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Liver Shunt Operation
by CMS
Liver Shunt OperationMy little Maltese underwent a Liver Shunt operation on Tuesday, which according to the surgeon was a success (thank goodness). However, he was meant to return home on Friday afternoon but unfortunately in the morning he took a bad turn and has been kept for a few more days. Has anybody been through this ordeal, who could offer good news ... it has now been three weeks and he still not home and I'm going mad!


CMS, I haven't had this problem ....just wanted to let you know Buster and I are thinking of you and wish you all the luck in the world...Licks and wags to you and your little guy from Buster
Libby & Buster

CMS: No sorry I can't offer any advise, but we will say a prayer for your baby. Please keep us informed of his progress. Licks and tail wags from KoKo and Shayna
I will say a prayer for your little one. I hope everything goes well. I have done extensive research on this disese, because 3 years ago when I got our first maltese puppy at 8weeks old, he was never really ok, he was very lathargic for a new puppy, after several tests he was found to have a liver shunt problem. He was too sick and too little to have the surgery, he died within 3 weeks. In my effort to find out all I could about this disese, while he was sick, I did find that most of the surgerys are indeed successfull. How old is your little baby? I am very interested in knowing since I have found most maltese who have had this problem are usually very young, under 6months old.

Please keep us informed on your babys condition, I am glad your little guy did get the surgery, and again I really wish you and your little boy a long happy healthy life together, and I hope he is home with you soon!
Diana Mayers

Dear CMS, I haven't been through this ordeal, nor do I have anything to add except my thoughts and prayers. What's your baby's name? If you go to the archives, I'm sure you'll find more info there. Good luck and hopefully your baby will be home soon.
I'm so sorry. I've never had a dog with this problem, but one of the puppies at the shelter I volunteered at had the surgery (some local people and vets were wonderful and we received many donations to save this little fellows life). His was successful too, and it was a long recovery, but he did do OK afterwards and was adopted by a loving older couple. Last I heard of him (about 6 months after the surgery), he was doing fine, and just had to be kept on a special diet. I hope your little one is home soon!
Dear CMS, I am the proud owner of three female maltese dogs. Coco, Zsa Zsa and GiGi. Coco is 7 yrs. and the other two are 6yrs. Five years ago Zsa Zsa underwent liver shunt surgery at the Red Bank Vet Center in N.J. Dr. Thomas Savelli performed the surgery and today Zsa Zsa is 8llbs two more than the other two girls. She is very active in the house and will eat anything you give her. She can not jump up on the bed like the other two so my wife and pick her up when she barks to come up.,also she is afraid to jump off the bed so we give her a little push in the butt to get her started. Zsa Zsa was at the Center about one week and Dr. Savelli even took her home with him the night after the surgery to make sure that she was alright. I was told by my own vet to put Zsa Zsa to sleep, because she was very sick and that the surgery would be very expansive. After going some research I found out that this disease is common to maltese and yorkies and that Dr. Savelli wrote papers in journals on this subject. He saved Zsa Zsa's life and I am sure hundreds of others. May God Bless this truly amazing man. Hope all goes well with little one I am sure it will.. JVS

Well, my little man is home safe and sound and he is like a little lamb prancing around again. He is still on medication for another couple of weeks, stitches come out Monday and the shunt should close over completely within 8 weeks. He is on a low-protein diet which he loves - who wouldn't chicken breast char-grilled with rice and cottage cheese! The things we do and go through for these little fluffballs...and we wouldn't have it any other way.

Diana, Bailee is 15 months old and it took nearly two weeks for the vet to work out what it actually was, he had several conditions happening at the same time which was confusing the doctors. The shunt was nearly 1cm and it did not show on the ultrasound test even though they were suspect following several amonia tests. I have information on liver shunts, I would be happy to fax you my email address is: bailee@syd.dragon.net.au Have you purchased another Maltese since your incident 3 years old, because when Bailee is completely back to his normal cheeky self, I would like to get him a little sister (a playmate for him and back-up for me!!). I have been ringing around to breeders (I live in Australia) and out of 10- I called only one would discuss liver shunts openly. All the rest could not put the phone down quick enough. I felt I was asking an extremely personal and rude question! I just could not possibly go through this ever again - it has been absolute torture for 3 weeks. Have you experienced this or is it just me (which is rather possible at the moment). Thank you for all your kind words and thoughts.

CMS, so glad your Bailee is home and doing well.....Buster sends licks and wags to Bailee...

I'm so glad Bailee is home! I would say the breeders who are willing to discuss the possible health problems the ones you want to talk to, although it could be that the others are just hesitant to discuss it over the phone with people they haven't met. Maybe it's better to talk to them in person. You have plenty of time to find one while Bailee is recovering. Best of luck to you both!

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