Kodak – August 16th, 2022

7/7/22 – Please welcome Kodak! We got a call yesterday afternoon about a very sick dog that was dropped off at a vet clinic to be put to sleep. He was in our hands and on the way to the emergency clinic within the hour.
We do not know much about Kodak’s history, but we know a few things…
On June 17th he was brought to a different vet clinic because two days earlier he had been attacked by another dog and they had noticed flies, fleas, and maggots near his open untreated wounds. The vet clinic told the owner at that time they suspected he was septic, and he needed medical care. The owner accepted a few medications but declined all other medical care.

Fast forward three weeks; his health continued to deteriorate, he was unable to keep food down, he was vomiting bile and he lost 13 pounds. He was admitted to the emergency clinic by us yesterday for evaluation. They were able to stabilize him for the night. This morning he saw the internal medicine specialist for x-rays and ultrasound. We went into this thinking he had an obstruction. There was no obstruction found on the ultrasound, but the x-ray showed that he had “something” in his esophagus. We proceeded with an endoscopy to determine what was in his esophagus and the best way to remove it. It turns out there was no foreign object in his esophagus, but he did have a stricture, that was most likely caused by trauma (the dog attack from three weeks earlier).

We decided that the best plan of action would be an esophageal balloon dilation procedure to attempt to open the stricture. The vet can only open it so much at once because too much can cause more damage. He will have to have the same procedure done again two more times over the next two weeks. Opening the stricture, a little bit at a time over three weeks will give him the best chance at recovery. We will attempt to address his cherry eye and neuter during one of his other surgeries later this month. Even with having the procedure done he may still need to eat soft food for the rest of his life. But without the procedure he would not make it.

7/9/22 – Kodak was released from the clinic! He is feeling ok but will be on strict crate rest, a lot of medications and he has to be fed liquid food with a syringe. He sees the vet again in a week for his next surgery.

7/11/22 – Kodak graduated from the syringe to a bowl. But he sure is messy! He is getting small amount of liquid food every few hours. He is still vomiting some but definitely keeping more down then not.

7/14/22 – Kodak had his second surgery today. Everything went according to plan; he had the esophageal balloon dilation procedure done in his esophagus, he was neutered, he had his palate shortened, he had his nares widened and he had both cherry eyes tacked down. If all goes well overnight he should be released from the clinic tomorrow.

7/21/22 – Kodak had his third esophageal balloon dilation surgery today.

7/22/22 – Kodak is home! The balloon procedure went well but the surgeons are not sure yet if three procedures are going to be enough. His team of doctors are going to discuss his case and see where we go from here. He is still eating canned food blended with water (which he will always eat), some times he hacks up a little and sometimes he doesn’t hack up any.

7/31/22 – We admitted Kodak to ER for observation and fluids. He was doing well since his last surgery but on Friday he started not wanting to eat and constantly hacking up foam. His stricture is closing up again.  He will see his internal medicine vet in the morning so we can decide what the next steps are for him.

8/1/22 – We decided to try a more aggressive approach to open Kodak’s stricture.  He will have the esophageal balloon dilation surgery a few times over the next few days.  There is no guarantee it will work but we need to try.  We need him to be alive on his first birthday which is coming up on August 7th.   

The surgeon did the procedure today but is concerned at the tightness and length of the stricture.  He had a hard time getting the scope through the stricture.  Ultimately they were able to do the balloon dilation and he made it through antestias without any complications.  He is resting and have 24 hours care.  We will attempt the balloon dilation again on Wednesday and elevate him for a feeding tube through his stomach.  

8/3/22 – Kodak had another esophagus balloon dilation surgery today and is in recovery now. The surgeon also performed a percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) and placed a flexible feeding tube through his abdominal wall and into his stomach. If all goes well through the night they will attempt to feed him through this tube tomorrow afternoon.

8/4/22 – The vet attempted Kodaks first feeding this afternoon. It went ok but he is a little nauseous. He can have a little food each feeding over the next few days as we build up to his regular amount of food.

Unfortunately his stricture is getting worse not better even with both balloon dilations this week. After talking with the surgeon today we decided not to do any more balloon dilations at this time.

There are a still some unknowns for his future. But we know he won’t be able to eat with his mouth. The vet says there is no chance of the stricture affecting his breathing but there is a chance he can aspirate on his saliva. So for now we will hope that he tolerates the feeding tube, puts some weight on, starts to feel better and who knows maybe he can live a long life with his feeding tube. We will take it one day at a time for now.

Most importantly it looks like he will be alive for his 1st birthday on Sunday!

8/16/22 – This morning we had to say goodbye to Kodak. Even with a feeding tube and 24/7 care, Kodak did not gain any weight and continued to suffer from vomiting spells. His stricture was so tight he could no longer swallow his saliva or drink water. While this was a sad decision, he made it clear to us that he was ready to rest. We are heartbroken that we were unable to save him. We all wanted a different ending. But we take solace in knowing how many people were in Kodak’s corner. And we know he felt the love.
We will remember Kodak for the sweet dog that he was; one who loved people, animals, and cuddling. A dog with a will so powerful that he reached more supporters than we ever could have imagined!
Thank you to everyone that followed along with Kodak’s journey. Rest easy, buddy.

approximate age: 11 months
approximate weight: 27 but was 40 three weeks ago
likes dogs: yes
likes cats: n/a
likes kids: n/a
food: Taste Of The Wild, Pacific Stream canned food blended with water
lifelong medications: tacrolimus for dry eye

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