My New Foster Dog, Tory: Part Four

In part three, a veterinarian diagnosed Tory with several health problems requiring surgical correction. Tory had surgery yesterday, and I’m pleased to report that he’s recovering well, although still pretty groggy and  achey. Now the real work begins: Tory needs obedience training, weight loss, and some work on his habit of urine marking before he will be ready for adoption! Thankfully, Tory’s sweet personality should overcome his forever home’s concerns about his health problems, when the time comes. He’s even won the vet over. She was sorry to see him go, and offered to keep her cell phone on at home last night in case there were any complications with Tory.

Tory’s Surgeries

Tory has really been through the wringer today. His elongated soft palate was corrected, a chipped tooth was removed, and he was neutered. The surgeon even found time to trim his nails, vaccinate him, and microchip him while he was under anesthesia. All of the procedures performed were successful.

According to the veterinarian who corrected Tory’s soft palate, the defect was so extreme that when Tory was anesthetized, the vet couldn’t see down his throat. The soft palate was so large that it blocked his airway from view. However, his stenotic nares turned out to be less severe than was originally presumed; they will not need surgical correction at this time.

Recovery

Tory will not stop “snorking” (breathing very noisily) for several days because of inflammation in his throat as a result of the surgery. He will take a painkiller and anti-inflammatory drug for five days in order to reduce that swelling. After his throat heals completely, Tory should be able to breathe normally when at rest.

Exercise may continue to cause some difficulty breathing, because his trachea is still partially collapsing. Tory’s veterinarian prescribed weight loss as the best way to mitigate the effects of the tracheal condition. Like many conditions involving the upper respiratory system, collapsing trachea is most common when a pet is overweight, and often becomes less apparent when a normal, healthy weight is maintained.

In addition, Tory will need to start using eyedrops for his exposure keratopathy. For now, he simply needs Artificial Tears once a day. As he ages, he will need a medicated ointment to keep his eyes moist. At this point, he has most of his vision, but the veterinarian did discover “dark spots” in his eyes where his vision is impaired.

Tory’s Future

It is likely that some vision loss will be part of Tory’s future. Many pugs develop partial or complete blindness in old age, and most cope well with the condition so long as the onset is fairly slow. In addition, he’ll continue to have some trouble breathing, although he will no longer be in danger of a cardiac incident, which is always a  risk when an elongated soft palate is left uncorrected. Restricted airflow can cause cardiac arrest. Aside from these two remaining conditions, Tory will be a normal, healthy young adult Pug, and should fit into almost any household easily.

Tory’s forever family will need to understand that Tory will need special care for his eyes and a restricted diet to help maintain his respiratory health. They will also need to be willing to deal with a dog with low vision or blindness in the future. Finally, his forever person must understand that some vet bills are an inevitable part of owning any dog, but that they’re especially likely for Tory because of his medical history.

In return for being willing to care for Tory’s special needs, his adopter will get a loving and devoted Pug who is sure to become a cherished companion.

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