Poor, poor Petal.

This little one-year-old Chihuahua mix from Texas joined Ruff Start Rescue this past October. We had no idea the road she was about to travel.

Once she arrived at her Minnesota foster home, her new fosters reported that she couldn’t keep any food or water down, and they were distraught. She was taken to one of our partner clinics, where she had x-rays taken. The news was grim. The x-ray showed little. Petal was suffering from megaesophagus and excess tissue surrounding her aortic arch. Megaesophagus is when the esophagus is wider than it should be and doesn’t ‘push’ the food down towards the stomach like it should. The aortic arch issue caused a band of tissue around her esophagus to constrict, exacerbating her megaesophagus.

It was determined that Petal would need surgery to remove the excess band of tissue. But before surgery could happen, the veterinarian needed to do a CT scan to find out which side of her body, the excess tissue was on.

Petal sitting in her dog bed

Once the tissue was located, the surgery took place. They ended up going in through her chest to remove the tissue band surrounding the aortic arch. She spent two days at the vet hospital recovering before heading back to her foster home.

She’s been healing really well from her intense surgery. Usually, dogs that have this procedure end up needing to be on a mush/slush diet for a long time, but Petal is already eating both wet and dry food, although the dry food does need to be softened a little with water. She’ll also need to eat sitting up for the rest of her (hopefully) long life and always eat under the supervision of her humans to prevent choking.

Petal’s bloodwork, CT scan, surgery, and recovery costs totaled $6,000. If you can help this little fighter, please consider donating to our Animal Care Fund. We take in thousands of dogs every year and rely on support from animal advocates like you to do whatever it takes for the dogs, cats, and critters in our care.

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