August 22nd 2008 6:21 pm
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I honestly don't feel that Emma is experiencing any true "loss of quality of life" even now, as a week old baby. Yes, of course - she has experienced much more trauma and stress than a normal pup - - but it was my heartfelt feeling that she would benefit from the surgical procedures at a very early age.... so my decision early on, was that the long term benefits outweighed the risks.... and I still believe that would have been the case... IF indeed, the surgery had been successful.
There is so much controversy surrounding whether or not, and to what extent, a newborn puppy experiences pain.....
Advocates assert that the newborn's nervous system is unable to feel even what would normally be viewed as extreme pain. There are claims that since puppies are less developed at birth (altricial) than, say, fawns or colts - which stand, walk and run within a very short time after birth (precocial) - their nervous systems are less sensitive, therefore experience abnormally low levels of pain. However, it is well documented in the human medical literature that newborn humans, who are also altricial, do feel pain.
I have no desire to get into a "heated debated" regarding this topic.... I am simply making reference to what I have read.
I DO feel that Emma experienced pain.... from ALL of her procedures.... to what extent, I can't be certain.
It was BECAUSE some level of pain was evident to me - I was firm in my desire to continue my attempts at getting her to nurse, rather than tube feeding or using the syringe or dropper. Research indicates that suckling causes the release of endorphins, the body's natural way of relieving pain.
I firmly believe that the stress of being taken from her mother, being passed around from doctor to doctor - poked and prodded on, and being denied any type of nutrients for the first 20 hours of her life.... played a far larger part in Emma's failure to thrive very early on - than the pain she experienced from her medical procedures.
It breaks my heart that our attempts at surgical intervention have failed.
But, to believe that Emma is being subjected to "undue suffering".... I simply cannot wrap my mind around that concept.
Emma is a very active, very NORMAL little Chihuahua girl - in EVERY aspect, other than her birth defects. ALL of her needs are being met.
She eats very well, (though not on her own) - - - Actually... she CAN nurse at this point... I have just chosen not to allow it right now to avoid any further trauma to her mouth and nose. But from day one, she has never regurgitated or had any other issues tolerating her formula.
She sleeps peacefully with wiggles and twinges of little puppy dreams in her head..... she scoots all over the place - already building the muscles she'll soon be using to walk and run!
Her heart and lungs are strong.... her other internal organs are all fully functioning... she responds normally to direct stimuli - She exhibits the behaviors of a normal puppy, instinctively seeking out what she needs, whether it be warmth, nourishment, or just closeness.....
She is a beautiful, healthy girl ... and she continues to thrive.
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