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Old 10-23-2006, 07:18 PM   #1
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Default looking for info on liver shunt

I was just wondering if there was anyone on here who has a baby who has had to have surgery for a liver shunt? I have read all the info but would like to hear from someone who has experienced it first hand.

My eleven week old brucey had several seizure's sunday morning. I took him to the emergency hospital and they checked him for hypoglycemia. They also talked about liver shunts.

He seems to be doing better now, he's still a little lethargic. He hasn't had anymore seizures, he had three that I know of. Anyway, after all this rambling I was just wanting to hear from someone who has gone through this first hand.
Thanks!
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Old 10-24-2006, 04:21 AM   #2
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I am just bumping this up for you, I do know of a member that when through it this summer.

I am sorry to hear this, but please let us know what they find out.
We will keep you in our prayers.
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Old 10-24-2006, 04:51 AM   #3
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My Indiana has had surgery 2 times, both to fix an extrahepatic liver shunt. He was first diagnosed last year when he was 6months old. He didn't have seizures, but he did have squinty eyes, almost like he was asleep on his feet. The surgeon called it pre-seizure activity. He was always a laid back puppy, played hard and slept really sound. He didn't fit the typical liver shunt puppy in that liver shunt puppies tend to be small and don't grow and thrive. Indy weighed 10lbs when he was diagnosd. We had the shunt fixed, and all went really well. By six months his bile acids were pretty much normal, his fasting was still a couple points high, but the eating one was completely normal. He gained 2lbs with in 3 weeks after the surgery and continued to grow and gain weight. At about a year (in July) I had another bile acid done and it came back high. We put him back on the Hills L/D prescription diet and tested again in 6 weeks, they had almost doubled. We went back to the surgeon and had another ultrasound and they found a second shunt. Odd thing was his liver had almost doubled in size and the veins going into it were big and healthy. They said he had the liver of a normal dog. So, he had a second surgery in Sept and at this point doing well. He goes in for his first post op bile test next week so hopefully they will have come down. I am told that a second shunt in a dog with a liver of normal size is rare, 1 in 200 dogs get a second shunt. My luck!! If you have any questions, please IM me. I would be glad to relate any of my experiences with liver shunts! Good luck!

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Old 10-24-2006, 09:58 AM   #4
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He has not had the bile acid tests done yet, my local vet thought that was jumping the gun a little bit. I think that I will insist he have them when he goes back later this week. He isn't acting sick anymore with no more seizures but I'm still worried. He is twelve weeks this friday and he still only weighs 1.6 lbs. He always seems to busy to eat! I literally have to pick him up and hand feed him to eat to get him started!

My vet seems to think that the seizures may have been caused by a head injury because he still has a open fontanel. I guess I'm just still worried because after I took him to the emergency hospital sunday they had me convinced he had a shunt, I cried all day!

Thanks so much for the info, I'm so glad I ran across this board!
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Old 10-24-2006, 10:03 AM   #5
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Was his blood sugar in normal range when they checked it? Lacy had many seizures as a result of hypoglycemia (confirmed by blood test). She did finally outgrow it and was healthy.

Why the rush to judgment for liver shunt? Did something show up in the blood test results?
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Old 10-24-2006, 11:12 AM   #6
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his blood sugar was 151. I guess because of the seizures they wanted to rule it out. But to do this they wanted me to put him in the hospital on a dextrose drip to do the fasting test. The estimated cost was $500 -$600. I was shocked because on Saturday he was his normal happy self. I signed him out AMA and called my regular vet( I have recently moved). He told me to give him half a pet enema and a anti-inflamatory. He automatically had results from the enema and after the anit-inflamatory he was his old self again, just a little tired.
I guess after reading up on shunts I got scared because he is not growing well and had the seizures.
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Old 10-24-2006, 01:02 PM   #7
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It sounds like hes having seizures from the toxin build up in his body if the enema has helped him so much, but this is a guess Im not a vet.
Here is a group I belong to that is very helpful with livershunt info.
http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/L...d_MVD_Support/
I would join and chat with others who experience the same thing.
This baby needs to have a bile acid test done ASAP
Your vet should be able to do it and its not a real pricey test.
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Old 10-24-2006, 01:19 PM   #8
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I'm going to see about getting them done this week. Will he need to stay at the vet for the fasting test? I don't want him to become hypoglycemic. Thanks so much for all the help!
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Old 10-24-2006, 01:24 PM   #9
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At 151, definitely not hypoglycemia, normal is 68 to 125, Lacy was like 30 if I'm remembering correctly (and this was after being given Nutrical)!

