To see him is to love him! He’s the very soul of puppy charm. Who could resist those shining dark eyes, adorable plush paws, and endearing fluffy topknot? At first glance, nobody would guess just how much this 11-pounder has already been through. Abandonment, rescue, adoption, return, serious illness, road trip, emergency surgery—all that, and he’s not even 3 months old!
For GRR, little Chase’s story began late on a Friday afternoon, when we picked up a Hotline call from a rescue group down south. “I'm trying to reach you guys in regards to a puppy that we have in our facility. He has some serious medical issues that unfortunately we're not able to handle on our own. If someone could call me back at your earliest convenience. I will be in the shelter today until 6:30. Again just try and call me as soon as you can.”
A return call yielded a couple of heart-melting photos and a lot more detail. Collected as a tiny stray near the end of July, Chase was quickly adopted out; but within a few days, the family called in: “He won’t eat. He’s listless and he just vomits all the time, food and water both.” “Bring him right back to us” was the response—but
instead, close to another week went by before Chase landed back on the shelter’s doorstep, now very anemic, very droopy, and with an easily palpable large mass in his
abdomen. Something was clearly very far wrong. An X-ray strongly suggested an intussusception, a serious issue where one section of intestine telescopes inside an adjacent length.
As you can easily imagine, this abnormal “folding” can interfere with the normal flow of food and fluid, and there’s a real danger of obstruction. The shelter’s vet
recommended an ultrasound for confirmation, followed by surgery as soon as possible—“this is a critical, high-risk problem.” Unfortunately, the budget didn’t extend to that. With the puppy’s life truly in the balance, it was time to search for outside help. By Friday evening, those irresistible photos were on our Facebook page, along with a plea for transport from Houston straight to the emergency vet.
It took about five minutes for our great volunteers to step up! By Saturday afternoon, our little trouper was in the hospital; late Saturday night, he went into surgery; and Sunday morning, he was in recovery. Huge sigh of relief!
The surgeon commented that the “pleated” part of the intestine was double the size one usually sees (6 inches, not the typical 3) and may well have been caused by the pup’s heavy infestation with hookworms and roundworms.
To address the anemia those worms had also caused, Chase received a blood transfusion after surgery; and he also received a colonic irrigation to deal with his constipation (see, now he can say he has something in
common with many a Hollywood star!).
Once Chase starts to eat on his own and keep it down, he’ll be ready for the next stage of his adventure — a jaunt to his foster home for some peaceful R & R and lots of yummy, nutritious food. The vet is pretty confident that once he can finally eat as a normal pup
should, Chase will make up for lost time and add some much-needed weight to his skinny little frame. Let’s all keep our fingers and paws crossed that the next notation on his chart reads simply this: “Recovery was uneventful and prognosis for a long and happy life is
Can you help cover the cost of puppy Chase’s surgery and recuperation? The price tag for such a complicated procedure (made even more delicate by the fact that the patient is so young and tiny) is close to $3,000. Every contribution will help!
- Julie Altwies
- Janelle Ciaccio
- Kathryn T Burton
- Cheryl Frink
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