Update – Feb. 26, 207: Ten days ago Tater Tot pushed his colon/rectal stent out, well before the time his specialists felt was a safe time to ensure his stricture would not return. Instead of keeping it in 6-8 weeks, he was only able to hold it in for 2 ½ weeks. He has a recheck and another ultrasound scheduled for this week. Pending this, we expect him to be ready for adoption around March 15.
Tater Tot behaves like a typical one-year-old puppy – he is playful, silly and loves other dogs and people. He will likely always have gastrointestinal issues and will need to remain on a prescription low-res (low fat) diet throughout his life, which his adopter will need to follow carefully. He does like to chew/eat things he shouldn’t so his adopter will need to be vigilant. Because his colon is already compromised ingesting a foreign body can be deadly to him, more so than it would be to a dog with a normal GI system.
Currently, TT is pooping in small increments about ten throughout the day and 2-3 times at night. He strains to go so it is obvious when he is going. While he is no longer leaking and shows no signs of fecal incontinence, he will be a housebreaking challenge because of how often he releases his bowels and he can be stubborn. It is unknown if his colon will recover enough so that he can poop with less frequency.
From what we can tell, it appears TT was never trained so his adopter will need to be prepared to work on him with training. He knows “sit” and is learning “stay”, “wait” and the “touch” redirect, but his attention span is challenging. He may have some cognitive impairments because of what we suspect was irresponsible backyard breeding, likely inbreeding. We require all adopters of dogs 12 months and under to complete a group socialization/training course led by an accredited training, that must begin within 45 days of adoption.
TATER TOT’S IDEAL HOME: Our little gray potato will need a home capable of affording regular checkups and specialist appointments with his care team at the Animal Medical Center in NYC, or another veterinary specialist hospital. It’s important to note pet insurance will likely not cover any continued or new GI issues as they will be considered pre-existing. Because his case is so unique his adopters will need to have access to specialists and be willing and able to afford the costs. He will likely always have a narrow (strictured) colon so his adopter(s) must be willing to learn about his needs, follow his plan of care and be committed to understanding when/if there is a potential problem.
Tater Tot’s best home should have an adult who is home more often than not, and one that is patient and understands that everyone poops! ? While these are the most extensive adoption requirements we have ever put into place for a dog, the nature of his case warrants serious consideration on whether applicants have the time, financial means and desire to take him on.
Tater Tot is a fighter, he is resilient and he wants to live. We project his recovery to be continual and for him to resume a more normal life over time, but this is not something we can guarantee. If you’ve made it this far and still want to apply to adopt him, we look forward to hearing from you! For questions, please email email@example.com.
Update – Feb. 8. 2017: TATER TOT has successfully recovered from a second septic abdomen surgery and is now known as “The Miracle Dog!” He had a stent placed placed in his colon and in 6-8 weeks, when it is removed, we will better understand the scope of his care needs and will be able to determine what his best forever home will be. Thank you for your patience!
Tater Tot was found tied to a pole in Manhattan on New Years Eve. He was suffering from a severely prolapsed rectum. We scooped him up from our city shelter on New Years Day and immediately rushed him to our emergency animal hospital, The Animal Medical Center, where we he underwent a purse string surgery to put his rectum back inside his body. An ultrasound the following morning revealed internal trauma. He was kept for observation as he continued to spike fevers. On his seventh day of hospitalization a perforation was discovered via a third ultrasound and he underwent emergency surgery to treat his septic abdomen, including the removal of two inches of his colon.
After 12 days, this brave, resilient little Pit Bull was released from the hospital on Jan. 12. He is currently in foster care where he will recover, then be thoroughly evaluated for behavior and temperament in order for us to determine his best home. You can read more about his rescue on New Years Day via our friends at The Dodo here.
Tater Tot is estimated to be 10-12 months old and is approximately 30lbs. He will have ongoing medical needs throughout his life and this will be an important part of finding his adoptive home. We will begin going through adoption applications beginning the week of Jan. 23 and we will update his profile accordingly.