In most cases, a liver shunt is caused by a birth defect called congenital portosystemic shunt. The shunt allows blood to bypass, or shunt, around the liver resulting in poor growth, weight loss, and neurologic signs such as seizures.
Diagnosis of a shunt may require multiple blood tests, x-rays, ultrasound, CT scan and/or advanced imaging studies.
Surgery provides the best chance for a healthy life in most dogs. Our board certified surgeon will place a constrictor than slowly closes the shunt over a few weeks. Many dogs are clinically normal within four to eight weeks post surgery, although a small percentage of dogs will develop multiple acquired shunts and must be managed with special diet and medication for life.
Laser Surgery - The Best for your Pet
Canyon Hills Animal Hospital and Specialty Center is committed to providing state-of-the-art veterinary care. We are one of the first facilities in our area to offer the benefits of laser surgery for your pet. The Carbon Dioxide Laser produces an invisible beam of light, which heats and vaporizes tissue almost instantaneously without any physical contact. This is done so precisely that the normal surrounding tissues are hardly affected. Pet surgery is made gentler with laser surgery.
The laser does not tear, crush or bruise tissue due to the lack of physical contact. It is able to seal nerve endings and small blood vessels as it "cuts." The combined effect of laser surgery provides the following benefits:
- less pain
- less bleeding
- less swelling
- reduced risk of infection
- faster recovery
One of the most remarkable advantages of laser surgery is the ability to perform a Laser Declaw. This new technique is much more humane than the traditional method of declawing as it dramatically decreases the pain involved. Cats return to normal activity soon after the procedure.