Happy Birthday Bruce!
Ok so I have been slacking in the blogging department these days. It's time to start blogging again now that things have settled down. I figured I would start with my adorable little puppy Bruce! Today is his first birthday! To understand how special it is that he is turning one you need to know a little bit about his first year of life. We purchased him last January and when he come to us at 7 weeks old he was the smallest cutest ball of fur.
Four days after we brought him home, he was very sick and dehydrated so we had to hospitalize him. It turned out he had parasites. After treatment he seemed to get better but occasionally he had diarrhea and wouldn't eat. He couldn't get all of his shots because he was always sick. At four months old he weighed 12 lbs. He is a yellow lab, he should have been about 40 lbs at that point. The vet couldn't figure out why he was so small.
In early March he started pacing the house and drooling like crazy. We finally got to a point where he was getting caught behind furniture while pacing the house. We had to keep him in his crate so he would stop pacing. When I brought him to the vet, they were concerned that he was contagious because he was showing neurological signs. They were pretty sure he was not going to make it and talked about putting him down. We decided to bring him to Tufts Animal Hospital. I just couldn't put down a four month old puppy. Bruce was dying and if we didn't do anything he probably wouldn't make it through the night. When I brought him to tufts they put him on fluids and started the testing. They put him in an incubator and brought me in to say goodbye. I went home and prayed. A few hours later, they called to say his ammonia levels were extremely high and suspected a liver shunt. After an ultra sound, they confirmed it. A liver shunt is an extra vein that bypasses the liver and brings the waste product from the intestines directly to the main artery going to his heart. So basically he was poisoning himself. He was put on very low protein food and a bunch of different medicines. Within days he was like a new puppy. He needed to have a surgery to correct the shunt. But first we needed to get him bigger and stronger. He had the surgery on May 20th and did great. He came home the next day.
After the surgery he doubled his weight, yay! He was growing and thriving but he still had little energy from the low protein diet he was getting. In July we were given the go ahead to start introducing protein in his diet and slowly reduce his medicine. He was doing great, loving the protein! Then we took a few steps back when he was bitten by a tick and developed a tick borne disease. He started limping, stopped eating and was crying out in pain when you picked him up. When we brought him to Tufts, they put him on fluids and medicine to reduce his fever and discovered he became anemic. After a month of antibiotics he was back to the happy playful puppy.
So that is why this 1st birthday is so amazing. As this sweet puppy lay next to me as I write this, I know that I made the right choice in doing the surgery. He will always be a small dog and probably a little sickly but we love him so much and enjoy every minute that we have him.
Here he is today
Happy Birthday Brucie!
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