Bumble is a Great Pyrenees-mix puppy who was born with more than one anatomical abnormality. Thanks to the collaborative efforts of Mac’s Mission Rescue and Elizabeth Kistner, DVM, at Doctor’s Park Animal Hospital, both of Cape Girardeau, Missouri, and the University of Missouri Veterinary Health Center’s Soft Tissue Surgery Service, Bumble is a new boy!
Veterinary Health Center surgeons first evaluated Bumble in January of 2018 when he was brought to the Small Animal Hospital because he was born with a fifth leg, which had no function, but was causing him discomfort and difficulty during bowel movements. A computed tomography scan was performed using state-of-the-art 3D reconstruction technology to fully elucidate the anatomy of the extra leg and how it connected to the back end so that an amputation could be planned.
During Bumble’s examination, it was discovered that he had urine coming from an abnormally located urethral opening underneath his tail in addition to urinating from the normal location. Bumble was diagnosed with having two separate urinary tracts.
Through a test called a retrograde contrast cystourethrogram, VHC veterinarians discovered that Bumble’s two urinary tracts did not communicate with each other and that one of the urethras also had a connection to the rectum (also known as a rectourethral fistula), which was creating a constant source of bacterial infection in the urinary tract.
Finally, Bumble was diagnosed with a patent ductus arteriosus, or PDA, a condition where there is an abnormal communication between the aorta and the pulmonary artery. The connection is present during gestation, but normally closes after birth. When it remains open, animals develop heart failure and do not enjoy a normal lifespan.
Bumble’s care spanned the course of more than six months and required continual communication between VHC surgeons, Mac’s Mission and Kistner in order to make the young dog a good candidate for surgery.
“Putting all the puzzle pieces together was a challenge at times, but we have learned so much from Bumble’s unique condition,” said Jill Luther, DVM, MS, DACVS, an assistant teaching professor of soft tissue surgery at the VHC.
Bumble had to be treated for a severe urinary tract infection before he could undergo three staged surgeries to correct all of his anomalies.
In April Bumble underwent his first surgeries for castration and amputation of the fifth leg. The following day one of the urinary tracts and the rectourethral fistula were removed through an abdominal surgery that also involved hinging open the pelvic bones temporarily in order to access his urethra.
Finally, in June, Bumble underwent an open chest surgery called a thoracotomy to close the PDA. Luther was happy to note that by his June visit, Bumble was urinating normally, indicating the success of the previous procedures.
Bumble is currently recovering with his foster family and awaiting transport to his forever home once he is completely healed from his surgeries.