Jemma, shown above at six months, was one of those dogs that you wish had never had to happen, but that you love just as much anyway. Though apparently normal at birth and up through three months when the puppies went to their new homes, Jemma turned out to have a liver shunt. This is an unusual (though not really rare) condition in Deerhounds and other breeds, in which either there is an anomalous blood vessel that shunts blood around the liver, or, as in Jemma's case, the fetal blood vessel that is supposed to close shortly after birth fails to do so. The prognosis for such dogs used to be bleak, and they certainly cannot survive without intervention. But Jemma responded well to medication, and lived happily with us for nearly four years.