On transport it was discovered that there was something wrong with Dekker, he seemed to be raspy and it was thought that he had an upper respiratory issue going on. Our director contacted the rescue partner that Dekker was suppose to be transported to and due to the possible illness they could no longer take him. B-Squad didn't hesitate and welcomed Dekker as one of their own and brought him immediately to a vet when they arrived back to Sioux Falls. X-rays were taken and it was determined that Dekker did in fact have an upper respiratory infection, but he also had an issue swallowing.
We had originally planned on heading home and trying different methods of feeding Dekker, but after a few attempts of different consistencies of food and different positions of feeding Dekker, our director recognized that his issue was much more severe than first anticipated. After having been on the road since 5am, she loaded Dekker into the car and drove him the four drive to the cities to receive the emergency care he needed.
Dekker would spend Friday and Saturday being examined, having additional x-rays taken, and also trying to find a way to feed Dekker safely where he would not be at risk of aspirating. It was determined that Dekker should have an NG feeding tube placed through his nose that goes directly to the stomach thus bypassing any issues he had in his esophagus allowing him to safely receive nutrition. He would remain in the Intensive Care Unit at the University of Minnesota until he could have additional testing done on Monday.
Dekker tolerated his feeding tube well and on Monday underwent an esophagram, where they could see a live video of what the food was doing as Dekker tried to eat. It was determined that Dekker is currently suffering from esophageal dismobility. This means normal muscular contraction fails to occur to move ingested food or water down into his stomach. Basically, when any food enters Dekker's mouth it gets stuck at the back of his throat and he immediately goes into choking distress for sometimes 10-15 minutes and is unable to eat and drink.
It was determined that Dekker will need to have surgery to correct this issue as well as have a gastrostomy tube placed to allow his esophagus to heal after surgery. The total cost of Dekker's Intensive Care, testing, surgery and recovery is estimated to cost an additional $6,000.
Now the good news... we had an extremely generous B-Squad supporter that has offered to match all donations up to $3,000 so that we can cover the cost of Dekker's care. The care team at the University of Minnesota has been amazing and would like to do Dekker's surgery at the first available opening or earlier if they have a cancellation. Please consider making a tax deductible donation to Dekker's care so that we can provide him this life saving surgery as quickly as possible.
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