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Portacaval Shunt

Description: Also called liver shunt or portosystemic shunt, a condition in which the embryonic blood vessel in the liver fails to go away after the puppy or kitten is born. As a result, blood bypasses the liver which means it fails to be processed by the liver which can lead to neurological symptoms. In some cases, the liver shunt is acquired as a secondary condition to other liver issues.

What to Watch For: Stunted growth, pacing, seizures, tiredness and lethargy, bladder stones.

Diagnosis: Diagnosed via radiograph or ultrasound of liver; ammonia tolerance test.

Treatment: Surgery is required to treat this condition. It is recommended that the animal's health be very stable prior to surgery, which can be achieved by a healthy diet and proper medications. The success rate is very high.

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Breeds prone to Portacaval Shunt include:

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