At about 10 weeks old, we started to notice that Tatum was not as playful or energetic as other puppies that we had met. We assumed it was probably because he was a baby and worn out. Except one night Tatum woke us up in the middle of the night crying, walking around restless and foaming at the mouth. We immediately rushed him to the emergency vet because we thought maybe he had swallowed something or had something lodged in his throat. After multiple hours at the ER vet and a few x-rays later they told us that there was nothing wrong and sent us home.
A couple days later Tatum started doing the exact same thing. He was walking around aimlessly, foaming at the mouth and crying in distress. Luckily this time it was during the day so I called his regular vet and we rushed him in. After multiple different tests, bloodwork and an ultrasound our 10-week old baby Tatum was diagnosed with a very large congenital intrahepatic liver shunt. Due to Tatum's age, this is likely a congenital defect that he was born with. Congenital PSS is
usually (but not always) diagnosed in younger patients, such as in Tatum's case.
A liver shunt is a condition where the normal flow of blood, to and through the liver, is absent. Tatum’s shunt doesn’t allow his liver to filter any toxins from the blood. So all of the toxins, proteins, and nutrients bypass his liver and directly enter his bloodstream and poison his brain and heart (causing him to act the way he was acting).
Jon and I were devastated and extremely overwhelmed. Our vet sent us home with three different medications and a strict prescription diet to help manage the symptoms. She also referred us to the Texas A&M vet hospital that has experience in treating this specific type of liver shunt.
After a couple days on the new diet and medication Tatum was like a completely different dog. He was running around and playing with other dogs like he never had before. Clearly a sign that something was wrong all along.
Tatum's shunt goes through his liver making it a much more difficult surgery but the good news is it can be fixed. After a ton of research and consulting with the cardiology and internal medicine team at Texas A&M, we decided that the best option was for Tatum to move forward with surgery to close the shunt. This is the only option that would give him a long, normal and healthy life without having to take medication. If we do not move forward with surgery, the toxins in his system would eventually damage his organs and drastically decrease his life expectancy.
The bad news is the cost of surgery will be around $8,000……which is INSANE. But we are determined to give Tatum the best life he can possibly have and will need any help we can get. Luckily, he is too small now and can’t have the surgery until he’s around 7-8 months old so we have some time.
Asking for donations is very uncomfortable and we never expected to be put in this situation but everyone deserves a chance at a long and healthy life and Tatum has a long one ahead of him so please help us make this surgery happen!
Please feel free to share this with anyone to help us get this story out there! No donation is too small!
Edvina, Jon, Jack and of course baby Tatum
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