She's been a fairly healthy pup (or so we thought) asides from constantly chewing on everything. Our furniture didn't look half as good without teeth marks, my shoes needed some rehab, and the dog bones didn't need any work done at all. The vets did notice that she had a tiny whole in her skull that hadn't completely closed at her first puppy appointment. It did close by her second trip.
She hates riding in cars and baths.
She has secretly been living with a liver problem for the first six months of her life. Our vets suspect that it is a liver shunt as so far all signs are pointing in that direction.
What is a liver shunt?
Well, it is normal for dogs to have a liver shunt at birth according to my research. It is a little blood vessel that redirects blood away from the liver. However, it is supposed to close shortly after birth. The liver needs that blood to get rid of the toxins in the rest of the body. Sometimes, the shunt doesn't close and it becomes a serious condition. The toxins aren't being probably removed by the liver (it's not getting the power it needs) and can cause dogs to have a variety of problems. It seems like the classic symptoms are neurological (seizures, walking into walls, apparent deafness, behavioral changes), not eating well, and bathroom issues. Dogs with liver shunts may also appear small in stature. Our pup really hasn't shown many of these signs asides from being small. She eats well, uses the bathroom well, and has lots of energy.
We took her to get spayed on Monday. The vets realized that something was off about her blood panel yesterday. (Blood panels may be expensive but they are a good thing.) They sent off a test that shows strong signs of a liver shunt.
So now what?
We have to take her to get an x-ray (or ultra-sound) to determine the amount and type of shunt. We are praying that it is only one and that it is in a location that is operable. (The ones inside the liver are very hard to treat.) Dogs who aren't operated on do not have the greatest life expectancy. I read that about 50% of them are put down within 10 months of the diagnosis. Needless to say, I am pretty petrified at the moment. I know that her breeder would probably have had no choice but to put her down. Thankfully, we are able to afford going through all of the treatments & tests that she'll have to deal with in the coming months. We take her to the specialist on Dec. 10th.
I am telling all of you about this, because it probably will affect my blogging. I don't want to waste the time I have with her in case of the worst. I am praying for the best and appreciate all of the support I've received since mentioning this on my facebook page.
So until Dec 10th.....