Sasha, a tiny pit bull puppy, was born in September. At a day old, she was found to have a cleft lip and palate – making her unable to nurse.
“She’s defying all the odds,” DeMarco, Sasha’s foster mom and founder of FURRR 911, told The Dodo. “She’s proven that she wants to be here.”
Director of SNARR Animal Rescue of New York, Courtney Bellew, has been caring for Sasha and her littermates. SNARR specializes in special needs dogs.
“The owner recognized she had a cleft palate and lip and wanted to try and save her,” Bellew explained to The Dodo. “He brought her to my house and she was so tiny and fragile.”
Sasha had to be tube-fed, so Bellow coordinated with an experienced nurse practitioner, DeMarco. DeMarco previously worked with neonatal care for injured and critically kittens.
With DeMarco’s proven skill caring for animals in need, Sasha would be in good hands.
Bellow brought Sasha to a parking lot in Westchester County, New York – near DeMarco’s home. To make a heating pad for the puppy, she put some rice in a sock. The dog was carefully wrapped in blankets and placed in a box to keep her warm through her travels.
Her first day of lie, Sasha was a mere 11 ounces. Unfortunately, her cleft lip and palate were only the start of her health problems.
DeMarco realized Sasha’s head was much larger than her body. After consulting the veterinarian, Sasha was diagnosed with hydrocephalus.
Hydrocephalus is a buildup of cerebrospinal fluid in the skull. For Sasha, this means her brain is only 1/3 of the size it is intended to be.
As time passed, Sasha developed an infection in her upper respiratory system, as well as a urinary tract infection.
Despite all of the problems, Sasha has held on tightly!
“She has an amazing will and determination,” DeMarco said. “Through all this, she really shouldn’t be here.”
Now that Sasha is 3 1/2 months old, Sasha weighs 1 pound 9 ounces. She is not big enough to have any surgeries.
When Sasha gains weight, she will be able to have surgeries to help her eat and rid of some of the fluid in her skull.
No matter how many struggles Sasha is facing, she is still a happy puppy full of life!
Sasha eats every three or four hours throughout the day, and every five hours during the night to allow DeMarco to get a little rest.
When Sasha sees her food, she starts licking her lips!
To keep warm, Sasha wears cute sweaters and dresses. She loves to hang out with DeMarco’s foster kittens and cats.
More than anything, Sasha adores DeMarco. She stays near her foster mom as much as she can – affection is her favorite!
“I scoop her up and hold her,” DeMarco said. “When I hold her and I’m kissing her, if I hold her near my face, she licks my nose.”
It’s too soon to know what Sasha’s future looks like, but things are optimistic.
“She was dealt some bad cards in life,” DeMarco said. “Boy, is she loved.”
Source: The Dodo