kitten with liver shunt
Judy

Newington, CT

#41 Feb 28, 2013
I had a cat with a liver stunt. He was operated on 7 months and is doing well. Since then he has developed food allergies and is now on special diet of dry food. I did try a raw diet but it didn't help. He also has colitis which my vet is treating. Seems like the liver stunt left him with all kinds of problems that I am now dealing with. I would like to know if anyone else had a operated on and if they are having similar problems.
Mingling

Williamsburg, VA

#42 May 29, 2013
One should never tell another to be there when a beloved animal is euthanized. I have seen owners bawling their eyes out and tha only upsets an animal. Your animal knows you love him or her and will not be alone as it crosses the bridge. No one should be made to feel guilty because you could not stay during the whole ordeal. If one wants to it is great but this decision is difficult enough without people laying guilt.
minicoopergal wrote:
when you have to put him down, just be with him the whole time.. do not let him be by himself as he transfers over the rainbow bridge.
God will be waiting there for him and he will not hurt anymore..
My prayers will go out to you and your precious cat... God be with you
Bonnie

Houston, TX

#43 Jun 6, 2013
My cat has a liver shunt and is doing just fine on meds. She eats a cat food called L/D (liver diet) which has limited protein. This allows her to take less medication than she otherwise would. She is on 0.5-mL of lactulose twice daily and 0.5-mL of metronitozol once daily. She's on the small side, but is doing just fine. Before the diagnosis she would drool on herself and start slowly tipping over, be lethargic and daze off into space or at a wall.
Bonnie

Houston, TX

#44 Jun 6, 2013
I was also told recently that while surgery tends to help dogs, it has the opposite affect for cats. I'm sure my cat won't live to be 18, but staying on the meds (no surgery) is the best course of action for us per our vet and a surgeon that has done the surgeries and monitored results.
Bonnie wrote:
My cat has a liver shunt and is doing just fine on meds. She eats a cat food called L/D (liver diet) which has limited protein. This allows her to take less medication than she otherwise would. She is on 0.5-mL of lactulose twice daily and 0.5-mL of metronitozol once daily. She's on the small side, but is doing just fine. Before the diagnosis she would drool on herself and start slowly tipping over, be lethargic and daze off into space or at a wall.
susie sweet

Wandsworth, UK

#45 Jun 16, 2013
Hi I just wanted to share.my story of my beautiful kitten stewy. I rescued him and his two sisters at ten days old. There mother had abandened them and the lady who had them didnt know how to care for them. I took them in and loved andcared for them and they thrived. A week ago today I took them out there little pen to be fed. When I noticed stewy was falling about and very sleepy. I rushed him to the vets who gave him two injections of antibiotics and steriods he was just lying with his tongue hanging out I thought he would dye. After a couple of hours he bounced back and was running about playing and fighting with his sisters. Then on friday the same again. Rushed him to vets and they did blood etc he bounced back againfew hours later. Saturday evening same again only he was worse. And seemed to be suffering took him to vets and I put him to sleep. Vet was positive he had liver shunt. And I was doing the kindest thing. I have cried ever since. He was only 6 weeks old. I buried him in garden. Please dont let your kittens suffer I tried to give him a chance but what kind of life is that for a poor wee thing he didnt know what was going on. My other two are keeping me going. I wish everyone the best of luck with there cats. RIP Stewy. Gone but never forgotten
Julie

United States

#46 Jul 15, 2013
For anyone who comes to this page with an animal diagnosed with liver shunts or acquired liver shunts There is hope. My kitty was diagnosed over 2 years ago and the vets didn't think he would make it very long. I did LOTS of research, joined a couple of WONDERFUL groups and they saved my boy. He takes lactulose daily, an antibiotic and is on a low protein food. He is a silly man and is loving life.
There is a doctor at the University of TN that is world renown for her work with liver shunt dogs. There is another surgeon in NY that is amazing!
My boy cannot have surgery because he has multiple shunts.
If you have a cat with liver shunts please join: Catlivershunt.com
If you have a dog with liver shunts please join:
Liver_Shunt_And_MVD_Support@ya hoogroups.com
Your babies can live long healthy lives with the right treatment. Unfortunately most vets do not know much about this and tell people to put their baby to sleep.
For diagnosis you need to do a bike acid test. After this DO NOT do an ultrasound! They are inconclusive. Either have a CT or scintigraphy. I hope this helps someone's precious baby.
Julie

