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Old 06-19-2007, 12:58 PM   #1
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Default Gigi's Bile Acids test came back very high...

I wrote last week that I was worried about her, and when we took her to the vet I asked him to do the bile acids test because I suspected liver shunt. I just got off the phone with her vet and he said that her test came back very high,and this indicated portosystemic liver shunt. I can't stop crying. I don't really know what this means for my baby.... I'm supposed to go by his office after work and pick up antibiotics and some food, Hills A/D, until he can get some Hills L/D in. We can't afford surgery right now..... there is no possible way we can afford that right now.

my baby is sick, and I can't help her
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Old 06-19-2007, 01:11 PM   #2
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Sorry to hear. Hope she gets better real soon

I'll keep her in my Prayers. But it isn't that serious right? it can be cure.... is surgery necessary for that? Hopefully someone who has already experienced this with their fur babies can enlighten us.

I am going to get her tested for that as well next week. Doctor said it is most likely cause of extreme stress, since her spaying surgery and the tragic incident that happened on Sunday. But nonetheless, Yorkies must be tested for Liver Shunt (what I've been told here)

I am just curious, how much was it for you?
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Old 06-19-2007, 01:15 PM   #3
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First let me say I am very sorry about your test results.....Did the vet tell you the result #'s? was this a pre blood draw and a post (after eating) test?? Please don't be upset your not alone and gigi could live a very normal long life with proper diet.... I know you must feel like its the end of the world depending on the #'s surgery could fix her all up or even just diet...
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Old 06-19-2007, 02:01 PM   #4
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We just got a high post bile acid result on Monday as well. Other posts here on YT mentioned a website:

http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/L...d_MVD_Support/

and they are so wonderful - they will answer your questions and are very knowledgable. I just joined today and they have jumped right in to help me.

I hope that helps you! Good luck.
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Old 06-19-2007, 02:22 PM   #5
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I'm so sorry to hear this (for both of you) but find out more before driving yourself crazy ...

all the best to you with Gigi
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Old 06-19-2007, 02:23 PM   #6
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I'm so sorry to hear that Gigi's results came back high, but try not to stress out too much. Your baby will be able to sense that and become tense as well. This is most definitely not a death sentence.
I don't know how close you are to the University of Tennesse, but they only charge around $1400 for all the pre-surgery testing (ie scintigraphy, portogram, etc.), the surgery, and post-op care...This is the cheapest that I have seen, and the best liver shunt vet is the one who would perform the surgery.
Have you heard of CareCredit? Many people get CareCredit to help with the costs of surgery.
If I were you, I would skip the ultrasound because many times, u/s are inconclusive in these cases, especially if it's done by someone who doesn't have extensive experience with shunts. If you can go to UT for the rest of the testing and surgery, that would be optimal.
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Old 06-19-2007, 02:28 PM   #7
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Sorry to hear your news. Yorkieluv is right, it is very likely your baby can have a long life. I frieked out too, but once you arm yourself with knowledge, you'll feel much better.. Believe me, I speak from experience. I'm single and on a very tight budget. Otis's post bile acid was 53 and I haven't had any more testing done because I can't afford it. I will eventually have the c protein assay done and then go from there. He is on lactulose and L/D food and doing well. I definately notice a difference if I miss a lactulose dose, he starts to look at things that aren't there. When I was introduced to the yahoo mvd/shunt group I read for 3 hours straight. When you start to understand it a little more, it won't be as frightening. Good luck to you, keep us updated on your baby. I hope he's not seizing or having really severe symptoms. So many of us here are dealing with this. Hang in there.
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Old 06-19-2007, 02:30 PM   #8
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If you don't have the money to do the surgery right now, you can put your baby on the Hill's l/d or Royal Canin Hepatic LS 14 (prescription food that is usually better liked by liver compromised dogs)...Make sure your vet gives you a prescription for lactulose...Lactulose is absolutely necessary for a dog with liver problems because it helps push the toxins out of the body. This should be given directly after meals...While on lactulose, their stool should be soft, but formed. Not firm and not diarrhea. So you will need to play with the doses to get it just right. Your vet should be able to help you get started...Although many times, vets aren't as knowledgable about liver shunts as they should be.
Also, you should buy some denosyl and marin or milk thistle. You can buy these on www.entirelypets.com
These supplements will not harm your baby in any way, and can only help. They help protect the liver from further damage and help repair the parts that are already damaged.
It's important that you not feed her any red meat either in her dog food or in treats...You will need to start looking at labels...If there is protein from a meat source, do not give it to Gigi, as it is harmful to her.
When dogs ingest protein, it turns to ammonia...This ammonia is supposed to be filtered by the liver, but when there is a liver shunt, the ammonia is bypassing the liver and entering their systems causing hepatic encephalopathy symptoms like head pressing, staring off into space, drooling, seizures, etc. So you need to make sure and give her sources of protein that produce less ammonia which are proteins from vegetable, soy, and dairy.
For treats, you can give little pieces of peeled apple, watermelon(seedless), carrots, etc.
Remember, all of these are just suggestions...I have a yorkie with liver shunt/mvd and have been through all of this....I remember crying myself to sleep because I was so worried, but we got through it! He was diagnosed at around 9 months and he's now 3yrs old
I highly recommend that you join the liver shunt/mvd group that the link was posted above. The people there are extremely knowledgable and the files section has a wealth of beneficial information.
Don't lose hope Your baby will be just fine!!
What kind of symptoms was your baby exhibiting?
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Old 06-19-2007, 03:09 PM   #9
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I just got home a little bit ago from the vet. Her lab work was 2.5 fasting and 88.5 after eating. I got the science diet K/D because they were out of L/D, but will switch her as soon as they get some more. I also got some antibiotics, but forgot the lactulose rx. So far she's not interested in the K/D food.

