As a newlywed couple, my husband and I had decided a dog was the next step in our partnership. Although we were the first to have a dog, on both sides of our family, we were excited and up for the challenge.

As we were vaccinating our new furbaby, Bloo, we noticed odd behaviors, such as appetite fluctuations, lethargy and shaking. These symptoms were overlooked as side effects of his vaccines. However, weeks after his final vaccine the symptoms were still present. 

Concerned, we took Bloo to the vet and she explained that small dogs were prone to liver disease. She asked to do a bile acid test. The results were slightly elevated bile acids and an abdominal ultra sound (AUS) was done to rule a liver shunt. The diagnosis was possibly microvascular dysphasia (MVD). When our vet requested a liver biopsy to confirm a liver disease, we feared this would be a death sentence. 

It was during this time that we joined the Liver Shunt and MVD Support Group on Yahoo. With a great welcoming to the group, some of our biggest worries were addressed. We shortly learned that we weren’t alone and that this diagnosis was manageable. We quickly eliminated all red meat products from his diet, fed him smaller meals more frequently, and watched him for other known symptoms. 

We had decided early on that Bloo would be neutered. Therefore the best course of action was to do the liver biopsy and neutering at the same time to limit the exposure to anesthesia.

Bloo's liver biopsy confirmed that he has mild MVD, however I was well prepared for this diagnosis and what it means. For those who find themselves in a similar situation, I recommend that you do your research and join groups of people that can relate. After an official diagnosis, the vet and I were able to sit down and openly talk about all the information I had learned and she was highly impressed. We both agreed on the appropriate treatment for Bloo going forward. He was 'officially' switched to Hills L/D and given Denamarin and Welactin. I feel blessed to have found such a wonderful group of people who love and care for our pets.

THANK YOU From the Bottom of Our Hearts!