchase price, plus costs of diagnostic tests to determine the LS, and then assume 50% of the cost of the surgery...or she needs to refund 50% of purchase price, pay for the costs of the diagnostic tests and the surgery, if you decide to keep the pup. That is a minimal expectation....I dont think you can expect her to refund the entire cost of the pup AND pay for the surgery AND you keep the pup.... She can be stunned and amazed and in shock, but she needs to recover quickly and step up to the plate! This is when the breeder throws that plastic card up on the desk and says, "its taken care of".
Good luck with your baby....
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Old 06-19-2012, 11:27 AM   #8
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[quote=Yorkiemom1;3950844]
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A really good breeder would return the purchase price to pay for the cost of the surgery. As Yorkiemom1 says, "how she handles the situation determines what kind of a breeder she is". I'm sorry you are going through this, but your breeder does have a responsibility to the dogs she produces. Some dogs are small because of hereditary reasons, and others are small due to health problems such as liver shunt. Your breeder should have been aware of that, and suggested you get testing at 16 weeks. I'm also concerned about the rabies shot, haven't you had one already? Many people say the 1 year shot lasts as long as the 3 year shot. Are you sure you need this? I think I would do more research on the matter. A rabies shot has to be hard on the liver, and your dog probably isn't around very much wild life anyway is he?[/QUOTE]

REALLY need to do research here....rabies shots ARE hard on the dogs system, and they only need to be given every three years....the dogs immunity is good for AT LEAST that long...if he is having liver shunt issues, dont need to go there! Your breeder should be either refunding 100% of the purchase price, plus costs of diagnostic tests to determine the LS, and then assume 50% of the cost of the surgery...or she needs to refund 50% of purchase price, pay for the costs of the diagnostic tests and the surgery, if you decide to keep the pup. That is a minimal expectation....I dont think you can expect her to refund the entire cost of the pup AND pay for the surgery AND you keep the pup.... She can be stunned and amazed and in shock, but she needs to recover quickly and step up to the plate! This is when the breeder throws that plastic card up on the desk and says, "its taken care of".
Good luck with your baby....
Oh I wasn't suggesting she return the purchase price AND pay for surgery. I thought just returning the purchase price would be great. I do know a few who have done what you have suggested and all I can say is "Three Cheers" for that type of breeder!

By the way, I was reading that Minnesota made no exceptions for sick animals regarding rabies shots, although they are trying to pass a law that would enable owners to get a waiver for sickly animals. There may be away around it, the fine is only $5.00 for first offense, and $50.00 for third. Just make sure your dog doesn't run loose.
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Old 06-19-2012, 07:17 PM   #9
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[quote=Nancy1999;3950850]
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Oh I wasn't suggesting she return the purchase price AND pay for surgery. I thought just returning the purchase price would be great. I do know a few who have done what you have suggested and all I can say is "Three Cheers" for that type of breeder!

By the way, I was reading that Minnesota made no exceptions for sick animals regarding rabies shots, although they are trying to pass a law that would enable owners to get a waiver for sickly animals. There may be away around it, the fine is only $5.00 for first offense, and $50.00 for third. Just make sure your dog doesn't run loose.
Oh I know that was not what you were suggesting...that is just what I think should be expected...that is what I would do.....maybe too much, but I could not live with myself if I did anything less....As far as the rabies shot, sometimes, you have to pay the fine, if it means the health of your baby!
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Old 06-20-2012, 03:01 AM   #10
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The is a saying if you can't afford the vet, you can't afford the pet! Please go to the library here, there is a "stickey" some information on help for vet care.

I don't know what your vet did to diagnose the LS, certainly you can't do that by watching a video of symptoms.

If he has an extraheptatic shunt, usually surgery is required to fix it. It does not go away on it's own.

In order to determine the above special tests are required.

I'm sorry you find yourself in this position, but even sorrier for the pain and suffering of your young dog. You also can consider a Yorkie Rescue that can give this pup the needed vet care. Yorkie Haven Rescue is one.
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Old 06-20-2012, 05:46 AM   #11
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Hi and Welcome to YT!

Sorry to hear about your pup... my Tinkerbell has LS too.

Ask your vet... your dog should be taking Lactulose and Denamarin (or a similar product)(ASAP) to help control the symptoms of LS, in addition to the low protein diet. (Best diet is Hill's L/D per Univ of Tenn, Dr Tobias)

As for vaccines... the liver plays a major part in processing vaccines and making them effective... dogs with LS do not process vaccines well at all and basically they will not provide the dog with any immunity... so it's a waste to do and will just give the dog's liver more work to get rid of it.

PS: Denamarin= milk thistle/ SamE
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Old 06-20-2012, 05:55 AM   #12
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Forgot to add: A Bile Acid Test will test his liver function and is the first step to a definitive diagnosis. The lactulose and denamarin won't hurt him if it turns out to not be LS.
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Old 06-20-2012, 06:37 AM   #13
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No no, our breeder is amazing! She couldn't believe this happened ( and still doesn't believe it's a LS) because none of her other pups have it. Marley was the runt, and remained small, in turn caused a lot of other problems. We can't financially afford the surgery and the food seems to be cutting it (except of lately) I just wanted to try any other method that I could....to see if it helps any. I will check into milk thistle, he has an appt for his rabies shot soon! Thanks for the feedback
I would suggest you NOT get the rabies vaccine. If your baby is showing symptoms of the liver shunt, he may have a really bad reaction to the rabies shot. My Lola had her liver shunt repaired by Dr Tobias, but she is still exempt from rabies vaccine becasue it made her so ill - we almost lost her to a rabies vaccine. If the diet and meds are no longer working for your little one, the only option left may be surgery. The toxins caused by the liver shunt that are in your baby's blood stream are what is making him pace (probably due to headache, etc.) and shake...it's like poison to his little body. When the shunt is repaired, it prevents the toxins from entering his bloodstream. I know I've over- simplified what the shunt does, but that is how it was explained to me and when I heard this, I knew I had no choice but to have the shunt repaired. Good luck to you and your baby!
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Old 06-20-2012, 08:20 AM   #14
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Oh I know that was not what you were suggesting...that is just what I think should be expected...that is what I would do.....maybe too much, but I could not live with myself if I did anything less....As far as the rabies shot, sometimes, you have to pay the fine, if it means the health of your baby!
I agree, normally, I'm so law abiding, but I think I would rather pay the fine and fight to have this law changed. There should be exceptions for certain dogs whose health is at risk.
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Old 06-20-2012, 08:29 AM   #15
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Forgot to add: A Bile Acid Test will test his liver function and is the first step to a definitive diagnosis. The lactulose and denamarin won't hurt him if it turns out to not be LS.
A Bile Acid test won't break the bank either - OP, why don't you start there??
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