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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 29808
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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My 13 year old Yorkist cross has been diagnosed with liver

Customer Question

My 13 year old Yorkist cross has been diagnosed with liver shunts have been given her low protein food but she found some steak and eat it now for two days has refused to eat anything and is not well how long will this boult last or should I take her back to vet I can't afford this expensive surgery not sure if I can put her through that
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 3 years ago.
Aloha! You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin
I'm sorry for the delay in responding to you. Your question came in late at night when few vets were available. To answer your question directly I would need to know just how poorly Bella's liver is currently functioning. A high protein meal can cause symptoms of hepatoencephalopathy (intoxication of the brain) - lethargy, poor appetite, aimless wandering, head pressing, disorientation, seizures, blindness, depression, stupor, coma, and behavioral changes - within minutes of being eaten and these symptoms can last until the high level of ammonia in the bloodstream abates. Ammonia is a byproduct of protein metabolism and a poorly functioning liver can't remove the ammonia efficiently from our patient's bloodstream.

Bella's vet will need to assist Bella's removal of the ammonia by fasting her, administering intravenous fluids (hastens excretion of ammonia through the kidneys), administering lactulose (increases gastrointestinal protein tolerance), administering antibiotics (alters bacterial metabolism in the GI tract which lowers bacterial production of ammonia), and perhaps by giving Bella laxatives/purgatives which will syngergize with the lactulose.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.
Dr. Michael Salkin and other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your kind accept. I appreciate it.

I'm going to check back with you in a few days for an update. Feel free to return to our conversation - even after rating - prior to my contacting you if you wish.

Please disregard the info request.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 3 years ago.
May I have an update on Bella, please?