Fitzpatrick Referrals treat ‘untreatable’ double intra-hepatic shunt

The team at Fitzpatrick Referrals have successfully corrected a double intra-hepatic shunt that was previously deemed ‘untreatable’.

Teddy, an 18 month old Jack Russell Terrier, had initially been examined at another specialist centre where lifelong medical management was recommended due to the complexity of his vascular abnormality. His primary care veterinary surgeon, Dr Rachel Lang, then contacted Gerard McLauchlan (European and RCVS specialist in small animal internal medicine) at Fitzpatrick Referrals Oncology and Soft Tissue Hospital.

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Following consultation, Teddy had a contrast CT scan of his liver in order to highlight the vascular abnormalities and allow accurate measurements to be performed. Hethen underwent a transjugular coil embolisation of his shunts using fluoroscopic guidance. This involved placing a stent in his caudal vena cava that spanned both abnormal communications and then deploying multiple platinum coils into the shunts to occlude the vascular flow while ensuring portal hypertension did not develop.

The entire procedure was completed in less than 60 minutes and was performed via a 2cm skin incision over his jugular vein. Teddy recovered from the procedure and is currently free of clinical signs and receiving no medication at home.

Rachel Lang, primary care vet, said: “I was really struggling to find a referral centre willing to take on Teddy’s case as it was so unusual and had spent weeks contacting every local referral centre I had referred to in the past. I contacted Fitzpatrick’s about his case and within an hour Gerard McLauchlan had rung back and actually sounded keen to see Teddy which was a delight after weeks of frustration.

“The referral process was very easy from my side and I’ve been kept well informed throughout. I wouldn’t hesitate to refer a case again and only wish we were closer.”

Dr Gerard McLauchlan, specialist in small animal internal medicine, added: “Teddy is a wonderful patient with an amazing family. We were delighted to be able to offer a solution to his problem that had been previously thought not possible. Teddy should now be able to enjoy an excellent quality of life without the need for long term medications or diet. Interventional Radiology provided new and minimally invasive options for many conditions including vascular abnormalities, urinary tract problems and various cancers.”

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