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ATLAS (Dutch Shepherd puppy)

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CHARLESTON, SC......Since late Friday evening, we have been doing everything possible to save an eight-week-old, 10-pound Dutch Shepherd puppy picked up as a stray.  After two days with the Good Samaritan, she discovered something wrong with the puppy we call Atlas.  She was not able to go to the bathroom and soon quit eating.  Atlas was brought to the ER on John's Island, and it was discovered she had a bowel obstruction.


Adorable Atlas was critical and needed immediate surgery.  The only option was to euthanize so she would not suffer any longer or find someone to take over her care.  We became that someone.


As everyone knows, we have been dealing with para-influenza in the rehab facility for the past six weeks.  We are finally making progress in ridding the center of the virus.   It has been a nightmare with thirty-six dogs in our care.  We have been quarantining everyone to get rid of it.  We can now see the light at the end of the tunnel, so I chose to take on Atlas.


The young lady who had Atlas said the only time she used the bathroom, a small collar came out, which she had eaten.  That was the beginning of her bowel obstruction, which had been going on for about a week.  Atlas was transferred to CVRC in Charleston, SC, where Dr. Patti Sura was brought in for her surgery.   Dr. Sura sent me pics and explained what a mess this poor pup's intestines were in.  She would not have survived the night if we had not chosen to save her.


Diagnostics at CVRC found she had an intussusception, a condition where one segment of her intestine telescopes into another segment and causes material not to be able to pass through. This can result in a life-threatening emergency and is a surgical condition. She was taken to surgery on 2/15, where most of her GI tract was found to be involved in the intussusception. It was able to be pulled back out, but a section of her small intestine had died and was removed. 


Atlas was initially doing very well after surgery – barking, tail wagging, eating, but started to look very sick again early the morning of 2/17. It was suspected that her condition recurred, and she was taken to surgery. In surgery, we found that she now had THREE areas that were telescoping into each other and were blocked. These were able to be reduced as the tissue again was healthy. 


A procedure called eutrophication was performed, where "lazy loops" of her entire intestinal tract were tacked together with stitches to hopefully prevent this from happening again. Intestinal parasites, inflammation within the bowel, foreign bodies, and other GI conditions can cause this condition. In Atlas' case, we do not know the cause, but assume the collar she swallowed started the obstruction.


If one bowel obstruction surgery is expensive, try two a day apart. You will see how costly an ER visit can be on top of two surgeries and ICU. If you have a puppy, you need to get Pet Insurance because the cost of saving one is higher than it has ever been if they swallow something they shouldn't.  It has been two days since Atlas had her last surgery, and so far, she is improving daily. Her GI tract is causing her diarrhea, but that is to be expected after her two procedures.  


I waited before posting for Atlas because I was unsure if we could save her.  I am happy to report I believe the worst is over since her intestines were tacked down.  We are begging everyone to please DONATE toward this fantastic little puppy.  Her bills are too high for us to recover from this, and we desperately need your help.

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