Jack2, February, 2001
It started out as a typical call to rescue; a young couple had purchased a Lab pup to be used as a hunting companion, but he wasn't working out and they wanted to find him a new home. That was the last typical thing in Jack's story.
The young couple wanted to get rid of the pup because he appeared to be deaf. The rescue person on the other end of the line knew that her group could not take the pup in, so she decided to rescue him herself. When she arrived to pick up the pup, she found a rambunctious 4 month old pup that was the size of a two month old.
The rescuer joined an Internet mail list for owners of deaf dogs to learn how to begin training Jack. She intended to train Jack to hand signals and, when he was ready, find a special home for him.
After about a week, Jack began coughing, wheezing, and running a fever. His pervious owners had already treated him for kennel cough. So, Jack had another visit to a vet. He seemed to recover, but 8 days later was back in a vet's office. This time his temperature was 106 degrees. This vet thought he had the beginnings of bloat, treatment was begun and Jack was sent home. Several hours later his fever soared and he was back at the emergency vet.
This time more tests were run and a liver shunt was suspected. The only treatment for a liver shunt is a risky surgery. The only place capable of performing the surgery is a veterinary teaching hospital, so Jack and his rescuer were off to Madison, Wisconsin and the vet school.
Luckily for Jack, the 7 hour surgery appears to have been a success. He made a remarkable recovery and was released from the hospital just 3 days post-surgery. As his liver begins to work properly and the toxins are filtered out of the blood stream, Jack's hearing has improved a little.
Jack's indomitable spirit touches everyone who meets him. He was invited back to the University for a special television interview. Jack's post surgical routine has included a special diet and laxatives. Over the next few months he will be slowly weaned off the laxatives and, when fully recovered, will be put up for adoption. There is a list of people hoping to provide a forever home.
While LABMED is not able to pay for risky surgeries such as Jack's, we were able to help with the costs of the emergency treatments.
Update, May, 2001
A note from Jack's rescuer:
Jack's hearing is VERY, VERY poor and most likely will remain that way. BUT - Jack's been off of the laxative a whole week now but is still on the special food and he's doing just fine. Next Monday I start weaning him off the low protein diet! In fact he's TOO fine; I should have half his energy! Even my dogs just sit and watch him race around (he's a butt-tucker now). He's wrestling with my 90+ pound male as I write this. NOTHING intimidates this dog!! He's gained some weight and size too. NOW he's looking like a 4-5 month old puppy! But he'll be 7 months old on May 9th!
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