Pepe - Liver Shunt Case


Pepe presented at 2 years old as a particularly small rescue Chihuahua with some unusual behaviour. When Pepe ate high protein meals like chicken or beef he developed serious neurological problems such as swaying and being unaware of his surroundings (see video).

Blood tests and imaging revealed that Pepe had a liver shunt. This means his blood by-passes his liver rather than filtering through it. The liver is responsible for removing toxins like ammonia from the blood.

If the blood does not pass through it the body accumulates serious toxins in the blood which can affect the brain.The liver is responsible for removing toxins like ammonia from the blood. If the blood does not pass through it the body accumulates serious toxins in the blood which can affect the brain.

Usually these are diagnosed at a younger age, but Pepe’s long term history was unknown.

In Pepe’s case he did not require surgery for his condition. Pepe is on long term medication to decrease the amount of ammonia that he absorbs from his food and is on a special low protein diet.

He now lives a very normal life with his new Chihuahua friend Dolly.


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