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What is Wrong with my Puppy?
I got a new puppy, and he is doing
strange things. He falls asleep after he
eats, he seems to have trouble having
a bowel movement.
We took our new puppy to our veterinarian
and after doing some testing
found that he may have a liver shunt,
also known as a portosystemic shunt.
It is a congenital defect and found in
several breeds, including Miniature
Schnauzers, Yorkshire Terriers, Maltese,
Cairn Terriers and some large
breed dogs as Labradors, Golden
Retrievers, Irish Wolfhounds and Australian
Cattle Dogs. Typically the dog
is small in stature compared to what
it should be and will have a variety of
behavioral abnormalities. The doctor
may strongly recommend further diagnostic
testing and even referral to an
internal medicine specialist for further
work-up and diagnostics to determine
if that is the problem and what can be
done for the puppy.
When a puppy has a liver shunt, the
liver cannot properly get rid of toxins
from the body and therefore they continually
circulate toxic proteins and the
liver cannot properly form to help with
this process. Which leads to several
of the signs and symptoms that are
typically seen with this.
In some cases, after getting the
diagnosis, it is then determined
whether it can be surgically repaired
with medical management and special
food, the puppy can live a fairly normal
life but just may not have the longevity
as a normal healthy puppy.
Shari Camp, RVT
Greater Cincinnati Veterinary Specialists
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