United States

#47 Jul 15, 2013
That should say "BILE acid test"
Julie

United States

#48 Jul 15, 2013
I apparently can't type today.
Catlivershunt.com is just an article on liver shunts

Catlivershunt.org is the group to join if you have a kitty diagnosed with liver shunts
maurice

Ireland

#49 Jul 20, 2013
cats with PSS ccn develop stomach ulcers often, these can bleed, supplying a high protein meal (own blood), they then get a PSS episode of varying severity. They need something like SUFRALFATE (ANTEPSIN) 0.5 GRAM EVERY 6 TO 8 HOURS till its cured , this can take several weeks.(see various sites and instructions).Also with excessive drooling make sure to rehydrate them or they dehydrate and get worse. Simple method with a dropper or syringe (no needle )into mouth at cheek pouch , they may well resist this. Give slowly and carefully ,see that they swallow, they MUST NOT INHALE ANY WATER, AS A PNEUMONIA MAY WELL OCCUR, SO BE CAREFUL.
Also these ulcers tend to recur. Bladder stones can form in Pss cats also; search there is lots of info on the net on this problem. If the cat with PSS passes excrement that is dark, almost black , strongly suspect upper gastrointestinal bleeding, from an ulcer and treat with the Sucralfate or other recommended medicine.(avoid neomycin) also.
Kris

Peoria, AZ

#50 Jul 26, 2013
I know these posts were put up several years back, but I want to make sure that future readers don't think that a liver shunt is an automatic death sentence. Each animal is a unique case, and should be treated as such, but my experience has shown me that treatment was worth a shot for my little guy. My cat, Willie, has internal micro-shunts (the kind that cannot be operated on). He wasn't expected to live a year, but has just celebrated his 4th birthday. I feed him Science Diet L/d and give him Lactulose. This has turned around his symptoms like I never would have dreamed! If you met him now you would never know he has health issues, as he plays and enjoys attention. On occasions when his symptoms do sneak up (drooling, staring off...), I just give him a little bit of extra lactulose and its not long until he is himself again. I know this may not be the case for his entire life and that he may not live out a typical length life-span (although I haven't ruled out that he could!), but the four years so far have proven worth treating him.

Willie is a normal, happy cat and shows that management can be possible for these guys. I hope that vets learn more about the condition so that people can feel well informed to make the best decisions for their pets.
Kris

Peoria, AZ

#51 Jul 26, 2013
Haha, guess I was only on page one, so the most recent posts *aren't* a few years back! Either way, glad to put in my two cents :)
Heather

Glen Ellyn, IL

#52 Sep 1, 2013
catherine wrote:
oh, and my sweetheart of a cat loved to play. She just required more maintenance in terms of health. Vets don't know a lot about liver shunts in cats. Its rare in cats and I learned by trial and error because no one could help me. I can give you an email address if you want to contact me that way.
Catherine
We recently adopted a 4 month kitten diagnosed with PSS. My vet is wonderful but does not have much info regarding this issue. Everything I have read is recommending a low protein diet. However, I can't find any info on WHICH brands are low in protein. Also, does wet vs. dry seem to make any difference? I was hoping you could recommend some brands for us to try! The lowest non prescription one i have found so far is Royal Cannin indoor Mature. Any help would be great and much appreciated!
Wendy

