Meet Simon, a four month old puppy, we took to GVS with a liver problem. He is not doing well, undergoing evaluation right now. Hoping we can save him. Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers. He is critically ill.

Simon had been previously evaluated (by his breeder) with blood work and was thought to have a liver shunt. No other work up was performed. After finding out how expensive surgical repair would be, she contacted rescue. In the last 12 hours his condition deteriorated considerably and when he was picked up today, he was taken directly to GVS.

We have gotten the worst possible news regarding his condition. Ultrasound demonstrated that he has multiple internal liver shunts. There is no surgical correction for this condition; complicating his case is that he has developed a condition called Portal hypertension (blood pressure is too high running through the liver), probably stealing blood from his intestines. There is a chance that if we got the hypertension under control, we could medically manage his liver shunts, but prognosis is poor.

We have decided to begin treatment tonight to get him comfortable and reassess his response in the morning. His condition at this point is grave, but we have to at least try to give him a chance. I have asked GVS to not use extraordinary means to keep him alive during the night if God should call him to the bridge.

Update 3/7/13 am: Just spoke with GVS. Our boy is doing much better this morning. Ate well and went potty this morning. A bit more alert as well. Hoping we can bring him home soon. (possibly tomorrow). He is on special food, lactulose and now metronidazole. We’ll be starting him on Milk Thistle as well when he gets home.

Update 3/7/13 pm: Simon is doing very well today; he looks perfect on the outside but has a terrible problem in his liver. Liver shunts can be treated with surgery if they are external. Internal liver shunts can now also be treated but there is no surgical treatment for multiple internal liver shunts; this is the condition effecting Simon. This condition is medically treatable for a short time but ultimately will lead to his death (in months). We can only pray that between now and that awful day a new technique will become available to save this baby’s life.

Update 3/8/13: Simon was able to leave GVS to go to his foster home. He scheduled to visit UGA on the 19th. We will be met by the internal medicine vet, a radiologist and the surgeon. He will undergo another ultrasound first, then possibly more specific radiographic tests to assess the extent of the shunts. If something can be done, and he is stable at that time, we will proceed with whatever treatment is deemed necessary, or we will make arrangements to take him to wherever he needs to go for more cutting edge treatment.

If he should become sick before that date he will be admitted immediately, stabilized and the work up performed.

Thanks to some wonderful supporters of GEBR, there have been phone calls made all over the US today, consults obtained from many (even one from the top of a ski slope in Utah) all concluded that we needed more information before any final decisions or prognosis was made.

Update 3/12/13: Our sick little baby boy is a SPITFIRE. We were proud of the progress he made after 24 hours at GVS, but he’s doing even better now. Barking, whining, demanding attention, playing and then (to everyone’s delight) sleeping peacefully.

Update 3/20/13: Simon has been at UGA since yesterday and underwent another ultrasound, along with a CT scan today. Things are looking promising from an x-ray standpoint but there appears to be some type of underlying liver disease, the extent of which is still up in the air. There will be a meeting of the minds tomorrow to discuss all the findings and make recommendations. Will possibly need a liver biopsy before we will know for sure that he can undergo any procedures to correct the shunt.

Update 3/21/13: Simon is a candidate for Percutaneous transvenous coil embolization of portosystemic shunts. He will have to wait until he is six months old to have the surgery. He will be going to NYC to have the surgery.

Here’s the article about the procedure that Simon will be having. It was also written by the vets who will be doing the procedure. Copy and paste this link into your browser

Update 3/23/13: Simon got his Bully Blanket this past weekend! He is doing great! He is responding well to the medicines and getting stronger each day.

We were originally told that he had an internal shunt with portal hypertension and multiple acquired shunts in the left abdomen. They said he was not a candidate for a coil. Basically told to feed him the protein free food and take the multiple medication until he began to fail. Only treatment was medical.

After an extensive work up at UGA he has only an internal shunt. No portal hypertension and no acquired shunts so he is a candidate for the coil procedure. All vets at UGA and in NY agree that he is the perfect candidate for the procedure. He and Stepany will travel to NYC in early May so that he can have the surgery.

Simon is not available for adoption at this time, he has serious medical issues. We are focusing on saving his life at the moment.

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