Seizures can be a symptom of many things. I wouldn't panic yet. Does he still have an open fontanel (soft spot on top of head that hasn't closed yet)?

I would have a complete blood panel done. They may have already done this and you just need to request the results, but it is possible to only test for blood glucose. If the ALT, Bilirubin, or BUN (blood urea nitrogen levels) are out of the normal range, then I would request a bile acid test pre (fasting 12 hours) and post feeding (wait two hours retest after giving high protein canned food). If all is normal, probably not liver related.

ALT 15 - 84 U/L ALT 10 - 80 U/L
TOTAL BILIRUBIN 0.0 - 0.4 mg/dL TOTAL BILIRUBIN 0.0 - 0.2 mg/dL
UREA NITROGEN 9 - 27 mg/dL UREA NITROGEN 20 - 30 mg/dL
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Old 10-24-2006, 01:40 PM   #10
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If the blood panel shows a reason to do further testing on the liver - There is a new bile acid test done on the urine which requires no fasting and only one test. Here's a link to read about it, your vet may or may not be familiar with the test.

http://www.canine-epilepsy-guardian-...id_testing.htm

I was looking at the above normal values in blood tests - the first is for dogs, the second set is for cats.

Last edited by Lacy's Mom; 10-24-2006 at 01:43 PM.
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Old 10-24-2006, 05:27 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dizpatch
I am just bumping this up for you, I do know of a member that when through it this summer.

I am sorry to hear this, but please let us know what they find out.
We will keep you in our prayers.

Yes my Gucci had liver shunt, she had extrahepatic portal shunt and had the ameroid constrictor put on. Gucci too had several incidents of hypoglycemia. When we rushed her to vet hospital she had reading of 50 which is very low. They diagnosed her with liver shunt and she had the surgery this past August. Gucci is doing great she is able to go back on regular dog food and I have to retest her bile acids in 6 mts. Her last reading was good but I believe her pre was still a littler high but not as high as pre surgery. The surgeon said it takes sometimes a year to come down.... If you have any questions please pm me and I will answer your concerns... Good luck! Gina

Last edited by GucciMyGirl; 10-24-2006 at 05:31 PM.
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Old 10-24-2006, 06:24 PM   #12
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My yorkie also has a liver shunt, but unfortunately his is intrahepatic and it cannot be repaired, so it is managed through diet and medications. He is doing very well now, and you would never even know he has it. He is so sweet and very spoiled!!
IMO having a bile acid test done is important for yorkies as so many are diagnosed with liver shunts. It is a fairly inexpensive test that runs between $50-$100 depending on where you live, but it is well worth every penny for that peace of mind.
I will pray for your little guy, and if you have any questions, please feel free to ask.
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Old 10-25-2006, 04:42 AM   #13
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I think that I will go ahead and have a complete blood panel done, then if anything is out of whack I will get the bile acids test. He has not had any problems since sunday. You would not know he was ever sick, he's back to bossing my husband's boxer around!
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Old 10-25-2006, 08:39 AM   #14
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Default Urine Bile Acid Test

A urine bile acid test is not accurate nor is the IDEXX SNAP Bile Acid Test. The only accurate test is a pre and post prandial Bile Acid Test. This should be the first test done and if it proves positive then an Ultrasound, Portogram or Scintigraphy should be done to determine where the shunt is and how severe it is. The technician that performs an Ultrasound should be well versed in reading the results as some inexperienced technicians are not competent enough to see the shunt, especially if it's hidden behind other soft tissue. There are links on my web site http://yorkies.com for information on Liver Shunt. You can also join a Yahoo group that I help moderate that deals with Liver Shunt & MVD. To join send a blank email to: Liver_Shunt_And_MVD_Support-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Or go to: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Liver_...d_MVD_Support/
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Old 10-25-2006, 01:15 PM   #15
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I wish the best for your baby and hope he stays well.


I'm going to have to disagree that the UBAT is not accurate. Studies have shown it to be very accurate.

I hate to see someone not use a test that is so easy to do, and has advantages over SBAT in some cases.

Key is timing to getting the urine sample. 4-8 hours after eating is optimal, so no fasting is wanted.

Dr. Jean Dodds reads these tests if they are sent through to Hemopet. It costs about 45-50 dollars and they fax the report to your vet.

Here is the link to the article with the findings.

http://www.dvmnews.com/dvm/article/a....jsp?id=134764
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