Are there any other conditions that may mimic cleft palate?
(San Antonio Texas)
Hi. I have a 5 1/2 week old chihuahua. She has had a rough time of it. I had her at the vet and was told she wasn't going to make it.
Well, she is a fighter. I have been tube feeding her since 1 week old. Mama went from engorged to no milk. Puppy would not drink from bottle. I started tube feeding out of fear I was going to aspirate her. She was only 2.8 oz at birth, and lost down to 2.4 oz. She was not gaining weight on the esbilac. Vet gave me nuturall, and I think there is miracle grow in it. She went up to 4.4 oz, while feeding one day, she became very squiggly, and jerked, pulling the tube out as I was feeding her. I am sure she aspirated, and started labored breathing, and looked horrible.
Vet wanted to admit her, I didn't want her alone. I kept her home with me, and gave her antibiotics, and oxygen, and vet wanted her feeding increased to every two hours. I found out the hard way, it was too much for this tiny baby. I had to stop all feedings and just give her LR under skin. It helped, but still weak. My mom has oxygen, and I used some for my little girl.
She started doing great. Gained up to 5.6 oz. Weak, but walking and falling, and getting back up. Ok, time to start trying to get her off the tube and eating. I fed her baby food, chicken with chicken gravy. SHe loved it, and ate it on her own. I started using a syringe, and just giving tiny drops. Wow, no matter how small the amount, it bubbled out her nose. So I went back to the tube. I wanted to try to get her off the tube, so took a syringe, filled with formula and she sucked away. Formula still bubbly out her nose. Antibiotic finished, and she started going downhill again. Took her back to vet, and she told me she had cleft palate. Back to total tube feeding, more antibiotics, she is doing great again. I don't feel a hole in her mouth. What I feel is on the top on each side, each of these bumps are a hardened area. She has no deformities other than those two areas on the roof of her mouth. Is there some other condition that could be causing these problems.
Please I know have heard all the nasty comments, and read all the cruel remarks people post about someone loving there baby too much to be able to put them down. I will fight with her as long as she is fighting, so please I really don't need those comments. I love this baby and she thinks I am her mama. She hears my voice, and she perks up, and will start walking. I will not put her down, and right now, I will not even let them consider surgery at her tiny size.
She is 5.8 today. I have another pup from a different dam, and he has the same two bumps in his mouth on the top, and he is 3 weeks, (4oz at birth) now 19.9 0z. I truly do not believe she has cleft palate. Any suggestions? Mama had pups on day 56. The other two pups died at two days old, I found mama lying on them.
Thanks for your serious suggestions
You won't hear any nasty suggestions or comments from me - or from my visitors I'm sure.
I'm amazed by the effort and love you've put into raising this little girl and I only wish there were more puppies as lucky and loved as she is!
You've done a fantastic job so far and I've hand-raised puppies myself so I know the time, effort, patience and persistence needed to succeed (plus a healthy dose of luck).
I'm not a vet so I can't really say if she has a cleft palate, but I doubt very much that you would be able to see it even if she does. It will most likely be way at the back of her throat. I would honestly say that you need to trust the veterinarian on this one - but it's quite okay to go and get a second opinion from another vet if you want to. That would be what I would do in your position.
If it's confirmed that she has a cleft palate then I would imagine that surgery is her only option as it seems she can't drink/lap without inhaling milk. She is still very tiny though, so I think the vet may want to wait until she's a bit bigger and is strong and healthy enough to handle the surgery. If that's the case you will need to continue as you are doing now and keep a close eye on her for any signs of fluid in her lungs etc. etc.
I don't know of any condition that could mimic a cleft palate... bottom line, if milk is getting from her mouth into her nasal passages then there is a hole somewhere there shouldn't be and that will need to be fixed.
Without question your little girl has proven herself to be a fighter and I can't imagine why anyone would recommend putting her down. She doesn't seem to be in pain or distress (unless she tries to drink/lap) and she is loved and cherished.
Obviously there are no guarantees in life and she could still succumb to infection, or to risks from the surgery but you are giving her every possible advantage and chance to grow up and have a happy life... that's priceless and I wish you the very best of luck.
If you would like to let me know how this works out for you and your puppy I'd love to hear it. I'll say a prayer for a happy ending.
If anyone reading this submission has any advice, has been in a similar situation, or can offer support or tips to Belinda - please use the comment section below to share. Thanks :)