Diagnosing a Liver Shunt - An Alternative PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jeff Nesbitt   
Sunday, 15 August 2010 14:56

I had an issue with one of my imported Norfolk terriers and we decided to run a bile acid test on him. It came back high so my vet said I needed to go to a specialized vet. We decided to go to the University of Tennessee, so off I went with my dog. When I got there it was unbelievable what had to be done. The specialists were sure he had a liver shunt, which was hard to believe because he was almost 4 years old. They did two nuclear scintigraphy tests in one day that showed nothing. They were still sure he had a liver shunt so the next day they did surgery to find it. They also did liver and intestinal biopsies. In the end, after the ordeal they had put the dog through to the cost of three thousand dollars, no liver shunt.

I was talking to a breeder friend of mine soon after and mentioned what had happened. She told me to get in touch with Dr. Sharon Center at Cornell University and get her advice. My vet talked to Dr. Center and found out that Cornell had a simple blood test, which only they can run, that can be used to rule out a liver shunt, it is called a ‘Protein C Test’. If I had known about this test the dog would have not have had to suffer so unnecessarily and the ‘Protein C Test’ costs less than $100.

I hope my experience can help provide an easy, less costly alternative in diagnosing liver shunt. 

On behalf of Toni Harrold


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