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Thread: bad diagnosis

  1. #1
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    Default bad diagnosis

    I posted a while back about how mellow my dog gumbeaux (4.5 month blm) was and if this would become an issue with hunting, well, turns out that he has a Posystemic shunt. it explains why he performs so much better in the morning before he eats, and why he sways when he walks.


    Now to the hard part. Our vet referred us to a specialist and we have been quoted around 5K for the operation. unfortunately, coming up with that its really an option at the time. vet says if surgery works, he will still need to be on a low protein diet. my trainer, and good friend basically sat me down and told me that if it was his dog, he would put him down simply due to likeliness of outcome. the vet said that from a pet standpoint she wouldn't, but she understands where he is coming from in regards to a hunting dog.


    Looking for thoughts, opinions, or anything shedding light on the issue. its just hard to contemplate putting down a dog that seems so happy on the outside.

    Trey

  2. #2
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    There are two issues: Financial and quality of life. Not everyone can spend thousands on a dog, and it doesn't mean you don't care for your dog immensely. But, you and your family obligations come first.

    I have never dealt with a shunt, so I don't know if the prognosis would be a good quality of life or if it means compromised quality, and possibly other issues down the road. Perhaps others here have dealt with a shunt and can give you their experiences.

    Most of us have dealt with similar decisions in our lives with our dogs and cats (and horses) and it is NEVER easy. Hopefully you can get some good feedback here to help you.

    Meredith

  3. #3
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    Hate to hear that. I would think, only the pet owner could make that decision. Having said that, I would be at peace with whichever decision I made and never second guess yourself. I've seen families make medical decisions in regards to their loved ones and second guess those decisions for years and years. Again, sorry to hear!!

  4. #4
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    If you need a hunting dog, or want a hunt test prospect rather than a pet...

    You can pay the 5k and give the pup away as a pet to a family who doesn't mind adopting a puppy with a probl that will be lifelong

    Or

    You can put down the pup, save yourself another family and him 9-10 years of frustration and at times misery and anguish, and try again with another pup.

    I personally feel like its unreasonable to expect this pup to work and it is also very unreasonable to pass him along in need of a 5k surgery. Too much likelihood that whoever gets him will blow it off for too long waiting for a magic new diet to fix it etc. it's a hard reality- but there are lots of healthy dogs that need homes out there...

    Sorry your at this decision point- I have been there too

  5. #5
    Senior Member Hunt'EmUp's Avatar
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    I know nothing about this condition. Still I think you need more information before you make a decision also need to shop around for a surgent see what the relative price is for the procedure (check with the universities etc.); and talk with people who have had it done. What's the prognosis? Is this a single or mulitple shunt? Just did a little search on the condition seems to point to a congenital valve that hasn't closed properly in a lot of cases once the shunt is closed most dogs recover and develop normally, of course this depends on what type of shunt it is. Also it can be genetic, so you should talk to your breeder, in case it is I'm sure they wouldn't want to repeat a breeding if there was a possibility it was genetic, also might fall under a puppy contract. I don't think you have enough information right now. Are there other options, other surgerys? What would happen if you didn't do an operation, could it be monitored in other ways diet etc. A 5K operation on a puppy that has a good prognosis of a normal happy life, isn't much if you figure the dog will be around 10-14 years. 5k operation for a dog who will never have a chance at a normal life and might be around 6mt-1yr. completely different. It's a personal decision but there's a lot of research to be done before such a decision can be made.
    Last edited by Hunt'EmUp; 05-05-2014 at 02:53 PM.
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  6. #6
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    I'm pretty sure the prognosis is good and the dog would be considered normal if the shunt is ligated and closes completely...

    IMO you need more info and more opinions than one vet and one trainer before making a decision of this financial/emotional magnitude.

    Also... a teaching hospital or referral clinic may be the better place to take the pup rather than private practice, as they do more of these surgeries.
    Last edited by IdahoLabs; 05-05-2014 at 03:31 PM.
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    Senior Member jrrichar's Avatar
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    I agree with hunt'em up that you don't have enough information to make a decision yet. What type of shunt is it, intra or extrahepatic? What were the plasma ammonia concentrations, etc. It gives you an idea of the severity of your dog's case. Discuss with your vet, ask for a second opinion, look at DVM's who research or specialize in CPSS cases. I found a dissertation from Dr. Kummeling from the Netherlands on surgical innervations, diagnosis, and indicators on the internet. Look it over, do your homework, ask opinions, then make a decision.

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    Care credit--

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    I have been in talks with University of Florida about the surgery. they were the lowest at 5k. I don't want you guys to think the money is the biggest issue. I can finance it and pay it off in a year, no problem. my issue is that even after that, the dog won't live a normal life. yes... there is a possibility he will. I know he would make am fine house dog, but that's not what I was going for.

    His current "ammonia levels" are 383, and my doc said normal levels should be 99 and below. I can promise you that I will exhaust all avenues in making him better before I make any rash decisions. also, the shunt is intrahepatic. ,I can't pretend to be educated in the issue, but I'm quickly learning.

    I just want to be able to sleep with my choice. I also don't want gumbeaux to live an abnormal life.

    Tough day

  10. #10
    Senior Member jrrichar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gumbeaux's Dad View Post
    I have been in talks with University of Florida about the surgery. they were the lowest at 5k. I don't want you guys to think the money is the biggest issue. I can finance it and pay it off in a year, no problem. my issue is that even after that, the dog won't live a normal life. yes... there is a possibility he will. I know he would make am fine house dog, but that's not what I was going for.

    His current "ammonia levels" are 383, and my doc said normal levels should be 99 and below. I can promise you that I will exhaust all avenues in making him better before I make any rash decisions. also, the shunt is intrahepatic. ,I can't pretend to be educated in the issue, but I'm quickly learning.

    I just want to be able to sleep with my choice. I also don't want gumbeaux to live an abnormal life.

    Tough day
    Ok, so with that information and in the surgeons opinion what is the (approximate) prognosis for a dog as young as Gumbeaux. You don't have to know all the information, just enough with opinions that matter to weigh and make a decision. So surgical prognosis (e.g. 60-65% make full recovery, 20% have hepatic inflammation, 5% has ---, 5% don't recover, etc.) plus what in your mind is required of your hunting companion. Dogs are extremely resilient, think about the prognosis and what your hunting buddy will do in a season (realistically). If in your evaluation you can't see Gumbeaux making an adequate hunting dog post-surgery then reach out to a lab rescue group in your area and nationally. It could be possible (based on the prognosis) that they could take Gumbeaux, pay the medical expenses, and adopt him out to a pet home that would love such a well trained and wonderful dog. A win for everyone involved. I am sorry that you are faced with such a decision especially with such a young dog.

    As someone already stated above, if Gumbeaux is from a breeder that you signed a contract with CPSS is often considered congenital (especially if Gumbeaux is not even 5 months old) and I am sure the vets who have your dog's case can attest to this. If you didn't sign a contract look into state legislature, some states have lemon laws that apply to pets covered for a certain amount of time after purchase. I know that won't make a darn bit of difference with making any of this easier, but it could significantly assist in the finances.

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