August 24th 2008 8:28 pm
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Well.... it was a good consult.... Doc says Emma is in beautiful body condition... heart and lungs are strong and she's developing normally.
Because Emma has a large open fontanel at both the front and top of her skull - we of course, have to be extra careful in handling her. This is a trait of the Chihuahua breed and is perfectly normal. (as opposed to this being one of our Yorks, where we'd all be crazed with worry!)
(I really wonder how very careful the first surgeon was able to be in handling her little head during surgery of her mouth and face while she was wide awake.... but that's not something I can dwell on at this point...)
The openings in a Chihuahua's skull are not indicitive of Hydrocephalus as some vet's might suggest.... this is a normal condition for the breed and in MOST pups, the skull will become fused by 4 months of age. (but in some pups, may never fully close).
Here is a link for more info on that. molera
So.... my mention during the consult regarding Emma's stumbling and falling over.... was met with reassurance that this is just the normal process of our growing girl. I am to start allowing her more space, to wander around and continue working those muscles.
Her doctor is adamant that Emma NOT be on antibiotics... so we've stopped those completely..... and no more yogurt or supplements of any kind. She is thriving on the caloric intake of her formula alone and at this point, needs to start being exposed to ...... ::gasp:: normal, every day GERMS........ ack!!
As for the clefts........... right now, as I think we all agree... Emma needs to grow quite a bit more before enduring any further surgery. So her vets will be checking her every 2 weeks for the next month to six weeks... (and HOPEFULLY we can wait even longer... the goal is to get her to 3 months old before surgery). - - they will continue to watch her progress and growth and will address any problems that may arise.
Emma is to continue being tube fed - - attempting to bottle feed for even a couple of seconds at this point, leads to pain and bleeding as the palate splits from the pressure of even the slightest suction. As well, with bottle or syringe feeding, there is of course the increased chance of fluids getting into the cleft....
Doc wants nothing going in orally. (even if it takes till 12 weeks for her to have her surgery!!)
Once Emma's caloric requirements surpass what her formula can provide - she will be fed a pureed diet via a larger tube... but still cannot eat on her own.
Emma will very likely not tolerate my having to insert the tube for each and every feeding for much longer.... as she grows, she has already begun to fight the tube and is starting to chew it rather than swallow....
So.... when the time comes, whether it be 2 more weeks, 4 more... or however long..... when Emma will no longer allow the insertion of the tube for feeding, her doctor will surgically insert an esophagostomy tube.... (which is safer and less invasive a procedure than the gastrostomy tube, which goes directly into the belly....)
This tube can remain in place for several days... even weeks in some patients - at a time, and will be the continued process of feeding Emma until she is able to have her surgery to repair the clefts.
So this is where we are tonight........... thank you all for your continued prayers and warm thoughts for little Emma... she certainly is a blessed baby girl to have all of your hearts holding her tight!!
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