Dogs are a huge part of any family. Witnessing your dog sick and having to make a tough decision if you should keep him alive can be heart-wrenching. One owner was devastated when doctors gave her news that her dog may need to be put down because of a health condition that was preventing him from eating. That’s when the owner and several doctors had the brilliant idea to build the dog a custom high chair so he could eat. The German Shepherd, Elijah, has been nicknamed the “Miracle Dog” because of his miraculous recovery.
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Elijah’s original owner couldn’t take care of him and brought the six-month-old puppy to Ada Animal Hospital in Idaho malnourished and with a broken leg. “He didn’t have a lot of calcium and protein and some of the nutrition, so he actually jumped out of one of our technicians’ arms and broke his leg,” Veterinarian Dr. Zoe Baxter said.
After doing some tests, veterinarians discovered he had megaesophagus. They found that food wasn’t moving from Elijah’s esophagus to his stomach which was preventing him from growing in size. One of the vet technicians, Savannah Amberson became the new owner of Elijah and desperately tried to feed him through a syringe for three months, hoping to nurse him to health. He went through surgeries but the problem still remained.
“The doctors sat me down and had the conversation with me, ‘You know you’re going to have to make a hard choice, how much farther you want to put him through,'” Amberson said. “They said, ‘There’s really not much else we can do at this point.'”
So the doctors decided to try something completely different and created a throne for Elijah. The aim was to use gravity to help with the puppy’s digestive system. “It’s supposed to make it so that gravity pulls the food through his esophagus rather than the muscles pushing it through his stomach,” Amberson said.
Although there was a bit of resistance from him at first – it worked! He has now been eating five meals a week for three weeks and he has nearly tripled in body weight.
Amberson says he loves his chair now. “Sometimes he even falls asleep in the chair,” clinic owner Dr. Wayne Loertscher said.
Amberson loves Elijah and plans on never giving him up. “I have no intentions of getting rid of him,” Ms Amberson said. “He’s going to be my pup forever.”
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