Case: Liver Shunt

A 6 month old small breed pup presented with signs of brain dysfunction and poor growth compared to her litter mates. Blood results, a liver function test, and her response to medical therapy all suggested that she had been born with an aberrant blood vein that allowed the “dirty” blood from her guts to bypass her liver and get straight to her heart, to her brain and to the rest of the body. Exploration of her abdomen located the anomalous vessel. A C shaped device called an ameroid constrictor was placed around the vessel and slowly closed it off over the subsequent few weeks. Eight weeks later, the liver function test was repeated and the results were now normal. Her clinical signs of brain dysfunction had resolved.