Before I got Tyler, I must have spoken to every breeder in the northeast
because I was totally paranoid about Liver Shunt disease. I was looking for
a good breeder so I could get another Yorkie. I lost my Timmy in 1999, and
he too was a Liver Shunt dog.

I wasn't educated enough to know what a Liver Shunt was, and after seeing
many vets, neither were they. I found a breeder that lived here in NJ that I felt
I could trust, and we kept in touch on a regular basis. I saw a few different litters
she had, but didn't connect to any of the puppies. Then I got a call from her
months later, and there were two little male puppies. The female died at birth,
and so I had two males to choose from. I knew when I saw Tyler, I found my puppy.

From the first day I brought him home he started vomiting. The breeder blamed
me and said it was something I was doing. For several weeks after Tyler came to
me, he would vomit a few hours after eating. Tyler showed no signs of anything
wrong, other than the vomiting. Eight vets later, and no other signs of anything
wrong, I met a woman in my development that told me about her dog that had bladder
cancer. She told me she was going to send me to her internist and if anything was
wrong, she would find it. Well, Thank Goodness I met this woman, because this vet
turned out to be the best thing that could have ever happened for us. She suspected
a Liver Shunt, even though Tyler's signs were normal, other than the vomiting, but
she did a bile acid test anyways. His post bile was 501. We were then given an appoint-
ment with a surgeon who told us Tyler had a 50% chance of survival. After losing
my Timmy, and then finding out my 9 month old puppy had a Liver Shunt, I really
fell apart. Whatever it cost, we were willing to do to save his life. The breeder
begged me to give him back, so she could destroy him and she said she would give
me two puppies for him. Needless to say, I no longer have a relationship with this breeder.

We had the surgery within a few weeks, and Tyler almost died in recovery,
because his body was rejecting the Ameriod Constrictor used to fix the shunt. He
was in the hospital for 5 days, and we went to visit him twice a day. I got a call at
2:00 a.m. from someone at the hospital telling me to go to sleep because my prayers
were answered and Tyler would be OK. That week was one of the toughest weeks
I could remember.

Tyler came home, and did great for almost two years. Then we noticed he was
drinking and urinating everywhere. We took him back to the hospital, and his
bile acids shot way up. A kidney function test was performed and it came back
showing he had 24% use of his kidneys. I was told he had a year to live from an
emergency room Dr. that saw him. My world crumbled, and that is when someone
I helped with her Liver Shunt dog, told me of a "wellness coach" that helped her
after her dog had the surgery. I contacted this woman, and she gave me hope, and
it changed Tyler's whole life. We started doing home cooking of all organic foods,
and he takes 11 supplements a day in his food. It has been three years since we
found out about his kidneys, and now all blood work, including his bile acids, are
normal. We go for quarterly blood tests, and they continue to stay normal!

Tyler is my Special Little Angel. I have four dogs, and love them all to pieces.
But Tyler has a special place in my heart that is just for him alone. I can only
compare my love for him like the love a mother feels for a child, and the never
ending lengths you will go through to help them. There isn't a day that passes
where I take his life for granted, and I just pray that he will grow old with us.

Jayne

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