Zipper and Chip...We have certainly learned a lot over the past four weeks about Cleft Palate puppies. Sadly, with everything good comes sadness when it comes to saving these precious little Angles. We may have lost Gidget and Dale, but Zipper and Chip are thriving. They are little Piranhas when it comes to eating. They have been starving for so long that every morsel of food is eaten ravenously.
Our fearless Adoption / Medical Coordinator, Jeri Romer, has been taking the littles home each night and bringing them back to Noah's Arks Rescue each day. These little rascals require 24-hour care until they are six months old. At that time, they can have their cleft palate surgery done and should be good to go. Unfortunately, they are 11 weeks old, so they still have a long way to go before they are out of the woods.
Everyone is on red alert at the Rehab Center for any sign of distress. Every sneeze or cough sends us running. The good news is we have finally come up with a formula we make that supplies all their nutrition without putting them in danger of aspirating. We are using Honest Kitchen Stew with Gelatin added. The slivers we are cutting off the block of food slips down their throat without any excess liquid. So far, they are up to four pounds which is remarkable.
The other news that is very encouraging is the fluid on their brain is going down. Chip's head almost looks normal, and Zipper is closely following behind. Neither puppy has any neurologic signs that we have noticed since coming to us. They are both sweet, loving puppies that want to run and play until they collapse with exhaustion. They each get lots of extra time playing with the other dogs at the Rehab Center and Jeri's House.
While doing this write-up, Chip became very sick and had to be rushed to the Vet. I am now getting back to the update, but it has been a very nerve-wracking day. Chip has the most significant defect in his palate and also has very slow motility. The food was changed slightly to give them more calories, and that small change caused food to lodge in his palate and sinus area. He had to be sedated to flush out his entire sinus cavity and make sure he could breathe unobstructed.
Every hour is different with these puppies. Each of us will celebrate when they are six months old and can have surgery. Until then, we have to remain diligent and optimistic. They are both beginning to look like tiny brindle boxers, and that does make us smile.
Thanks for helping us with these two delicate Angels. Your Love and Support are what keeps us going. Thanks for being our Rock.