Liver Shunts In PuppiesLiver Shunts In Puppies

If you are thinking about adopting a puppy, you should be aware of some of the conditions that affect them. There are some conditions that are specifically geared towards young puppies rather than older dogs, and the phenomenon is known as a liver shunt. If you are in a place where you are thinking about adopting a puppy, make sure that you understand what a liver shunt is and how it might affect the way that he grows and develops. To fully understand a liver shunt, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind.

When you are looking at a liver shunt, you will find that you need to understand how the puppy develops in his mother's body. First, remember that the fetus is connected to its mother's circulatory system through the placenta, the artery and the umbilical cord. While the cells cannot move to the mother's bloodstream, the liquid portion of the fetus's blood cannot. Because of this set up, the mother's liver is going to be performing most of the necessary waste disposal for the fetus, because the fetus's liver is not going to be to be up to handling it. The fetal liver is still in the process of developing and cannot handle most of the functions that it will need to.

Because the fetus's liver is not yet full developed, the fetus will have blood vessels that move around the developing liver, instead of going through the liver as it would when the fetus becomes a fully formed puppy. Because the liver cannot handle the flow of blood, this is something that is important. When the puppy is born, the things connecting the mother to the baby are severed and will not work any more; essentially, this makes the puppy responsible for its own functionality.

When the puppy is born, the blood vessels within in the fetus that allowed the fetus to bypass the liver need to close, rerouting the blood to the liver. However, on the other hand, if the blood vessels do not close, the blood will continue to be shunted around the liver, leading to the name of this condition. When this happens, the blood that travels through those blood vessels are not going to get adequately filtered as the mother's liver is no longer handling it. In some cases, liver shunts are very large, but on the other hand, they might also be partially closed; the extent of the liver shunt depends on how open the blood vessels are.

It is important to remember that liver shunts, no matter how mild or severe they are, are considered live threatening. In cases where the liver shunts are severe, it can be noticed when the puppy is a few years of age, while in cases where it is comparatively mild, it might not be noticed until the puppy is a year old. In most cases, surgery is used to close the shunts, though alternations of diet and an administration of medication can also help. Restricting the protein your dog's diet can reduce the production of waste in the blood and in mild cases, can an effective treatment.

Take some time and make sure that you understand this condition and what it might mean to your puppy!
by Kelly Marshall
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This article was written by Kelly Marshall of Oh My Dog Supplies - your online dog supplies site for cute dog collars.
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