The vet was certain that the ameroid constrictor had closed up. We are going to do one more test in the beginning of November. I am keeping my fingers crossed that it also will be normal. The only problem I have had has been keeping a standard poodle puppy as still as possible and my own worry. I have had many sleepless nights lying awake listening to my little baby to make sure she was alright and I think it will take a while before I feel really safe with the situation. I am so grateful that Mix had a shunt on the outside of the liver as it is quite common in larger breeds that they have shunts inside the liver. I feel so lucky that we have excellent surgeons who can perform this operation because it is really a very serious condition. But I think Mix is the living proof that dogs having a liver shunt can survive with the right kind of treatment and hopefully have a long happy life.

I am so grateful having found the Liver Shunt  and MVD Support group where I have been able to ask questions and  also read about things that never occurred to me like increasing Lactulos for Mix. And read about people in the same situation as myself; it really has helped me.  When Mix first got sick I sat by the computer looking for liver shunt but here in Sweden not many have written about it so I was really happy to find the Liver Shunt Group group .

Patricia Nordforss and Kristian Jonsson

Standard Poodle named “Mix”


Mix came to us on the 13th of June 2013 at 8 weeks old. Posh our standard poodle, 6 years old, is Mix half-sister.  Mix was the smallest puppy in the litter and she was born 3 hours later than her brothers and sisters. She was lively like the other puppies and had a very good appetite. The day we collected her she had had her veterinarian checkup and was perfectly alright.

The first thing I noticed during the first week at home was that Mix was drinking a lot of water. It was summer and it was very hot so I did not think too much about it. I also told the breeder that I did not have the same contact with Mix as I had had with Posh when she was little. But then I thought that puppies are of course different in their personality.

After about three weeks Mix began to throw up her food right after she had eaten. It only happened now and then but after a week I contacted my local vet and they did an x-ray where she had to swallow some liquid.  The vet said that they saw something and wanted us to go to an animal hospital for further examination.

Mix went through a gastroscopy and the Vet found large red spots in her stomach. We started to give her Hills special diet food for intestinal problems. By this time I had really noticed that she drank far too much and I told the vet about this. They had naturally taken all the blood test possible including liver and kidneys and urine but everything seemed alright.

A week after we had been to the animal hospital Mix became really tired, it was hard to wake her and we quickly drove to the vet hospital. It took half the day before we saw a veterinarian and I was so worried about her. Her head would just fall backwards and I could not wake her up. I had heard about Porta Cava Shunt and the first thing I wanted was for the vet to check how the liver was working.

They keep her overnight and the next day they did a ultrasound examination and when I came to collect her they had not done a Bile Acid test. They thought she was fine and the ultrasound was also fine. So we could take her home.

I was really angry and decided to go to my local vet the next day to do the Bile Acid test. Before eating she had 21 it should be no more than 10. Two hours after eating she had 250 and it should be less than 30. I was devastated. It was Friday and I had no one to talk to. On Monday I phone the vet hospital and asked them to help me. They said I should call up all the big animal hospital and do a CT and they would send all the papers.

I contacted Ultuna in Uppsala a veterinarian university teaching hospital (Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences) and they could see us on Wednesday if we could make the trip as it’s about a 2 ½ hour drive.

During the CT x-ray they called us and said that Mix had a congenital extra hepatic liver shunt, and it was very long. They wanted a surgeon to have a look at the pictures before deciding on an operation. The surgeon said there would be no problem to operate. Mix was put on medication, liver diet food, lactulose, fenemal to prevent her from getting seizures, and antibiotics as she had a urinary infection. After three week they would perform surgery.

Mix quickly became very well after starting to eat the diet food and taking the medication. She put on weight and she grew a bit. Her urinary infection would not go away so when the day came for her operation they did it while she was still taking antibiotics. Before the operation I spoke to the surgeon and she told me of the complications that could occur after surgery. There could be seizures, but Mix had been eating fenemal to prevent this, low sugar in the blood, bleedings and hypertension. I was so worried I thought I would never see Mix again.  It is lucky for me that my husband is really calm in situations like these

She was operated on Friday 30th of August at 4 ½ months old.  The operation went very well. Already at 20 minutes past 10 in the morning they called and said the operation was done. Mix stayed in the hospital until Monday. Everything was so stable she just didn’t have any complications at all.

She was just doing so well and she has continued to do so after she came home. After 10 days Mix was drinking much less water and her urinary infection was gone.  Luckily enough Mix loves her L/D food and I can use them dry for treats. After 4 weeks we took the first Bile Acid test. Before eating it was 0,6  it should  not be higher than 10. Two hours after eating it was 10, it should be no higher than 30. Her Bile Acid test was completely normal. I was so happy.