What a Terrible Day!
Not only are we suffering from the puppy fighting blues, but we got some bad news from the vet.
Alvin's blood work for his neutering surgery was high in enzymes that indicate a congenital condition called liver shunt. In simple terms, his liver may not be getting an adequate blood supply and toxins are building up in his blood. For those who need a thorough explanation of liver shunt, click here.
The emotional impact is close to that of a parent finding out his child is seriously ill. We are all upset by the news - how is it possible that such a handome, loving animal might have been given a death sentence at conception?
Alvin will get another blood test to check the results of the first one. There are three scenarios:
1) The first blood test results were incorrect.
2) The liver shunt condition is present and an ultrasound indicates surgery is possible (85% successful).
3) The liver shunt condition is present and an ultrasound indicates surgery would not correct the condition. Under this scenario, the dog can be treated with medications and diet, but the prognosis is not good.
How does this happen? Chances are a breeder who produces pups with this condition has had very sick puppies and very upset owners. How could you give a puppy life knowing that he will be certain to suffer from a malfunctioning liver and maybe die in a year or less?
Note: See forum discussion of this topic here: http://www.chazhound.com/forums/t103821/