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Lab Puppy With Tummy Problems Eats in a Backpack, Heroic Effort Helped Her Thrive

Lab Puppy With Tummy Problems Eats in a Backpack, Heroic Effort Helped Her Thrive

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When a Tennessee woman’s dog gave birth to a litter of puppies, she thought she could handle everything at first.

But, when one of the puppies wasn’t keeping down any food after they were weaned, she began to have second thoughts.

She tried her best, but realized it was time to call in backup in order to save this little girl.

Keep reading to find out what happened next!

Calling in Backup

At first, everything was going well with the woman’s new puppies.

But, after they stopped drinking their mama’s milk, one puppy’s health took a turn for the worse. 

She couldn’t keep down any of her food, and was losing weight by the day.  

A trip to the vet suggested the puppy had an issue that the woman was not going to be able to handle financially.

So, she began to call up rescues to see if any of them could help.

Answering the call

When she called East Tennessee Alliance for Animals, she got the answer she needed.

ETAA was more than willing to take on this puppy, and they had just the woman for the job.

Erin Burke, a long time foster and board member for ETAA, specializes in fostering special needs dogs and tough cases.

The puppy, now named Greta, went into her care and Erin immediately got to work trying to help her.

The road ahead was going to be tough, but Erin was ready to give it her all.

Unraveling the Mystery

Erin began testing out different food options to see what Greta could keep down while they waited to get into the vet.

Greta was sometimes able to keep food down, but it wasn’t consistent.

Luckily, they soon had an answer from the vet about what was going on.

Greta had a treatable condition called persistent right aortic arch.

In simple terms, some of Greta’s blood vessels had grown abnormally and were constricting her esophagus, making it nearly impossible for her to swallow her food. 

Erin was relieved that Greta’s condition was treatable, but there were still two roadblocks ahead.

The surgery was going to be very expensive, and Greta needed to gain weight before she could get her surgery.

Trial and Error

Erin had already tried a few approaches to get Greta to keep down food, but she hadn’t run out of ideas yet.

While she brainstormed more ways of feeding Greta, ETAA got to work raising the $6500 it would take to pay for her surgery

Eventually, Erin found something that worked!

“I bought a front facing dog backpack to use when I fed her,” Erin said. “I fed her a watered down wet food mixture.”

Turns out this did the trick!

Slowly but surely, Greta started gaining weight.

By the time she weighed enough to get her surgery, ETAA had miraculously come up with the money they needed!

Road to Recovery

Greta’s surgery was extremely intense, but she pulled through and it was a success!

Now, Greta could step on the road to recovery. 

The scariest part had now passed, but it was going to take time for her esophagus to heal enough for her to eat normally.

“If she didn’t have such a spitfire personality, I don’t think she would have made it,” Erin said.

So, Erin took things day by day, feeding Greta what she could handle without putting her system under too much stress.

Eventually, Greta was able to keep down dry food after it had been soaked in water!

Coming Out of Her Shell

Now that Greta was gaining weight and feeling better, her personality started to shine.

“Once she started keeping food down, I joked that she was a menace to society,” Erin said.

Greta became the queen of the house, bossing the other dogs around with her little puppy barks.

She wanted to be the center of attention, and wanted a little piece of any fun the other dogs were having.

With such a strong personality, Erin thought Greta would have a lot of interest now that she was ready to be put up for adoption.

But, would any of the potential adopters be interested enough to meet her special needs?

Forever and Always

A lot of potential adopters shied away once they discovered Greta might always have special dietary needs.

However, one woman was undeterred and was very interested in talking with Erin on the phone about Greta.

Then, when the woman found out that she and Greta had the same birthday, she decided they were fated to be together.

“It just solidified that that was exactly where Greta needed to be,” Erin said. 

Now in her forever home, Greta is living it up as a spoiled only child!

“She’s a total goober and is living her happiest life,” Erin shared. “She’s so loved now.”

Click here to follow Erin on instagram and see all her amazing foster work!

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