I have wanted a pug for as long as I can remember. My husband Paul and I talked about it ever since we got married in 2006. On August 2, 2007, Paul got a local buy/sell paper and looked up pugs puppies for sale just out of curiosity and found some about an hour away from us. We got a fawn female Sophie, weighed just a pound, from backyard breeder.
         I fell in love with Sophie immediately.  

We brought her home and the next morning, she had two seizures. After all the tests the vet determined she was eaten up with worms which caused the seizure. A couple weeks later she started throwing up, hiding in strange places, and just acting sick. She reminded us of a dog that was looking for a place to die.

After this episode she was pretty much normal until around January 2008. She started pacing. She would pace for hours on end lying in strange spots like she was trying to get comfortable. I would sit up with her at night and just cry because I knew something was wrong, just didnít know what and I felt helpless.  

In October 2009, at 4 am one morning, she had a seizure, 10 minutes later another, and 15 minutes later, another. I rushed her to the vet. She had one elevated liver enzyme. They couldnít really find anything wrong with her. Two weeks later, same episode, but much worse. We were referred to Auburn University.

  

A few days later we arrived at AU and she had EVERY test in the world done. She had an MRI (head and neck), CT scan, spinal tap, blood work,
x-rays, everything. She underwent a great deal of anesthesia.  This was all due to the anesthesia days before. All tests were inconclusive, except for one liver enzyme being elevated. We brought her home on Saturday morning. Saturday night she paced for 12 hours. By Monday morning she was unresponsive and limp. I rushed her to the vet. By the time we got there she was in a coma. The vet didn't expect her to make it through the night when she was in a coma.  She was lifeless; they hooked her up to IV fluids immediately and contacted AU.
     The worst thing was
                            NO ONE KNEW WHAT WAS WRONG!

Thursday I was back at Auburn for more tests. She had one more smaller seizure in the car on the way down. I canít remember what all tests they did that day, but the last one they did was a full body MRI. This was the first mention of checking for something going on with the liver. I got a phone call at the hotel after the test and was told; indeed she had a liver shunt. I had never heard of it before and knew nothing about it. She was put on lactulose for good and neomycin for 30 days. Also, she was switched to Hillís L/D.  It took her a few days to get back to normal but she did act like she was feeling better. A week later, she had the worst seizure yet, going blind temporarily, but it seems like it took about a week for her vision to return and for her to be her normal self.

Ever since the Keppra, lactulose, and L/D, Sophie has had the best months of her life. She is finally happy, feeling good, resting well and playing even better. I started researching as much as I could about liver shunts and found this page, which led me to the Yahoo Liver Shunt and MVD support group. It has been a God-send. I read so many success stories and at the advice of several group members, I started thinking about UT for the surgery.

On March 18, 2010, I took Sophie to UT for a consult. They were able to use the MRI from Auburn to determine that yes; there was an extra-hepatic liver shunt. The next day she had surgery. She surprised them at coming out of anesthesia so fast and being bright and alert. We brought her home on March 21st. It took about 5 days for her appetite to return, but it is full swing now! Sheís back to being a little piggy pug. She is recovering so well! I canít rave enough about the staff at UT! They spent so much time with me, patiently answering every question I could think of before and after the surgery. Her incision looks great as well. She doesnít even know anything happened. She is still on her meds and we are waiting to do her bile acid tests in June. Sophie has a long happy life ahead of her I just know it. Thanks so much for the information and support from the group. Thank God we found you!