Humane euthanasia is an option when an animal is in pain and has no quality of life. It is also an option for a puppy like Bronson.
Bronson was born via cesarean section with his brothers and sisters. All were healthy except Bronson.
The newborn had a cleft palate and his prognosis was poor. Surgery was an option down the line but getting him to nurse properly in the meantime would be an impossible task. To make sure he survived, and thrived, until he was old enough (and strong enough) for surgery would be challenging.
The owner chose to euthanize him.
But one person wouldn’t hear of it. Vet technician, who goes by kaffekalle on Imgur, wanted to try to save the tiny pup.
“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. She wrote 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.”
By getting his muscles used to the binky, Bronson was able to feed. “At this point, I have been up every 1-2 hours religiously tube-feeding this little boy with a red rubber tube and syringing Esbilac (puppy milk replacer). I am exhausted, but realizing my little ‘science experiment’ might actually 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.”
At 3 weeks old, Bronson was making unexpected strides. He was surpassing expectations with flying colors! “At this point, I’ve decided that this little boy was a fighter. He was starting to scream for his feedings and would come barreling out of his kennel with his little legs.”
The vet tech’s photos and story won hearts — including her own!
“Bronson is starting to look like a real pupper. I LITERALLY CAN’T EVEN AT THIS POINT.”
“[He] is starting to get into [stuff] and running around the house like a madman. I get him this superman t-shirt to watch him fly. He’s absolutely naughty and I love it.”
Despite his growth and spirit, Bronson’s mama was worried about the impending surgery. “Bronson’s cleft palate was a particularly bad one – it extended from his hard all the way to his soft palate. The surgeon I worked with was a little skeptical about my taking this type of genetic defect on, but was also wanting to see how he would do. He would continue to monitor Bronson’s defect so we could decide a day for surgery.”
Bronson continued to go to work every day with his mom and he quickly became a staff favorite! And like a typical pup, he got into a wee bit of trouble.
“He started to become super obsessed with putting EVERYTHING in his mouth. I realized the [trouble] I got myself into, with having a mouthy lab that had a hole in the roof of his mouth.”
As Bronson got bigger, so did his cleft. Surgery was inevitable.
Even though he was a complicated case, Bronson came through surgery like a champ!
And look at him 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.”
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Reverse Sneezing In Dogs – What to do…
Does this sound familiar? Your dog suddenly starts making loud snorting sounds—over and over again, in quick succession.
Do you start wondering, did they swallow something they shouldn’t have? Can they breathe?!
Chances are, you’re experiencing the infamous “reverse sneeze.”
Veterinarians often see dogs whose owners rushed them in for an emergency appointment after finding them standing with their elbows apart, head pulled back, and eyes bulging as they snort or gasp repeatedly.
Yet for the vast majority of these dogs, a vet visit was unnecessary.
Reverse sneezing looks and sounds scary the first time you encounter it. However, it’s a fairly common and harmless respiratory event for dogs.
Read on to learn how to identify reverse sneezing, what causes it, and how to tell the difference between a harmless reverse sneeze and something else.
What is reverse sneezing?
A reverse sneeze is pretty much what it sounds like: a sneeze that happens in reverse! The above video is a good example of what it looks and sounds like.
In a regular sneeze, air is rapidly pushed out through the nose. In a reverse sneeze, air is rapidly, and noisily, pulled in through the nose.
It occurs in spasms lasting anywhere from a few seconds up to a minute and sounds like snorting, snuffling, and even gagging. See the above video for an example.
Because of the sounds their dogs make while reverse sneezing, many people mistakenly think their dog is choking. However, a reverse sneeze is almost as normal and harmless as a regular sneeze.
What causes reverse sneezing?
There’s no single cause for a reverse sneeze. Like regular sneezing, it’s often triggered by an irritation or inflammation in the nose, throat, or sinuses.
It often occurs when dogs wake up from a nap, or after eating, when their breathing pattern may have rapidly changed. It’s also caused by irritants in the airway—anything from dust to an inhaled hair!
Some dogs experience more frequent reverse sneezing in springtime when the air is full of pollen and other allergens.
Others reverse sneeze more in the winter, when sudden temperature changes between outdoors and indoors cause the nasal passages to contract.
Another common cause of reverse sneezing is pressure on the throat and neck. A too-tight collar, or straining against the leash, can irritate the throat and lead to a reverse sneeze. That’s just one more reason to consider a harness for your dog.
Finally, some dogs reverse sneeze after exercise, or when they’re overexcited. This is particularly common among brachycephalic, or short-nosed, breeds like pugs and bulldogs.
When they get worked up, they may inhale their elongated soft palates into the throat, triggering an episode of reverse sneezing.
How to end a reverse sneezing episode
Reverse sneezing is super-common, and it won’t hurt your dog. However, some dogs become anxious during a reverse sneezing episode, and a lengthy episode may be uncomfortable.
You can help your dog recover from a reverse sneezing episode by remaining calm yourself. If you get anxious, your dog’s anxiety will increase, too. So, stay calm, and show your dog there’s nothing to panic about.
If your dog is experiencing a particularly long episode of reverse sneezing, you may be able to ease or end the episode by:
- Gently massaging your dog’s throat
- Briefly covering their nostrils, which will cause them to swallow and potentially stop sneezing
- Depressing their tongue with your hand to help open airways
- Some vets suggest gently blowing in your dog’s face
In the vast majority of cases, there’s no need to intervene. Reverse sneezing doesn’t last long, and your dog will be perfectly normal after it stops.
When you should go to the vet
As mentioned, reverse sneezing rarely requires veterinary treatment. As soon as the sneezing episode stops, the situation is resolved. However, if episodes increase in frequency or duration, you should call the vet just in case.
You should also seek treatment if your dog’s reverse sneezing is accompanied by other respiratory symptoms or if they have any unusual discharge from their nose.
Occasionally, chronic reverse sneezing can be a symptom of more serious issues. These include nasal mites, foreign objects in the airway, respiratory infections, and tracheal collapse.
If you’re concerned about the intensity of your dog’s reverse sneezing, take a video to show the vet. They’ll be able to determine potential causes.
Most dogs experience episodes of reverse sneezing at some point in their lives. For the vast majority of dogs, it’s a common, temporary, harmless reaction with no lasting aftereffects.
Of course, it still sounds unsettling to our human ears! But now that you know what reverse sneezing is, you’ll be less likely to make an unnecessary vet visit.