Tilly’s Liver Disease Investigations

Hi, my name is Rebecca and I am fundraising for my little chihuahua Tilly. She is 7 years old, soon to be 8.
She has been diagnosed with Liver Disease and needs further investigations to find out the cause; one which could be a SHUNT and she needs a CT scan to determine if this is the cause. If it is then she will need surgery to rectify the problem.
If it is not a SHUNT then there might be more investigations to do and certainly will be medications.

I have been told that if it does happen to be a SHUNT then she could deteriorate over a few weeks, months or maybe more.

It has to be ruled out.

I have exhausted my finances, using money I should be spending on food, petrol and car repair for my beloved dog. I have exhausted the help of the financial help from the RSPCA and there are no other ways I can think of than this go fund me.

Donations will go to Tillys vet bills and helping Tilly hopefully recover from whatever is wrong.

What is a liver shunt?
The portal vein is a large vein that collects blood from the gastrointestinal system, pancreas, and spleen and carries it into the liver, where toxins and other byproducts are removed. 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.

What does portosystemic shunt surgery involve?
Most surgeons use a device such as an ameroid constrictor that slowly closes the shunt. The ameroid constrictor is a metal band with an inner ring of casein, a protein found in milk. In the abdomen, the inner ring absorbs normal abdominal fluid and gradually swells, pressing on the shunt and encouraging it to scar shut. Shunts usually close within three to four weeks after ameroid constrictor placement.

Other surgical treatments include 1) cellophane bands that induce inflammation, gradually closing the shunt with scar tissue and 2) intravascular occlusive, clot-inducing devices.

How successful is surgical treatment?
Surgery provides the best chance for a long, healthy life in most dogs with extrahepatic shunts. If ameroid constrictor placement is performed, survival rate is over 95%. Many dogs are clinically normal within four to eight weeks following surgery. A small percentage of dogs will develop multiple acquired shunts and must be managed with a protein-restricted diet and lactulose for life.


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Rebecca Holmes 
Burghclere, South East England, United Kingdom

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