She's not really exhibiting any symptoms other than she is skinny, has lost 1/2 pound and is a very picky eater, and she sometimes seems depressed and has a *sad* look to her face. She has not had any seizures, head rubbing, wall walking, drooling, staring, etc. There is only 1 surgeon here that does this surgery. I am about 8 hours drive to UT/Knoxville. I'm quite sure that my sis could hook me up with people to stay with if it came to that..... she did her graduate work at UT, as well as her husband, and they still go back to see friends there.

Thank you for the well wishes, and the information. My vet has diagnosed LS before, but only in 1 yorkie. He also told me about the supplements, so I will be getting those soon. I'm off to join the yahoo group.
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Old 06-19-2007, 06:24 PM   #10
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So it could be diet controlled if its 88 that sounds more like MVD rather than a shunt? Well I would say its good she is not having any symptoms......Give her a kiss and much love to you both!
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Old 06-19-2007, 06:48 PM   #11
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My dee dee was hi at 54 and 74 post but i opted not to do liver scan ( the best test for determining liver shunt vs ultra sound) she is not having signs of liver shunt and she is 3 years old almost. I was scared too. I have her on prescription hills salmon and potato which is 18% protein - I have not done supplements but milk thistle and sam-e are suppose to be very good

Just to explain the liver scan which costs $300 and their are only a few specialists who do it but the center is an hour away from me - they put a radio active dye as an enema with no sedation and they take 100's of pictures as the dye is going through the body and they can tell if it bypasses the liver or goes the normal path so this is a more accurate test than an ultra sound which may be harder to see.

Hope this helps
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Old 06-21-2007, 07:38 PM   #12
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Gigi seems to be much better these last 2 days. She's got a lot of her spunk back and that little yorkie sparkle in her eye!

She's been eating 3 times a day..... loves all of her supplements and medicines, except the antibiotic. She has been playing and running around.... it's a marked improvement over the past weekend. I joined the yahoo group, and found that the 1 yorkie that my vet has treated with liver shunt prior to Gigi is also a member, and we actually live ~1/2 mile from each other! She just had a breast removed because of breast cancer, and she starts chemo again in 2 weeks, so keep her in your prayers. She made me feel a lot better about the competency of the surgeon in my area.

So my next step is to make some calls to the surgeon and the internist and see if we should just try dietary changes and supplements (barring any symptoms of HE) for a few weeks and then retest or what exactly the next step is.
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Old 06-21-2007, 07:41 PM   #13
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I'm so glad that you joined the liver shunt group. Isn't everyone on there amazing?? Wow, I didn't realize that you and her were so close to each other! Small world. LOL Which supplements did you start her on?
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Old 06-21-2007, 07:42 PM   #14
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Glad to hear things are better. Take care!
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Old 06-21-2007, 07:53 PM   #15
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Twice a day she takes Clovamox (sp?)
3x's per day: eats Hills K/D with milk thistle and lactulose.

I'm going to start the other supplement (begins with D) in about a month.
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