CTCV Health Watch Committee Report 2019 6/01/2020
We have received 21 Bile Acid Litter Results this year and two informal Medical Reports.
Of the 21 Litters reported, three puppies were re-tested. Two of these results were within the normal range, but one remained high. Ongoing testing will apply to this puppy, but at this stage PVH (Portal Vein Hypoplasia) is suspected. More on this below.
Two informal reports of medical conditions were advised. One of Glaucoma and one of a Melanoma on the eyeball.
It is now recommended by veterinary specialists both in our country and overseas, that the only certain way of diagnosing Portal Shunt (PSS) in a puppy with a high bile acid score is with a CT Scan. Previously scintigraphy was considered suitable, and also Ultrasound. Scintigraphy is rarely used now, and ultrasound cannot give a definitive answer if the shunt is not in the optimum position for diagnosis. In the opinion of one of the Werribee University vets, it is usually better to opt for the CT Scan, rather than an Ultrasound despite the cost difference. Some puppies' shunts were not visible on Ultrasound scanning, but were obvious when a CT Scan was performed.
Portal Vein Hypoplasia(PVH)- formerly known as Microvascular Dysplasia(MVD)
In providing a description of this condition, it may explain why some puppies may continue to have high bile acid scores, but do not have liver shunts.
The dog or puppy will present with a high bile acid score, and on retesting will continue to have a high score.
In dogs affected with PVH, the microscopic blood vessels within the liver are underdeveloped or absent. This decreases the blood flow within the liver causing a decrease in size of the liver and its cells. Because of the decreased blood flow the liver is less capable of processing toxins and producing proteins that are needed for growth and development. PVH can occur alone, or it can be combined with portosystemic shunts, (PSS). PVH is a non-progressive disorder, (meaning it does not get worse over time.)
PVH is most common in Yorkshire terriers and Cairns. It is also seen in Maltese, Dachshunds, Miniature Poodles, Shih Tzus, Lhasa Apsos, Cocker Spaniels, Miniature Schnauzers and Westies.
Often there are no symptoms, but sometimes signs can be seen such as excessive thirst and urination, vomiting, diarrhea, blood in vomit and/or stools, blood in urine, straining to urinate and drooling. Only a liver biopsy can provide definitive diagnosis.
There is no cure, but treatment is aimed at controlling any clinical signs. (No surgical correction is possible.) The overall prognosis is good, especially if the dog doesn't have any clinical signs. Most affected dogs have a normal life expectancy. It is rare for PVH patients to become so severe that they have liver failure.
PVH often goes hand in hand with PSS, and can possibly be an explanation why some dogs continue to have high Bile Acid scores after surgery to correct PSS. It may also explain why some dogs continue to have high Bile Acid scores although they have been cleared of having a shunt.
Dogs with PVH will continue to have high bile acid scores throughout their lifetime, but may appear to be completely well.
Patients with PVH are usually monitored yearly with a Bile Acid test, to check if there are any changes in the liver. Monitoring is important even in dogs that have no symptoms.
Please continue to send me your Litter and Medical Reports and remember that eligible breeders can claim a $10 rebate per puppy on litters reported to the Health Watch Committee. After you have submitted the Bile Acid Results, (to Lyn Barclay), send a copy of each pup's pedigree to Graeme Ferbrache to claim your rebate.
Lyn Barclay - 20 Outawood Rise, Gisborne, Victoria 3437
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 03 5428 4739
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