Some of you have seen this little guy on a couple live videos. He has been with us for a couple weeks now and has seen all of the specialists necessary to develop a plan for him. Eeyore has an intrahepatic portasystemic shunt. In other words he has a shunt inside his live that is causing a big problem. A liver shunt occurs when an abnormal connection persists or forms between the portal vein or one of its branches, and another vein, allowing blood to bypass, or shunt, around the liver. In the majority of cases, a liver shunt is caused by a birth defect. When the blood bypasses the liver it basically bypasses the body’s filter and all of the toxins that may have been filtered out are dumped back into the body. When this happens the body’s ammonia level gets dangerously high and the puppy gets extremely sick. They cannot digest food appropriately, they can not absorb nutrients, their growth is severely stunted and worst of all they can become neurological and even have seizures.
Surgery is the only way to fix a shunt. Shunts outside the liver can be occluded/fixed by a board certified surgeon at many different facilities. Unfortunately when the shunt is on the inside of the liver the procedure is much more complex. You cannot just go in and band off the vessel. They have to feed a catheter down a vein in their neck and place a stint in the shunt and drop wire coils into the shunt and occlude it. That will prevent the blood from flowing around the liver. Only the University of Minnesota has the capability to do this procedure here in MN.
We have had a couple dogs come through the group that have had this procedure. Daisy Duke and Luke Bryan. They are both doing wonderful now and we hope for the same for Eeyore. The surgery is estimated to be $4500-$6000 depending on how his recovery post op goes and how long he has to stay in the ICU.
We were able to get him squeezed in for surgery on January 7th