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Old 07-14-2010, 01:05 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default The Liver Shunt - Bile Acid Test Thread

I'm starting this thread so we can have one place to discuss this very important issue of our beloved Maltese breed. If the thread ends up being informative enough, I'll ask Yung or Joe to pin it for us.

Some of the posts in the other thread that is active on this topic today, but really in the wrong place, are so interesting... Maybe some should be copied and added in this thread, too.

Soooo, if you have information and opinions to share on the AMA Bile Acid Testing guidelines, Liver Shunt surgery, Protein C testing ... let's get it all here in one place.



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Old 07-14-2010, 01:16 PM   #2 (permalink)
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ok totally naive .. but what exactly does liver shunt mean?
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Old 07-14-2010, 01:21 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Finnegans liver shunt is blood vessels bi-passing his liver, so the blood doesn't get cleaned of toxins and they get carried to the brain. He is taking meds so the toxins come out in his stools untill his surgery. There are different types of shunts and liver diseases though.
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Old 07-14-2010, 01:29 PM   #4 (permalink)
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thanks for the info , it gives me some insight , aww soo scary i hope he does well in his surgery ..

so let me ask u this , there are bile test that can determine this before?
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Finnegans liver shunt is blood vessels bi-passing his liver, so the blood doesn't get cleaned of toxins and they get carried to the brain. He is taking meds so the toxins come out in his stools untill his surgery. There are different types of shunts and liver diseases though.
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Old 07-14-2010, 01:31 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Oh Sher, I'm so sorry, I had started a new thread as well on this topic. You can delete mine, and I will paste what I wrote on here. Thanks Sher. (I posted mine under everything else Maltese related, but yours is a much better place) Sorry for the confusion.

Here were my questions/comments:

I am sure there are countless threads here on this topic, so I hope it's okay to start a new one with some questions.

I never heard of liver shunt or bile acid testing until being a member of SM and still do not know much about it.

When I took Mia and Leo in for one of their early visits, I told my vet I wanted a bile acid test done. She looked so concerened and asked me WHY??? Are they showing any symptoms? She said they do not appear to be candidates for the testing and then we did have a discussion on this topic in reference to Mia and Leo. She felt the testing for them was unneccesary. I love my vet dearly and trusted and still trust her call on that.

Anyway, my real questions/thoughts on this topic are:

1) If in the future, I would adopt (purchase) a pup from a True breeder, who has been breeding for years, knows their lines inside/out, upside down, I would possibly feel comfortable if they said no they do not test, as they know their lines. But would it be wise for me to offer to pay for the test anyway and what if they decline? I wouldn't think they would, but just wondering.

2) If a breeder with a smaller program does not bile test for the same reasons listed above, do I still ask for a bile acid test and what if they decline? I also wouldn't think they would, but I would offer to pay for it.

To be very honest, I am quite shy when speaking or asking questions of breeders, I admit, I sometimes feel like I'm probing, and I know I shouldn't feel that way, nor have I ever been made to feel that way, it's just my nature but once the conversation continues then I get a little more comfortable. The only thing I am not shy about, is that the True breeder, loves and completely cares and is attentive to every fur-baby in their care, the boys, the girls and the pups, all of them. That is my very first heartfelt requirement.

After reading recently on here about liver shunt, I think I would not want to adopt (purchase) a pup without having the testing done. Is that on the right track?

I am so not ready to add a new addition, although I would love to, but I have my special two and am still caring for my MIL, but who knows what the future holds and also I wish to learn more about this topic, in case I am ever in a position to help or advise someone else.

Thanks so much for taking the time to read this and for sharing your knowledge, it is much appreciated.
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Old 07-14-2010, 01:36 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k/c mom View Post
I'm starting this thread so we can have one place to discuss this very important issue of our beloved Maltese breed. If the thread ends up being informative enough, I'll ask Yung or Joe to pin it for us.

Some of the posts in the other thread that is active on this topic today, but really in the wrong place, are so interesting... Maybe some should be copied and added in this thread, too.

Soooo, if you have information and opinions to share on the AMA Bile Acid Testing guidelines, Liver Shunt surgery, Protein C testing ... let's get it all here in one place.

I hate to lose all the information, links and opinions that were already shared in the other thread. I think to try to copy and paste posts into this thread would not only be a lot of work, we would also loose the continuity and chronologically of the previous discussion.



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Old 07-14-2010, 01:59 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I know you are talking about maltese, but it's just as important to have yorkies tested. I'm not positive, but I believe they are even more supseptable to liver problems.

Before I got Ava I had found a gorgeous little yorkie girl, she was 6 months old and 2 1/2 lbs, it wasn't the size as much as her sheer cuteness that attracted me. Anyway, I paid the breeder's vet to do a bile acid test as the breeder didn't think it was necessary. The numbers came back high enough that she would most likely have MVD. Not as bad as a shunt, and a special diet and supplements can keep their health in check. I passed on this pup and saved myself a ton of money having to buy food different from my other dogs.

The liver shunt operation is a big deal. Ask Kodie's mom - Kodie had it done. And my friend Elaine's Kodie (a yorkie) had it done also - he still has seizures now and then...and it's been about 5 years now.
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Old 07-14-2010, 02:00 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by allheart View Post
Oh Sher, I'm so sorry, I had started a new thread as well on this topic. You can delete mine, and I will paste what I wrote on here. Thanks Sher. (I posted mine under everything else Maltese related, but yours is a much better place) Sorry for the confusion.

Here were my questions/comments:

I am sure there are countless threads here on this topic, so I hope it's okay to start a new one with some questions.

I never heard of liver shunt or bile acid testing until being a member of SM and still do not know much about it.

