Puppy gets life-saving operation - KPTV - FOX 12

Local pet hospital saves Afghanistan veteran's puppy

Posted: Updated: Sep 28, 2012 07:14 PM

A German shepherd is one lucky dog after a medical condition almost killed the 18-week old puppy.

On Wednesday afternoon, the dog had a life-saving operation.

It was the staff at Willamette Valley Animal Hospital in Keizer that jumped into action to help out the owner of that dog, who couldn't afford the surgery.

From the looks of it, you wouldn't be able to tell that Bruce is still recovering from surgery.

Bruce's owner told FOX 12 he bought the puppy about three months ago in Eugene.

He said that it was about three weeks ago that he noticed something was wrong with Bruce.

That's when he noticed that his puppy had stopped eating, was losing weight and wasn't moving very much.

Veterinarians first thought he had an obstruction, but the problem was much worse.

"It's actually where a piece of his intestine telescoped back inside of another piece. The outside piece of intestine then clamps down on that piece of intestine and it went inside and basically cuts off the blood flow and kills the tissue," said Joshua Braden with Willamette Valley Animal Hospital.

In order to get Bruce the help he needed it was going to cost his owner almost $2,000 for the surgery, but it was something he couldn't afford.

"He needed the surgery when he had it with us or he needed to go back to the vet the next day and be euthanized," added Braden.

Several calls were made that eventually led them to Willamette Valley Animal Hospital.

They knew they had to move quickly in order save Bruce's life, even if the owner couldn't afford the operation.

On top of that, they learned the owner was a veteran from the Afghanistan war who had recently been awarded a Purple Heart.

"He's somebody who's served our country, and we felt that if this is one little thing we could do for him then that's great, you know,' said Braden.

The two-hour operation was a success.

The vet was able to cut out the piece of intestine creating the problem, giving Bruce a second lease on life.

"At this point, because of the surgery and the way it's done, he probably still has another three or four days before we can confidently say he's out of the woods," added Braden.

Beyond that, Bruce still has a few more weeks before he's fully recovered.

In the meantime, Bruce's owner just moved away for a temporary job, but he plans to be back in a couple of weeks to check on his pup.

He told FOX 12 that he is grateful for everything everyone did to save his dog's life.

Some groups in Eugene are collecting money to help offset the surgery bill while others have been donating to the animal hospital to cover the surgery.

Copyright 2012 KPTV (Meredith Corporation.) All rights reserved.

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