IW Foundation Health Library:

Portosystemic Shunt is a condition in which the liver of a puppy fails to take over the job of cleaning the blood of toxins. Normally that process begins to take place soon after birth, but for some puppies that never happens, or only partially happens. Without cleaning the blood, the puppy will essentially be poisoned.

PSS can be treated surgically or medically. Surgical treatment in IWs is complicated by the fact that the shunt is usually inside of the liver (intrahepatic), but these days it has a relatively good success rate. Medical management is also complicated.

ALL Irish Wolfhound puppies should be tested for liver shunt before being sent to their new homes. The test is a simple blood test, done after about 8 weeks. By then the shunt should have disappered. Abnormal results on the blood test require further testing to confirm the diagnosis.

Further Reading

Links provided here provide Irish Wolfhound-specific, sighthound, and/or general canine information relevant to Irish Wolfhounds.

Disclaimer: The Irish Wolfhound Foundation provides the information on this website for the education of its readers. No information on this website should be used for veterinary medical purposes, diagnostically, therapeutically, or otherwise. Consult a veterinarian before attempting to medically treat your dog or changing your dog's medical treatment.

Note: Links to content outside iwfoundation.org may become inactive over time.

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