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Dog Born With Cleft Lip And Palate Has Life-Changing Surgery: 'He Is A Happy Boy'

Caitlyn Clancey 26 Jun 2020

Felix the Black Lab has always had to work harder than most dogs just to accomplish the same tasks, but thanks to a life-changing surgery, his life has become significantly easier.

Born with a cleft lip and a cleft palate, not to mention a whole host of other health problems, Felix has certainly experienced more than his fair share of struggles. Yet despite all of that, he's always remained a smiling, charming boy, who's grateful every day for the love of his family.

Felix was adopted when he was just 11 days old, but the future for this puppy looked rather grim.

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"I was the rescue worker who was called in by the breeder after they noticed that one of the puppies from their litter was not thriving, and was, in fact, dying because he had a severe cleft palate and cleft lip, and was not able to nurse off of his mother properly,” Jamie, Felix’s rescuer and owner told Bored Panda.

“He had developed aspiration pneumonia at this point and was not going to live another 24 hours."

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Felix also has some digestive issues because his misplaced colon, and only one of his eyes functions properly.

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His jaws don't match up, and one side of his face is significantly droopier than the other. But Jamie didn't seen Felix for all his problems — she simply saw a puppy who needed his help.

"I took him home with me and tube-fed him for the next 7 weeks," Jamie explained. "I treated his pneumonia as well. He is now a 14-month-old adult Black Lab!”

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Before his surgery, Felix struggled to do the same things most dogs without his conditions can do effortlessly.

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Because of the way his mouth was aligned, he couldn't chew dry dog food, and had difficulty lapping up water right out of a bowl. He also regularly needed Jamie to clean food out of his cleft where it would get stuck awhile he ate. But don't let any of that fool you — Felix was and remains one super content pup.

“[He] is the happiest dog I’ve ever had,” Jamie said. “He is blissfully ignorant of his health problems, and he has more energy than he or I know what to do with."

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In January, Felix under went life-changing surgery to correct his clefts and hopefully make life just a bit easier for this sweet dog.

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“He has a unilateral cleft palate that involved both hard and soft palates," Jamie explained. "His doctor was able to reconstruct the roof of his mouth using his own tissue, and even rebuilt his soft palate, as it was nonexistent."

The surgery was a success, and now months later, Felix is experiencing plenty of firsts that would have never been possible if not for medical intervention.

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For instance, Felix just recently took his first-ever dip into the water and was able to splash around like any other dog would.

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"He did great," Jamie reported of the swim session. "I hope to be able to train him to be a 'real retriever' this summer. If I would have tried to take him swimming before his surgery, he would have drowned in seconds.”

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Not only is he splish-splashing to his little heart's desire, but Felix is also finally eat and drink normally.

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"He's the strongest dog I've ever known," Jamie said. "He has been a real trooper, and I hope that the rest of his life will be great!”

“Seeing him like this after his surgeries is the best reward. What a guy,” she continued. “He is a happy boy.”

If you want to keep up with Felix on all his new adventures, make sure to check out his official Imgur account where Jamie regularly shares the most heartwarming pictures and videos of this charming boy.

h/t: Bored Panda

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