Ask a Dog Vet and Get Answers to Your Dog Veterinary Questions
My name is***** and I am sorry to hear that Baby is so sick. Just to confirm, the working diagnosis after initial blood work is that she may have a liver shunt? Do you have copies of the bloodwork? If you do, can you send it to me?
If she does indeed have a liver shunt, the prognosis is not good. Most dogs that have later onset shunts have microscopic shunts that cannot be corrected with surgery. They can be medically managed with low protein diets and some other medications to keep the blood ammonia levels low.
What other questions do you have?
This is a link to a webpage with an extensive discussion on liver shunts.
It is hard to predict what Baby's life will be like now that she is having symptoms from the shunt. If she responds well to the medications, her personality can return to normal and she can have a good quality of life. If she doesn't respond well to medications, she will continue to be really lethargic. Unfortunately, these guys don't seem to have a great extended quality of life. They often pass within 1-2 years at best after diagnosis.
If you want to get a second opinion, you can also consider a referral to a board certified internal medicine specialist or you can see if your regular vet has one she can talk to on the phone.
I will look for the blood work results.