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Dr. John
Dr. John, Texas Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 10974
Experience:  Over 14 years of clinical veterinary experience
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Puppy born with cleft palate. Cannot suckle. Am feeding her

Resolved Question:

Puppy born with cleft palate. Cannot suckle. Am feeding her boiled water with a syringe, but she is fading. What can I do. It's night time and the stores and veterinary shops are closed. Please help. I don't want to lose this baby. My husband has a cleft palate, and it is very hard to not try to do something to help this little one. The mother is very anxious for her, and is sitting by my side watching me type and hold her little one. She is wimpering and it is just so sad! Please what can I do?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. John replied 5 years ago.
Hello. Thanks for writing in. Cleft palates in puppies area serious problem. Unfortunately, a lot of them do not make it and end up having to be euthanized. No matter what you do, they cannot get suction to nurse from mom or a bottle. Plus, food and get up into their nasal passages and into their airways, causing an aspiration pneumonia. Most puppies this age do not survive a pneumonia like this. The only way to really feed them is with a feeding tube or a surgically inserted esophageal tube. The cleft palate may close up, but if it doesn't surgery is usually pursued around 3-4 months of age. Besides keeping her warm and trying to syringe water (puppy milk replacer would be a much better option), there isn't much else you can do at home. If she is that bad off, her chance for survival would be low. If you have an emergency vet open in your area, the best thing you can do is to get her there. They may be able to get fluids into her and show you how to pass a feeding tube into the esophagus to feed the puppy until the palate can be fixed. That is the only way to keep her healthy until then. Otherwise, you are fighting an up hill battle. Please let me know if you have any other questions. Hope this helps.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I am afraid to click on Accept Answer because I cannot pay more than the $18 deposit. We are seniors on ONE old age pension, and we paid $50.00 already to have the little one put down, plus the gas to get to the vet - we live out in the country.
Expert:  Dr. John replied 5 years ago.
I am sorry to hear about Precious. It was probably the best decision for her. The $18 deposit you made to the website is what gets charged to the credit card. Pressing Accept just tells the website to pay me for my time. You don't get charged twice.
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