Little Dio was surrendered to the Norfolk Animal Care Center after he had bounced around several homes, all of whom could no longer care for him.
He was soon pulled by Compact Canine Rescue, and they immediately recognized something wasn’t right with his health. He was not eating, he wandered aimlessly throughout the night, and he had issues running into walls.
A neurologist was contacted to determine the root of his issues. Luckily, after standard neurology testing, they concluded the diagnosis was not neurological despite having neurological symptoms. A bile acid test was preformed, and the results concluded dangerously high ammonia levels, which can affect the nervous system. An ultrasound showed internal abnormalities were present, indicating Dio was suffering from a liver shunt. Dio was immediately put on several medications prior to additional testing, which would determine whether he was a candidate for surgery.
A CT scan was performed to conclude if Dio’s liver shunt was operable. Although Dio’s liver shunt is extremely large, especially compared to his 3.5-pound body, it can be safely removed with a specialized surgery. If left untreated, liver shunts can cause continued neurological deterioration, seizures and death.
Dio has spent the first two years of his life without his health or the stability of a forever home. This surgery allows the opportunity for him to start fresh and live a long, happy life.