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Old 10-25-2006, 11:45 AM   #1
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Default undiagnosed cleft?

My smallest baby is 4 1/2 weeks old and 12 oz. (4.5 at birth). Since birth she has had milk coming out of her nose. I was sure it was a cleft palate, but the vet has insisted she doesn't have any sort of cleft. I took her back sat. (for the 3rd time) and demanded to know why she still has this problem. I'm just amazed that she hasn't developed pnuemonia. The vet took her back for quite awhile and said they couldn't find any problem to account for it and gave me an antihistamine for her "runny nose" and congestion. I have been beside myself this entire time. I have been treating her as a cleft baby anyway, and searching and reading everything I can find. Tomorrow we go to a much better vet, he's an hour away but specializes in toys, and hopefully will get an answer. For the last few days the baby has adopted me as her "true" mother and quit nursing, although her sister is nursing just fine. Has anyone ever experienced this before? I suppose it could be a problem with the esophagus, but from everything I've read, it sure sounds like a soft cleft to me. Any input would really be appreciated, as I've come to have more faith in your experience than a vets. Thanks, Janet
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Old 10-25-2006, 12:13 PM   #2
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Default puppy

I think a second opinion is best...how does she react to eating food or when she drinks water?
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Old 10-25-2006, 12:45 PM   #3
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She eats pretty good if it's off my finger. She had been lapping a bit out of a little cup, but now she seems to prefer her food at a level height. Tomorrow afternoon was the soonest I could get her in. This is the first I've even been able to talk about it. She drinks water okay, and in general seems fine. Except for low weight gain, congestion and fluid at the nose ALWAYS. Lord only knows what we're dealing with, but whatever it takes, it'll be dealt with. Is it even possible for a vet to miss a cleft 3 times??? When that's what they've been requested to look for? They said they were able to get down in there real good, and found nothing. Thanks for your response. I've read about you and your baby and what you've been through, and you're an inspiration.
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Old 10-25-2006, 04:09 PM   #4
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Awww, I hope your little one is ok. I can imagine the worry you are going through. I would want a second opinion as well. Best wishes to you and your little baby.
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Old 10-26-2006, 07:26 AM   #5
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Thanks. I just can't imagine what it is. She's so feisty! Seems completely normal in every other respect. I put her down with my 9 mth old Maggie last night and the tiny one just went crazy playing with her. Chased her around. She's absolutely fearless. Maggie loves her! But, those bubbles from her nose are a serious problem, I'm sure. Or could develop into one. I'll post what the "specialist" says this afternoon. No matter what he says, guess who's going to be staying with mom for at least 5-6 months.
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Old 10-26-2006, 08:00 AM   #6
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I was going to say get a second opinion, but it seems you already are doing that. I hope all goes well!
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Old 10-26-2006, 09:31 AM   #7
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I have heard of clefts being so small they require an x-ray to diagnose. It does sound like a cleft to me. Hopefully the specialist will be able to make a definite diagnosis. Let us know.
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Old 10-26-2006, 09:36 AM   #8
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I hope you find out your answers with a second opinion....Please let us know......
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Old 10-26-2006, 03:12 PM   #9
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Default update

Turns out she has 2 small holes in the soft palate. That accounts for the fluid in both nostrils. Vet had a real hard time finding them and said he was shocked that she's doing so well. He's never performed the surgery himself, but is getting in touch with a surgeon in Vegas who he says is very good and we'll try to make a plan. He gave me an antibiotic in case she needs it in the future, and hopefully we can get a whole lot more weight on her. Because it's the soft palate, it can be repaired. The biggest obstacle is her size. This little girl really wants to live and I'm not about to give up on her! We'll just keep on doing what we've been doing and hope for the best.
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Old 10-26-2006, 03:16 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by red rock blues
Turns out she has 2 small holes in the soft palate. That accounts for the fluid in both nostrils. Vet had a real hard time finding them and said he was shocked that she's doing so well. He's never performed the surgery himself, but is getting in touch with a surgeon in Vegas who he says is very good and we'll try to make a plan. He gave me an antibiotic in case she needs it in the future, and hopefully we can get a whole lot more weight on her. Because it's the soft palate, it can be repaired. The biggest obstacle is her size. This little girl really wants to live and I'm not about to give up on her! We'll just keep on doing what we've been doing and hope for the best.
I'm so happy to hear you are fighting for this baby girl!!! Please keep us updated on her progress. How much does she weigh? At what weight can they do the surgery?
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Old 10-26-2006, 03:38 PM   #11
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I've heard the smaller they are the easier they are to correct with surgery (and cheaper) and may even close up on their own. Did he give you any hope that they may close by themselves?