Houston, TX

#53 Sep 25, 2013
Heather wrote:
<quoted text>
Catherine
We recently adopted a 4 month kitten diagnosed with PSS. My vet is wonderful but does not have much info regarding this issue. Everything I have read is recommending a low protein diet. However, I can't find any info on WHICH brands are low in protein. Also, does wet vs. dry seem to make any difference? I was hoping you could recommend some brands for us to try! The lowest non prescription one i have found so far is Royal Cannin indoor Mature. Any help would be great and much appreciated!
Hi Heather, my kitty is unfortunately not doing so well these few days, but previously he was doing best on the Hills Science L/D diet. Another one our vets offered as a substitute was the Royal Canin L/P (I think it's L/P, it's the one for renal health). These are both prescription foods though, so if your vet is unwilling to give you a prescription for those, I'm sorry I don't know about anything else. As far as wet and dry goes, it really just depends on what your kitten will eat. Another thing I might recommend you look into is how a low protein diet might affect your kitten. When we adopted our second cat at 8 mo. old, they warned us that if she gets into the low protein food it's not harmful, but it wouldn't help her grow. I know the situation is different since yours needs a low protein food for PSS, but just a thought. And just throwing another thing out there, I definitely agree the sentiments of not putting PSS cats to sleep right away. Mine was almost 3y/o when they discovered it, and they didn't expect him to live much longer after his unsuccessful surgery (the shunt was the only blood vein leading out of his liver), but he surpassed that and is 4.5y/o today. I don't think he has much longer, but in that time he was almost back to his normal self and did great most days.

Wishing your kitten the best of luck!
MiMs

Bethalto, IL

#54 Sep 25, 2013
catherine wrote:
oh, and my sweetheart of a cat loved to play. She just required more maintenance in terms of health. Vets don't know a lot about liver shunts in cats. Its rare in cats and I learned by trial and error because no one could help me. I can give you an email address if you want to contact me that way.
I was wondering if you could email me with more tips on dealing with cats with live shunts. Amilia.merjil@gmail.com
Toni

Temperance, MI

#55 Oct 12, 2013
Our 5 month old mixed breed kitten Cash was recently diagnosed with Liver Shunt. Took 2 weeks of testing and treatment to diagnose because it's so rare in cats. Vet had only seen 1 other cat with it. He had classic symptoms (lethargy, vomiting, some drooling, constipation, staring, and copper colored eyes which we found to be so unusual and is apparently a sign of the disease). Finally got him on lactulose, amoxicillin and feeding him NF Kidney Function by Purina. Expensive food! but he is a great kitty and we love him! He is back to his old kitten self, getting into everything and eating like a horse. Has regained most of his weight loss (about 5 lbs now, not bad for a 5 month old kitten)and all of his energy and then some. Symptoms started with vomiting and came on suddenly. It's been a bit expensive for his treatment but none of us could imagine putting him down without giving him a chance at life and so far he is doing fantastically. Don't count these little ones out. We know we will go day by day and hope for the best but so far so good.
lynn

Dewitt, MI

#57 Mar 7, 2014
catherine wrote:
oh, and my sweetheart of a cat loved to play. She just required more maintenance in terms of health. Vets don't know a lot about liver shunts in cats. Its rare in cats and I learned by trial and error because no one could help me. I can give you an email address if you want to contact me that way.
Catherine
I have a kitten with all the symptoms of a liver shunt Ive been giving her can food because I thought it was easier to digest the vet has her on steroids and an anti seizure medicine. This has been going on since September..They have never suggested lactulose as a antibiotic.
I need suggestions I was considering putting her to sleep because its killing me watching her suffer
help
lynn
Toni

Temperance, MI

#58 Mar 7, 2014
Lynn,
Our liver shunt kitty is almost a year old now and doing very well, considering his disease. It is imperative that you get your cat on the special food available only by prescription through a vet. From what you say your current vet is not at all familiar with the disease (steroids and antiseizure meds???). We feed our kitty cat food called NF kidney function for felines made by Purina. It comes in canned and dry. He does best on the canned (which he loves!) but have dry to leave out if we will be away for a while. It is pricey for sure but best for him. Also give him lactulose which isn't an antibiotic but it redirects the impurities in his system into his intestines before it reaches his liver which greatly diminishes the effects of the disease. Antibiotics may be necessary at times but only once for our cat. Ammonia is the real culprit which is produced primarily by excess protein so it's really important to keep him away from protein. We don't leave food laying out he can get into, even our food. We have a very large (25 lb)Maine Coon (Rambo) as well that we feed separately twice a day along with our Liver Shunt kitty (Cash). Rambo can eat Cash's food but Cash can't eat Rambo's food and Rambo needs the protein. Gets a little complicated but it works well for both. We give Cash lactulose right before we feed him twice a day. If he is having a "bad" day (about once a month, he may drool, stare, no appetite, have trouble walking, rather unresponsive, may or may not throw up,very rarely may be a little aggressive but usually lethargic) we give him (or try at least) a little extra lactulose when we are able and put him in a dim, quiet place (usually our basement) until he perks up which is usually less than a day.The rest of the time he is a typical kitten, playing, wrestling with Rambo (who is very protective and loving toward him), running around, very affectionate. A great kitty! He will probably always be a little on the small side but he is 5 lbs and looks very healthy. It's a commitment for sure but we take it a day at a time and they can live long happy lives with just a little effort on our part. Good luck and please keep posted on how your kitty is doing.
lynn

