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Hi Ronnie woke today and very sleepy and walking with limp not himself and off food.Took to emergency vet full check,said could be liver shunt have to have full blood test and xray Tuesday(after bank hols)

Has anyone else suffered with this?we only had him 1 week should we contact breeder?

All started when we changed his diet to Orijen puppy from pedigree puppy last Monday?vet said high protein could be causing toxins?He now on boiled chicken and rice.We have the KC 4weeks free insurance that the breeder gave us,anyone know if this will cover him if he needs surgery?

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Hi Paul,

How very worrying for you, I hope you get a diagnosis quickly and your pup can be treated. If I were you I'd contact the breeder, they may be able to help.

All the best



Thanks Maggie

When you extended your insurance what did you tell them,i take it they check with your vets.

Hello Paul,I am sorry that Ronnie has a liver shunt and Joan and I have,sadly, experienced this with one of our setters.

George at six months old was very quiet and when he went for a walk would lie down and appear to be asleep.His puppy fur did not go, he was off his food and there was something obviously very wrong with him.Our vet didn't diagnose his Porta Cava Liver shunt straight away but within three days we were at  the animal hospital at Newmarket.There they ran tests and diagnosed his shunt,He was immediately booked in for an operation where it was hoped the fault could be rectified.We were very distressed as the prognosis was not good and George was a really wonderful dog.We had to leave him there.

He was operated on and it was not successful,we were very sad but it was thought that he might survive and be able to come home.It was very touch and go and those few days were a nightmare.Eventually we were able to collect him and he was overjoyed to see us but far from well.We had a great deal of advice from the animal hospital on his care and that he wouldn't live very long.He was only allowed to eat a very small amount of protein and the rest had to be carbohydrates ,we must have cooked tons of pasta for him throughout his short life.He liked pasta and it worked because he lived a happy life  for another two years.If he was weak we would give him glucose and he had to have lactulose to move the food through his gut quickly.He got to know the vet's really well and when he was taken ill ,which he was at times,I would take him to the vet no matter what the time of day or night (that was in the days when your own vet was on call!) often late at night.The nurse who lived over the surgery would let us in and George would take himself straight to the consulting room.For some odd reason unknown to me or the vet an antibiotic injection always got him well again but there really were no indications of an infection, George loved cream cakes and the vet agreed that he could have one cake a day.The bakery staff in Sainsbury's used to keep a cake, especially for him, every day.I don't think it made him anything but happy.

You have a difficult road ahead if you decide that that is the way to go.but ,in our case,it was worth it and even now, 20 years later, people still stop and talk to me about George and my vets that are still there remember him with a fondness rarely seen.

I hope that you will be able to treat Ronnie but stop giving him protein now until you know the outcome.

If you wish to talk to me I am happy to do so.

Thinking of you and Ronnie,

Howard and Joan

 PS You must tell the breeder.George was one of a litter of twelve and he was the only one with a shunt.We knew the Grandparents and the mother and they were all healthy.

I would notify the KC insurance straight away and ask their advice.I think it is run by Pet Plan.We were insured with the Co-op and they argued about it being a congenital fault and paid a very small amount of his bills.


I have just looked at the Kennel Club's insurance site and it says:

"Cover includes hereditary and congenital conditions"

So you are covered and,as Maggie says, you must extend your policy.I am afraid that the KC is not the cheapest insurance around but I doubt any other Insurance Company will now cover Ronnie.

I am just hoping that the vet's diagnosis proves to be wrong!

Thanks so do we

Thanks Howard and Joan

Did the blood test diagnose it or was an Xray also needed?Can this be undertaken at our local vets or do you need to go to a specialist?

So sorry George didn't recover.

Thinking of you Paul and your little Ronnie. Will keep you in our thoughts and prsyers. Take care Dianne and Irish x


Oh no. Not another poorly Setter :-(

My friends Irish Setter was diagnosed with this last year and he was very poorly for quite some time. He eventually went to the top specialist in this country at the Royal Vet College who carried out a successful operation.  It really depends upon the type of shunt as to how things are managed. My friends dog is doing very well indeed now.  I hope you get some answers very soon and get some very good help and support with your puppy.  Yes you should tell the breeder. Indeed you should. I hope whoever it is gives you their full help and support.

I have been informed ,by a very knowledgeable person, that: If clinical signs are not controlled with a protein-restricted diet and lactulose, veterinarians will often prescribe antibiotics to reduce the number of toxin-producing bacteria in the intestines.
After thinking hard about your situation I wonder if the vet is being premature in his diagnosis,I do hope so
.In our case George did not suffer from lameness he was lethargic but a lot of other things were wrong as well.Please let us know how things progress.

Thanks i will




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