When I took Mia and Leo in for one of their early visits, I told my vet I wanted a bile acid test done. She looked so concerened and asked me WHY??? Are they showing any symptoms? She said they do not appear to be candidates for the testing and then we did have a discussion on this topic in reference to Mia and Leo. She felt the testing for them was unneccesary. I love my vet dearly and trusted and still trust her call on that.

Anyway, my real questions/thoughts on this topic are:

1) If in the future, I would adopt (purchase) a pup from a True breeder, who has been breeding for years, knows their lines inside/out, upside down, I would possibly feel comfortable if they said no they do not test, as they know their lines. But would it be wise for me to offer to pay for the test anyway and what if they decline? I wouldn't think they would, but just wondering.

2) If a breeder with a smaller program does not bile test for the same reasons listed above, do I still ask for a bile acid test and what if they decline? I also wouldn't think they would, but I would offer to pay for it.

To be very honest, I am quite shy when speaking or asking questions of breeders, I admit, I sometimes feel like I'm probing, and I know I shouldn't feel that way, nor have I ever been made to feel that way, it's just my nature but once the conversation continues then I get a little more comfortable. The only thing I am not shy about, is that the True breeder, loves and completely cares and is attentive to every fur-baby in their care, the boys, the girls and the pups, all of them. That is my very first heartfelt requirement.

After reading recently on here about liver shunt, I think I would not want to adopt (purchase) a pup without having the testing done. Is that on the right track?

I am so not ready to add a new addition, although I would love to, but I have my special two and am still caring for my MIL, but who knows what the future holds and also I wish to learn more about this topic, in case I am ever in a position to help or advise someone else.

Thanks so much for taking the time to read this and for sharing your knowledge, it is much appreciated.
I posted this in the other thread (Christine's), but if it is to be deleted, I will repost it here:
I am going to disagree with your vet. My own vets had a similar reaction. My friendships with knowledgeable people, and my participation in this forum are the reason I know about bile acid tests at all. Most General Practice vets do not know a lot about the test either. I know that the test I had done most recently, they had to look up the procedures in the books. (And here again is the reason that the information is not widely shared among breeders. Many of them rely on their own vets for their recommendations and those vets do not as a routine suggest BA testing).

The truth is you do not need to test Mia and Leo. But the recommendation is to get it done to establish a baseline.

The way I worded it with my vets is that it is a problem in the breed and I am following recommendations.

As for buying from an Ethical Breeder, I think whether they test or not, they should be willing to answer your questions about BA to the extent of their ability. You and the breeder can agree to either have the test done before you take the pups home or soon after (at that 16 week age).

I agree with you that it can be difficult to broach this subject, but I think you will find that an Ethical breeder's response should make you feel glad you asked. I know when I spoke with the two breeders I worked with most recently, I felt that awkwardness when I asked questions about LS and GME and other health issues. I did not want to sound like I was presuming their dogs were anything other than perfect healthy pups; however, the responses they gave me when we talked reassured me. I felt better about both breeders for having made that step forward with them and seeing how they responded to my questions.
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Old 07-14-2010, 02:04 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The A Team View Post
I know you are talking about maltese, but it's just as important to have yorkies tested. I'm not positive, but I believe they are even more supseptable to liver problems.

Before I got Ava I had found a gorgeous little yorkie girl, she was 6 months old and 2 1/2 lbs, it wasn't the size as much as her sheer cuteness that attracted me. Anyway, I paid the breeder's vet to do a bile acid test as the breeder didn't think it was necessary. The numbers came back high enough that she would most likely have MVD. Not as bad as a shunt, and a special diet and supplements can keep their health in check. I passed on this pup and saved myself a ton of money having to buy food different from my other dogs.

The liver shunt operation is a big deal. Ask Kodie's mom - Kodie had it done. And my friend Elaine's Kodie (a yorkie) had it done also - he still has seizures now and then...and it's been about 5 years now.
This of course is your decision, and a personal one, but this is one thing that may be discouraging some breeders from testing. If pet owners react to MVD (a common problem in the breed 75-80% affected) in this way then it makes not knowing make more sense to some.

I am not suggesting that you did this, but many buyers will learn of a result like this and move on to another breeder who does not test at all to purchase their pup. So they pass on the breeder who knows and discloses and move to a breeder who does not test and does not know.

The fact is that special diets are not required for all MVD dogs. Most live completely normal lives and never get sick from anything related to their liver.
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Old 07-14-2010, 02:13 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by allheart View Post
Oh Sher, I'm so sorry, I had started a new thread as well on this topic. You can delete mine, and I will paste what I wrote on here. Thanks Sher. (I posted mine under everything else Maltese related, but yours is a much better place) Sorry for the confusion.

Here were my questions/comments:

I am sure there are countless threads here on this topic, so I hope it's okay to start a new one with some questions.

I never heard of liver shunt or bile acid testing until being a member of SM and still do not know much about it.

When I took Mia and Leo in for one of their early visits, I told my vet I wanted a bile acid test done. She looked so concerened and asked me WHY??? Are they showing any symptoms? She said they do not appear to be candidates for the testing and then we did have a discussion on this topic in reference to Mia and Leo. She felt the testing for them was unneccesary. I love my vet dearly and trusted and still trust her call on that.

Anyway, my real questions/thoughts on this topic are:

1) If in the future, I would adopt (purchase) a pup from a True breeder, who has been breeding for years, knows their lines inside/out, upside down, I would possibly feel comfortable if they said no they do not test, as they know their lines. But would it be wise for me to offer to pay for the test anyway and what if they decline? I wouldn't think they would, but just wondering.
Christine, I would never buy a Malt without the test .. now that I know about it! I got Claire from the type of breeder you describe in #1 and she paid for the Bile Acid test on Claire. I would have been glad to pay and would do so if the breeder didn't want to.



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