Dewitt, MI

#59 Mar 7, 2014
Jackie wrote:
Good web site under livr shunt in cats called "Newt the cat" Many people talk about their liver shunt cats. My 4 year old liver shunt survivor takes Lactulose prescibed by the vet and a special dry food from Science Diet Cat Foods called L/D for liver problems. My cat has beat the odds and is doing well. I hope your cat will too.
Jackie
I just bought the science diet food but we found the k/d formula to have a lower protein than the L/d you might want to look into it...I also found out that the lactulose is just a sugar water
lynn

Dewitt, MI

#60 Mar 9, 2014
Toni wrote:
Lynn,
Our liver shunt kitty is almost a year old now and doing very well, considering his disease. It is imperative that you get your cat on the special food available only by prescription through a vet. From what you say your current vet is not at all familiar with the disease (steroids and antiseizure meds???). We feed our kitty cat food called NF kidney function for felines made by Purina. It comes in canned and dry. He does best on the canned (which he loves!) but have dry to leave out if we will be away for a while. It is pricey for sure but best for him. Also give him lactulose which isn't an antibiotic but it redirects the impurities in his system into his intestines before it reaches his liver which greatly diminishes the effects of the disease. Antibiotics may be necessary at times but only once for our cat. Ammonia is the real culprit which is produced primarily by excess protein so it's really important to keep him away from protein. We don't leave food laying out he can get into, even our food. We have a very large (25 lb)Maine Coon (Rambo) as well that we feed separately twice a day along with our Liver Shunt kitty (Cash). Rambo can eat Cash's food but Cash can't eat Rambo's food and Rambo needs the protein. Gets a little complicated but it works well for both. We give Cash lactulose right before we feed him twice a day. If he is having a "bad" day (about once a month, he may drool, stare, no appetite, have trouble walking, rather unresponsive, may or may not throw up,very rarely may be a little aggressive but usually lethargic) we give him (or try at least) a little extra lactulose when we are able and put him in a dim, quiet place (usually our basement) until he perks up which is usually less than a day.The rest of the time he is a typical kitten, playing, wrestling with Rambo (who is very protective and loving toward him), running around, very affectionate. A great kitty! He will probably always be a little on the small side but he is 5 lbs and looks very healthy. It's a commitment for sure but we take it a day at a time and they can live long happy lives with just a little effort on our part. Good luck and please keep posted on how your kitty is doing.
toni
thank you for the advice I find the vets resistant in believing it could be a shunt because its so rare. We rescue kitties from the streets so I am always committed but it's hard when you have to be pushy and stand your ground with the vet. So I started her on k/d because it was lower in protein than L/d Can and dry I also got lactulose I am wiening her off seizure medicine and steroids because my vet said it was all coming from seizures which my gut disagreed. so know I am on board with knowing its a liver shunt. She had an okay day yesterday and today were back to drooling and not eating I have given her water 3 times today through syringe. Its heartbreaking watching her but I don't want to put her to sleep I want to give her a chance..So any other advice please and thank you
Judy

South Windsor, CT

#61 Mar 9, 2014
Hi Lynn,
I too have a cat that had a liver stunt. After my local vet could not help or fine out what was wrong with him I took him to Tufts veterinary hospital in Worester, MA. Tufts is a vet school and they where able to operated on him. He was 7 months old then, now he is going to be 4 next month. Good luck.
Judy

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