Four-year-old Henry was referred to the multidisciplinary team at Linnaeus-owned Willows Veterinary Centre and Referral Service in Solihull after his concerned owners reported his lack of energy and general lethargy, including not even being able to go out for his usual daily walks.
Mark Dunning, head of internal medicine at Willows and an RCVS and European specialist in small animal internal medicine, first saw Henry and found a shunting vessel on an abdominal ultrasound scan which had been performed by the specialist-led imaging team at Willows.
Following the discovery, Henry was then seen by Will Robinson, RCVS and European specialist in small animal surgery, for management of the portosystemic shunt, a condition in which an abnormal blood vessel allows blood to bypass, or shunt, around the liver.
Will said: “A liver shunt occurs when an abnormal connection exists between the portal system, which drains the intestines and some other abdominal organs, and the vena cava or another major vein. These conditions can be life-limiting for those dogs affected and, as seen with Henry, can have a severe effect on their day-to-day capabilities.
“Evidence supports that dogs have more of a normal life expectancy with surgical management, compared with medical management, so his owners elected to proceed with surgery.”
Henry was anaesthetised for his surgery by the specialist-led anaesthesia team at Willows and taken to theatre, where Will carried out surgery to locate the abnormal vessel which was then closed with a permanent suture.
Will concluded: “The surgery was successful and Henry recovered well from his procedure.
“We are pleased to report that he is doing really well at home, is off all medications and his owner’s report he is almost like a puppy again!”
Willows offers specialist services in anaesthesia and analgesia, cardiology, clinical nutrition, dermatology, diagnostic imaging, emergency and critical care, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, orthopaedics, soft tissue surgery and spinal surgery.