Bourbon's Liver Shunt

Updated: Nov 17, 2021

Bourbon had a history of seizures and was diagnosed with a portosystemic shunt (liver shunt). This means the blood bypasses the liver instead of being sent through it. Liver shunts are often congenital abnormalities.

When blood isn't sent through the liver, it doesn't get detoxified and toxic compounds build up in the system. This leads to many clinical signs, such as seizures and eventually death.

SPCA Florida's Medical Team performed a specialized imaging procedure (a mesenteric portogram) which helped identify the shunting vessel and its location. This information helped Dr Dorian Lara perform surgery to attenuate the shunt.

It took about eight weeks before we knew for sure that the procedure was a success. On her recheck, her bile acids (a liver function test) were normal. This means the liver shunt was completely closed and she will go on to live a full and normal life.

Here she is the day after her surgery.