Please place your thumb and index finger on either side of your nostrils and pinch your nose shut tight. Hold it for at least sixty seconds. No really. I’m not kidding. Do it now, before you read on.
I was surprised how quickly this exercise became darned tiresome and uncomfortable. My ears plugged up when I tried to swallow and I couldn’t wait to let go of my nose!
Teddie Lambchop, a seven month old Great Pyrenees mix puppy, feels like someone has been pinching his nose shut since he was a baby. X-rays show that somebody or something inflicted some awful trauma to an adorable little puppy face; breaking, twisting and rearranging his nose, upper jaw, nasal passages and sinus cavity.
What we have been able to piece together about T.L.C.’s past goes like this: When Teddie was a young puppy, he found himself in the home of a couple that owned several dogs. According to witnesses, one of their other dogs inflicted the damage done to Teddie’s sweet face. He was given no veterinary care because the owners didn’t want possible trouble with “authorities” about their dogs. The pain he surely suffered is unimaginable. These owners then moved away, leaving behind two dogs locked inside the house. Teddie and his Boxer friend were abandoned outdoors. Teddie’s Boxer buddy died after being struck by a car. Reported sightings of a white dog wandering southeast Neosho were posted on social media. Teddie disappeared but then resurfaced again when he wandered up to the home of an FFAA volunteer. She and her family offered him water, food and a temporary place to lay his weary head.
As a few days went by, Teddie became lethargic, refused food, and disappeared again. Friday evening, he’d returned but seemed pretty sick. By the time Luci and I arrived, he had disappeared into the tall grasses of an un-kept vacant lot across from their home. Worried that we were running out of daylight, I tromped my way through the tall weeds in my flip flops, and caught my first glimpse of Teddie. He looked exactly like a lost little lamb. As I squatted down beside him to introduce myself, this lamb-looking puppy with an endearing under-bite, gave me that terrible look that said he was cashing it in. He had gone off by himself to die. I picked up forty-five pounds of lamb chop puppy and fought my way back through the brush where Luci was waiting to relieve me. That night, the emergency pet clinic exam revealed that Teddie Lambchop had terrible infection in his injured mouth, nose and sinuses, plus intestinal trouble. Through five days of hospitalization, IV fluids and antibiotics, we cheered Teddie on, hoping he’d decide life was worth living and somebody cared. Finally, on my Tuesday evening hospital visit, I saw the first tail wag as he lay his head on his new toy lion.
Teddie’s infection is gone, but not for long unless the two perforations in the top of his mouth are closed, protecting his nasal cavity and sinuses from more inevitable infection and/or pneumonia. The X-rays also revealed deteriorating bone fragments in his nose that must be removed. The surgeon hopes he can reconstruct Teddie’s nose to give him a nasal airway.
Teddie’s rapid fire respirations sound like someone snorting and gargling, at the same time! Sometimes I can’t help but laugh. It exhausts me just to listen to him. I’m sure breathing is a constant work-out for him. He rivals our elderly English Bulldogs in the snoring department. I never have to wonder where he is. He can’t sneak up on anybody!
Teddie Lambchop is gentle as a lamb. He melts the hearts of all who meet him with his loving, friendly, trusting soul and his funny little crooked face. Teddie loves to play with our dogs and loves his big green frog toy that sounds like it’s burping. He uses that under-bite like a scoop shovel and he’s eating like a small horse.
We hope to take Mr. Lambchop back to the University of Missouri Veterinary Teaching hospital for the surgery he needs, so he will be able to stop to smell the roses (or his doggie friends) very soon!
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