When an animal is suffering and has no quality of life, it may be given a humane death. It’s also an option for Bronson, who was born by cesarean section with his siblings and sisters. Except Bronson, all of the others were well-nourished.
The newborn had a cleft palate and his prospects for recovery were grim. In the future, surgery would be an option, but ensuring that he could properly suckle in the meantime was going to be impossible. It would be difficult to ensure that he lived (and thrived) until he was old enough (and strong enough) for surgery. The owner decided to put him down. But one person refused. Kaffekalle, who uses Imgur as her username, wanted to give it one last try with the tiny puppy.
“I took him on knowing he may not live. On my 30th birthday, a chocolate lab had a c-section at my veterinary clinic and had 9 puppies. One of those puppies had a cleft palate, and the owners opted to euthanize the puppy. Knowing the sucker I was, another vet tech got the family to sign the puppy over and got me to foster the puppy. Here is my chocolate shake and chocolate lab puppy.”
The vet tech was warned that Bronson’s survival was uncertain but she had to try. So she continued to write and the following on Imgur:
“Depending on the severity of the cleft, and if it affects the hard or soft palate, puppies usually do not thrive. The space in the roof of their mouth does not allow them to suckle properly, and they eventually die of starvation. This little chocolate bean had no idea he had some bad genetics and latched quickly to his binky.”
Bronson was able to feed after getting his muscles used to the binky. “At this point, I have been up every 1-2 hours religiously tube-feeding this little boy with a red rubber tube and Esbilac (puppy milk replacer) syringing (pumping). I’m exhausted but realize my tiny ‘science experiment’ may very well survive.”
“This little boy traveled to work with me every day. Being that I worked in a veterinary clinic, it was easy to feed and stimulate him every 2 hours. He really loved his binky.”
Bronson was making unexpected progress at three weeks old. With flying colors, he was exceeding expectations! “At this point, I’ve decided that this little guy is a fighter. He’d scream for his feedings and come barreling out of his kennel with his little legs flailing.” Her images and account won praise from everyone – including herself!
Despite his rapid development and enthusiasm, Bronson’s mother was concerned about the upcoming surgery. “Bronson’s cleft palate was a particularly severe one — it extended from his firm all the way down to his soft palate. The surgeon I worked with was a little hesitant about my taking on this type of genetic abnormality, but he also wanted to see how he would do. He’d keep an eye on Bronson’s flaw in order for us to pick a date for surgery.”
Bronson came through with flying colors on the surgery and look the little cutie patootie now!
“Here he is today with Layla, his 12 year old pit X sister, and Harley, his 10 year old border collie brother. The tissue is almost completely healed, he is able to play with toys, chew on raw hides, swim in lakes, go on walks, bring me sticks…basically live the rest of his life as a perfectly normal lab… I love my dogs.”