I guess keep doing what you're doing because you've brought her this far.

Here's a recipe that is 11 calories per cc, most are 2 calories or less per cc.

11 Calories per CC Formula

10 oz. of canned evaporated milk or goat's milk (not pasteurized cow's milk - this will cause scowers - dogs cannot drink normal cow's milk) Goats milk is by far the best to use. Wall Mart sells it.

3 oz. sterilized water (baby water or boiled water) this is not needed if using goat's milk

1 raw egg yolk

1 tablespoon regular mayonnaise

1 cup of whole yogurt (avoid skim or fat free)

1/2 Tsp Karo Syrup or Corn Syrup (NOT HONEY !!!)

Place ingredients in a blender and blend or use a wire whisk. Be careful to not over blend and create a milk shake full of bubbles and then tube bubbles into the puppy.

Keep cool and discard leftovers after 7 days.

Warm formula to body temperature (dogs are around 101 degrees). Discard any un-used formula. This is a thick mixture - use a stomach tube to tube feed or enlarge the hole in the nipple for easy access for the pup.
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Old 10-26-2006, 03:58 PM   #12
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Sounds like it is fixable...prayers and good thoughts for your baby girl...
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Old 10-26-2006, 04:30 PM   #13
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Default Surgery?

This is only my opinion.
SInce your puppy has done so well in their condition, Im not so sure they need surgery. Most die. The Cleft puppy I raised needed help from the get go. He would have died the first days. Trying to eat for him was like sucking fluid thru a straw with lots of holes. He had no suction.
Cleft babies dont do real well with soft foods. If you have raised a puppy this far, switch to hard food. Offer it by hand, if they wont eat it..............well then offer them pieces of whole foods...........such as deli ham, cheese, big pieces of egg. Soft mushy food gets in their sinuses and makes them deathly sick.
........Make your puppy a milk shake.........A tsp or two of Honey and dog puppy formula mixed with water in a small bowl. They will drink this at their own rate and ability if they are hungry, and have a will to live. They adapt. Its amazing how they adapt. It is amazing how speical these dogs are.
This worked for my puppy. He is 6 months old. What a Scamp!!!!
I hope it works for your special puppy too. Good Luck!
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Old 10-26-2006, 07:29 PM   #14
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Default Big thank yous!!!

Thanks for all the input. The recipes are great. I've been blending her puppy food with water on puree. She doesn't have teeth yet, bur I'll try the bigger pieces. As far as the surgery, my vet didn't know the size or weight for it, but she's only 12 oz. so that makes it almost impossible yet. (I'm guessing). He wanted to consult with the surgeon. I did ask if it could heal on it's own and he said no. But, I'm thinking maybe when she gets teeth and can eat kibble maybe she can do without surgery. It's just going to be one day at a time for awhile yet. And I'm still learning. He did say that he'd never seen one make it this far, so she's got a fairly good shot. I'm not tinking very clear tonight, as I was so relieved to at least know what it is that I went out to dinner. With wine. (that's a first since this began.) Janet
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Old 10-27-2006, 06:26 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by red rock blues
Thanks for all the input. The recipes are great. I've been blending her puppy food with water on puree. She doesn't have teeth yet, bur I'll try the bigger pieces. As far as the surgery, my vet didn't know the size or weight for it, but she's only 12 oz. so that makes it almost impossible yet. (I'm guessing). He wanted to consult with the surgeon. I did ask if it could heal on it's own and he said no. But, I'm thinking maybe when she gets teeth and can eat kibble maybe she can do without surgery. It's just going to be one day at a time for awhile yet. And I'm still learning. He did say that he'd never seen one make it this far, so she's got a fairly good shot. I'm not tinking very clear tonight, as I was so relieved to at least know what it is that I went out to dinner. With wine. (that's a first since this began.) Janet

I just wanted to ad that I've delt (and am still dealing with) a soft cleft palate. You can read my story here: http://www.yorkietalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=47910

My baby is now 16 weeks old and doing awesome! Eating on her own, weighing in at 2.5 lbs, eating hard food and drinking water. Her cleft is a whole cleft. I'm not planning surgery. She still breathes girgly and water still comes out her nose, but other than that she is doing real well. My thread may help you as when I started the post she was 3 weeks old. It was a long road but we've made it this far. I'd be happy to help with anything, please let me know!!! My thoughts are with you!!!
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