Freddie is a 6 month old pug who was seen in late July through our emergency service. At that time it was reported that he had vomited and became wobbly about 15 minutes after eating. Freddie was hospitalized overnight on intravenous fluids and blood work was sent to the lab. Along with routine blood work a bile acids test, which tests for liver function, was also performed. A couple days later the test was returned and the values were markedly abnormal. It was highly suspected that Freddie had a condition known as a portosystemic shunt.

Patients with portosystemic shunts, have a vessel or potentially multiple vessels that are bypassing the liver. Rather than taking blood to the liver to be detoxified, they go past the liver either partially or completely. Without the liver detoxifying the blood, patients can experience neurologic symptoms of various severities.

Freddie was referred to our internal medicine service for additional diagnostics. An abdominal ultrasound was performed which confirmed the presence of a shunting vessel outside the liver. A collaborative effort was made with the Animal Surgical Clinic of Seattle. ASCS was able to successfully surgically place a device that would slowly close the shunting vessel and direct Freddie’s blood supply through the liver. Our ICU nurses closely monitored Freddie post operatively. His surgery was a success. Freddie was discharged from the hospital two days later with no surgical or post-operative complications.

Today Freddie is a happier, spunkier and more playful puppy. His family is very happy with the care he has received and looks forward to a long lifetime together.