Golden Beginnings Golden Retriever Rescue needs our help. As soon as I saw Tucker and learned his story, I rushed over to provide a donation.
Tucker came to us with his sister, Hannah from a backyard breeder in the Huntsville, TX area. Our volunteer in the area, Marjorie, had been watching this breeder sell litter after litter from the back of his truck parked at the local Wal-Mart. Marjorie talked to the guy several times trying to talk him out of the puppies and learned they were being kept outside under his porch. The pups were dirty and flea infested. Finally there were only 2 pups left and since no one seemed interested in them, the breeder was willing to let Marjorie take them. When we got the puppies, we noticed they were lethargic and not acting like typical 12 week old Golden puppies. A trip to the vet found them to be full of intestinal parasites. After de-worming, Hannah perked up and began to feel and act like a normal puppy.
Tucker, however, became more and more lethargic. Another trip to the vet for blood work and an ultrasound showed Tucker had some serious problems. An ultrasound showed his lungs and chest cavity were full of blood and fluid and the poor little guy was struggling to breathe. The ultrasound also showed us Tucker had a rare birth defect called Peritoneal-Pericardial Diaphragmatic Hernia (PPDH). The diaphragm is a wall of muscle that not only helps push air in and out of the lungs but also separates and protects the heart and lungs from the rest of the internal organs such as the stomach, bowel, liver, etc. Tucker was born with a hole in his diaphragm allowing the other organs to intrude into the cavity with his heart and lungs. PPDH is correctable by surgery but our little boy was certainly too weak and ill to withstand surgery. In addition, Tucker’s blood was not clotting properly and he was bleeding into his internal body cavities.
Further diagnostic testing revealed Tucker had probably gotten into rat poison. He was immediately started on the antidote and started receiving plasma infusions. The first 3 days were really tough and we were not sure if he was going to make it. Tucker was in an incubator receiving oxygen and intravenous fluids and meds. It was an effort for him to wag his little tail for us. But on Day 4, he showed a small improvement and the next day brought even further improvements. His little body was doing its best, along with the antidote and plasma, to recover from the effects of the rat bait. His blood was now coagulating properly and his body was re-absorbing and dissipating the blood and fluids in his chest cavity and lungs.
As the blood and fluids cleared from his chest cavity, the vets were able to get a better picture of Tucker’s organs. What was originally thought to be a hematoma on his heart turned out to be his liver putting pressure on his heart. When Tucker regains his strength he will require the surgery to put his internal organs back in the right positions and repair the hole in his diaphragm. The surgery for PPDH is expensive and risky and can only be performed at Texas A&M or at Gulf Coast Veterinary Hospital. We are doing our best to raise the funds for his surgery. After a week of emergency care at VERGI he his almost strong enough for the surgery. Tucker will not be able to have a normal life until the surgery is performed and it must be done quickly before his heart or liver are permanently damaged. This sweet little guy has struggled so hard and has come so far that we just can’t give up on him now. If you would like to contribute to the cost of his surgery, please click here or you may mail donations to GBGRR, P.O. Box 17848, Houston, TX 77224-9848.