Diagnosing "Bobbie Bobble"

This is Bobbie. He was a very last minute pull. Bobbie is part of the Share Pei litter. There was only 3 pups in this litter. On Wednesday Bobbie looked fine we saw him walking around & playing because he and his two siblings were placed in the back kennels, which are bigger and give them more space to do so. On Thursday the shelter noticed a twitch in Bobbie and he started shaking on and off. He was then quarantined to the puppy room for the next couple of days. We couldn't see Bobbie walk around much because the puppies in the puppy room can not come out of their kennels, but certainly noticed all the shaking. After careful consideration and ruling out the possibility of distemper we decided to take Bobbie along with us. Because he was "physically & visually unappealing" to any adopter that walked through the shelter he would have been euthanized.

Bobbie stayed at the vet Sunday to Monday for evaluation and to run some basic blood test. His liver values came back very high, so he will be going back for more extensive test. Most likely Bobbie will also have to have an ultrasound of his liver as well. We will have to wait for a definite answer after the follow up test and ultrasound, but we are thinking Bobbie may suffer from a Proto Systemic Shunt, also known as a liver shunt.

A liver shunt is a blood vessel that carries blood around the liver instead of through it. In some animals a liver shunt is a birth defect ("congenital portosystemic shunt). In others, multiple small shunts ("acquired portosystemic shunts") form because of severe liver disease such as cirrhosis.

Symptoms of liver shunts can be found by performing blood work. Dogs with congenital liver shunts usually have low blood urea nitrogen and albumin concentrations. They may be slightly anemic or have red blood cells that are smaller than normal. They also may have increases in liver enzymes. These symptoms would be determined by running specific blood test. Their urine may be diluted or infected and contain small spiky crystals, which would be diagnosed when running a urinalysis. However none of these tests are specific for a liver shunt only to the symptoms, but if these abnormalities appear bile acid or ammonia concentrations will be measured to evaluate liver function. A liver shunt cannot be definitively diagnosed by blood work; shunting can only be found with advanced techniques such as scintigraphy, ultrasound, portography, Cat scan ("CT"), MRI, or exploratory surgery.

If we can diagnose and start to treat Bobbie we are certain that we will be able to find him the most amazing forever home. The sooner we are able to diagnose Bobbie the better chances he has of living to his full life expectancy. Help and prayers are very much appreciated!

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    • 83 mos
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Organizer

Heather Nicole 
Organizer
Myers Corner, NY
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