Coco the Cleft Palate Jack Russell’s Happy Ending

coco cleft palate puppy posing copy

My name is Coco and I’m a cleft palate pup that would like to share my story with you

I was born on 6th March 2011 along with my brothers and sisters.  For reasons only later revealed my mom wasn’t able to feed me and rejected me. Her owners brought me to my new family when I was a day old and that’s been my home ever since.

jack russell puppy cleft palate

I was hand reared with a bottle and Milk-o-pup formula and always battled to suckle properly, often the milk would come out my nose.  I was fed every 2 hours but only managed a measly 2 – 5ml at a time.

At 5 weeks my new mommy introduced me to soft puppy food but that didn’t work out at all, everything came out my nose.  They thought I might have a cold and took me to the vet who informed them that I in fact had a cleft palate and it would probably be best if I was put down.

My new family was heartbroken after doing such a great job with me for 5 weeks and headed home, straight onto Google, and there they found out all the info they would need to keep me alive.

jack russell puppy cleft palate

I was given water from a hamster bottle on a stand as I needed to drink upright so the liquids didn’t go into my lungs.  As I got older I only eat dry doggy food and drink water, mom treats me with cut up Vienna’s too.

jack russell puppy cleft palate

For Easter 2011 my family and I were heading to Badplaas with their caravan and were involved in a terrible accident, with a truck, fortunately we were all ok but the van and car were write offs.  Every-one was so concerned about me (I was 6 weeks old) but I was none the worse for wear.

jack russell puppy cleft palate car caravan accident

That year my family moved and one day, just for a split second, the gate was left open and I decided to go for a walk.  I got rather confused about where I was and got lost.  The family was frantic; half the neighborhood was out looking for me.  Luckily they found me and now I have a collar with my name and number, just in case.

jack russell puppy cleft palate

One day we went to visit family and I was playing in the garden with their dog when all of a sudden I couldn’t breathe! It was awful! My throat closed up and I was turning blue. My mom was blowing down my nose and throat thinking I choked on something or was stung by a bee.  I was rushed to the vet who put me in an oxygen tank for the night; it was so scary to be alone! I’ve never spent a night without mom, her bed is my bed and she’s not here. We don’t know what caused the attack and every now and then if I get too excited it happens again, not that bad though and I don’t go to the vet, mom calms me down on her bed then I’m fine.

As far as my diet goes I only eat dry, solid food and drink water.  Every now and then I still have water running out my nose but I’m otherwise 100% Jack Russell.  I love riding in the car, teddy’s (emptying them is so much fun) but my rope is my favorite toy and Google is my best friend as without it, I probably wouldn’t be here.

Written by: Coco & her mom, Vionne Kruger

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7 thoughts on “Coco the Cleft Palate Jack Russell’s Happy Ending

  1. Well, you did it made me cry 10min after I woke up, but it was a happy cry.As I’m writing this tears still in my eyes. I loved hearing your story. You and your family are very lucky to have found each other. What a wonderful mommy you have. And you are very, very brave. Continue to be strong and take good care of mommy. Your new friend, Dawne

  2. Hi, what a lovely pup. It might be worth a call to the Smile Foundation, which is a charity that does operations on children with this sort of problem to see if they would be willing (or able) to help your pup.

  3. Awww Vee … you even have me in tears. Coco-bum is a very special girl … and boy am I glad that she likes Aunty Pam hehehehe.

  4. We were planning on it, but we decided 2 see if she would manage without the op, and she’s doing very well. There’s also a lot of risks with the op, so we didn’t wanna risk anything.

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