PSS is a congenital disorder which means “born with”.

At or around the time of whelping the blood vessels within the foetus must close. 

The puppies’ liver should then start to work normally. 

If the blood vessels fail to close then the blood is shunted around the liver rather than through it, hence the name “liver shunt”.

My bitch had ten apparently normal puppies.  One bitch however had PSS.

She first showed signs at around ten weeks.  Nothing definite was found. Later the puppy developed infections which were treated. At six months she showed classic signs of PSS.

These symptoms are, high temperature, disorientation, falling over, walking into things, sleeping a lot and bloodshot eyes.

Depending on how severe the shunt is determines if it is life threatening or not, but all shunts are considered serious.

The puppy was put on a Hepatic diet (low protein) and a course of Penicillin. After one month she was operated on to correct the shunt and after a further six weeks was blood tested to check that the liver was working correctly.  It was.

Today this bitch is still fit and well. 

If she had not been operated on then her life expectancy would have been short.

Linda Cooper