After months of trying to find a food that would not cause our little puppy to get sick we found out that Jack has a portosystemic shunt, which is also known as a liver shunt. What we thought was a sensitive stomach issue turned out to be something much more complicated. After multiple visits to our local vet and one visits to the Mississippi State Veterinary School it was confirmed that Jack did have a portosystemic shunt. Miniature Schnauzers are one of a few breeds that are more likely to have a liver shunt. Approximately 1% of all Miniature Schnauzers have this condition.
So, what exactly is a portosystemic shunt? A portosystemic shunt is an abnormal vascular connection between the hepatic portal vein (the blood vessel that connects the gastrointestinal tract with the liver) and the systemic circulation Such anomalies cause blood in the gastrointestinal track to be diverted past the liver, thereby limiting the liver's vital functions in metabolism and detoxification of compounds and the body's defenses against intestinally derived pathogens. This effectively exposes the body to toxic by-products of digestion (toxins and bacteria) and mimics the effects of liver failure. http://www.vetsurgerycentral.com/pss.htm
The picture give a clear image as to what the shut looks like.
This morning my dad took Jack to the Mississippi State University Veterinary School to start the process of correct his liver shunt. He will have a CT scan today. This will help the surgeons know exactly where the shunt is. It will also give them a better look as to how the surgery will go. Tomorrow Tuesday December 15th at 9:00am the surgery will take place to close off the shunt. Justin and I are glad to know that we found the cause of Jack sickness and that there is a solution.