I have been involved with rescuing Yorkies for over 5 years. I was very aware of Liver Shunt
and the prevalence of it in my beloved breed yet I had not fostered one until Paisley...
   I had received a desperate email from a woman who had a very sick little Yorkie she had
bought through an on line ad. She had not done much research on the breed and was merely
shopping price. The backyard breeder was close by and so after seeing the adorable little pup in a
very well kept home she saw no reason to question the health or guarantee on the pup
and off she went with the little package.

That was 2/2/05. The Yorkie was named Bella and all seemed fine for the first two weeks. Then Bella
started having seizures so they brought her to the vet who suggested a Bile Acids test.
The result was pre 50.7 and post 142.4 The woman was told that Bella most likely had a shunt
and that surgery was going to be $3000-$4000.

She was devastated...her baby just had to live but she just didn't have the funds to give her that chance.
After doing some research and finding me at Yorkies Inc, on 1/19/06 exactly 4 months after Bella was born,
with both myself and the owner crying she relinquished little Bella to me to get the care and surgery Bella needed.

The next day Bella went to my local vet's office to have an ultrasound which
luckily showed one single Extra Hepatic Shunt. We reviewed options to where to go for the surgery
as we knew it was needed ASAP... Bella was placed on a low protein diet and Lactulose but still having
an occasional episode. We were given the name of Cape Cod Veterinary Specialist in Buzzards Bay, MA.
I brought Bella there and was seen by Dr. Faulkner Besancon; who not only specialized in the surgery using
the Ameroid Constrictor, but also was very familiar with anesthesia on small animals. I felt very comfortable
with him. Because she was having seizures he put her on Potassium Bromide and scheduled surgery
for a few weeks so he could get the seizures under control and he also wanted her to gain a bit
of weight and get her ALT level down with an antibiotic. With the seizures completely stopped and
her tiny body with a little more weight on Bella went into surgery on 2/15/06. We bit our nails until
we received the call that she was out and the surgery at this point was a success.

    We visited her daily...it was about a 45 minute drive and my husband who works on the Cape
also stopped almost daily to see her before heading home. We have fostered for years and it's hard
not to get attached to any of the dogs that come through the doors and Bella was no exception.
Her whimpering broke our hearts... her incision so severe...the tubes and e-collar all bigger than she was.
All we wanted is for her to make it and survive and run and play. When we picked her up and brought
her home she was immediately greeted by the other pups in the house. They seemed to know she needed
attention and wagged their tails and kissed her. She perked up and I could see she wanted nothing more than
to be with them and play. It was a relief to see her with so much spunk...sadly she still had to be kept
quiet for a couple weeks. In the days that passed her e-collar was removed, the Potassium Bromide was
stopped and the staples came out. She was starting to blossom and run with the other Yorkies.

We knew she was doing so well and that soon she would have her Bile Acids retested. If all went
well she would be able to be adopted as all the other rescued pups have done in the past. Neither my
husband or I ever talked  to each other about possibly keeping her. After weeks turned into months of
her being here SHE certainly thought she was staying and our pups were loving the puppy attitude she had
brought back from after her surgery! She pretty much had taken over....snuggling in next to the old one,
stealing the toy from the bratty one and getting the lazy one to play. Yes we hadn't told her she would have
to look for another place to rule. And after a long talk across the table from each other discussing who
we would trust and how we could possibly place her in a strangers car and watch her drive away...

With tears flowing just thinking about it we decided we just couldn't do it...."Bella" would become "Paisley",
a name I had picked long ago and saved for my very first girl furbaby, and stay where we felt she belonged....

Since Bella's/Paisley's surgery her Bile Acids have been retested and they have returned
to the normal range and she continues to do well

"Fate brought her here to us; Here to stay! ... Our sweet little Liver Shunt girl." 

Cathie Cyr
Yorkies Inc.

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