"The Willow Veterinary Clinic Taking General Practice to a Higher Level"
Portosystemic Shunt in Evie
Evie was found along with lots of abandoned kittens dumped in a back yard in Stoke on Trent. The kittens were taken in and cared for by Iris’s Cats in Need, and many underwent treatment for cat flu and eye conditions. As Evie and her siblings got a little older, Evie didn’t seem to be growing and developing quite as well as her siblings. A blood test diagnosed that she had a “Portosystemic shunt”. This is when an abnormal vessel bypasses the liver, allowing blood which should have been sent to the liver for detoxification and processing to instead be pumped around the body, causing a build up of toxins and eventually seizures and death. Evie underwent a CT scan which enabled us to identify exactly where
this vessel was.
Evie had to have a few months of medical management in order to get her in the best condition for surgery, this involved eating only prescription food and antibiotic treatment and laxatives to minimise the toxins in her blood stream. As soon as her weight was reasonable we proceeded to surgery.
The shunting vessel was identified with the help of the CT images.
A device called an “ameroid ring constrictor” was attached to the shunt vessel. The inside of this device slowly swells once inside the body, and shuts the shunting vessel off. It is important that this happens gradually in order for the body to have time to get used to the changing blood flows. Sudden dramatic changes in blood flow can be quite difficult to deal with.
During the weeks following surgery Evie had some difficult days, even with the gradual closure of the vessel the new blood flow caused some pressure problems in the intestines and liver, but she improved a little each day, and after two weeks we were satisfied that she was improving enough to go home to her adoptive guardian.
Evie has gone from strength to strength and is now a beautiful, normal sized cat with no sign that she ever suffered from a portosystemic shunt.