How do we treat portosystemic shunts?
The type of treatment best suited for your pet will depend on what type of liver shunt they have, as well as their age and overall health. For example, small dog breeds with congenital extrahepatic shunts usually only have one abnormal blood vessel, located outside the liver, which can be corrected through surgery.
Dogs with acquired shunts tend to have multiple abnormal blood vessels, and an this occurs due to advanced liver disease, this condition. is usually managed medically rather than surgically. Similarly, dogs with multiple microscopic congenital shunts are managed medically. Your specialist will be able to advise on the best course of action for your pet.
Non-surgical management: Although surgery is the treatment of choice for portosystemic shunts, non-surgical management – including medication and dietary changes – may be considered if your pet isn’t well enough to undergo surgery, or if surgery was unable to correct the problem. Medical management may also be used to improve your pet’s condition before their surgery.
Surgical management: If your dog is a good candidate, portosystemic shunt surgery is usually the best treatment option. The surgery aims to block the flow of blood from the abnormal vessel, allowing more of it to flow through the liver. For some intrahepatic shunts, a catheter is placed into the. shunting vessel and multiple coils are deployed to. attenuate flow of blood through the shunt. This is termed coil embolisation.