Surgical Success For One Tiny Oklahoma City Chihuahua

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Six months following the birth of a newly orphaned Chihuahua with severe facial deformities, high hopes for a successful cleft palate repair were realized! Oklahoma Board Certified Veterinary Surgeon, Dr. Ellen Domnick, DVM - was able to successfully repair the hard palate deformity in a 45 minute procedure which took place at the pup's current treating hospital: Neel Veterinary Hospital. (OKC, OK)

Baby Emma: Prepared For Surgery

We are so pleased with all that this tiny girl has accomplished! But we know that we couldn't have done it without the ongoing love and support from those who hold Emma and our family in their prayers and continue to touch our hearts with the comments, emails, cards, gifts and phone calls! We feel so blessed to have such an amazing support system!

Almost six months following the birth of a newly orphaned Chihuahua with severe facial deformities, high hopes for a successful cleft palate repair were realized!

Oklahoma Board Certified Veterinary Surgeon, Dr. Ellen Domnick, DVM - was able to successfully repair the hard palate deformity in a 45 minute procedure which took place at the pup's current treating hospital: Neel Veterinary Hospital. (OKC, OK)

At 24 weeks old and 28 ounces, Baby Emma is just 10 days post op -- but the outcome of the procedure looks to be a positive one!

Emma is recovering nicely at home and is suffering little ill effects of her ordeal.

Dr. Domnick also attempted to reconstruct Emma's lip and nasal deformities in order to give her a functioning nasal passageway -- where she previously had none. The next few weeks will reveal whether this has indeed been accomplished.

In the meantime, Emma continues to do well with her newly reconstructed palate. On January 17th, just two days post-op, she reveled in her success with her very first "real meal"!

Tiny Emma was born on August 4th, 2008 to an Oklahoma family who did not notice her severe cleft palate, cleft lip and nasal/facial deformities until the following evening.

Seventeen hours following her birth, Emma's original owners posted a desperate ad on craigslist.com -- where she drew the attention of Dena Lamkin.

The tiny 3.4 ounce, 20-hour-old Chihuahua pup was adopted by the Lamkin family and quickly began to thrive.

Emma's deformities would not allow her to suckle from her mother, a bottle -- or eat normally via other methods. She was tube fed a diet of Esbilac puppy milk replacer formula (fully donated by PetAg, Inc.) every 2 hours around the clock, for the first four months of her life. Then, moving on to a mixture of formula along with wet puppy food via a syringe every 3 to 4 hours ... until now, almost six months later!

Emma's first meal of solid foods consisted of boiled chicken and rice with carrots, peas and Missing Link supplement. Unsure at first, she quickly realized what all the fuss was about and happily gobbled down every last bite!

"Emma continues to amaze us every single day .... no matter what this precious baby has to face -- she always tries to do it smiling and with wide eyed wonder ... she has such an awesome spirit!"

"We are so pleased with all that this tiny girl has accomplished! But we know that we couldn't have done it without the ongoing love and support from those who hold Emma and our family in their prayers and continue to touch our hearts with the comments, emails, cards, gifts and phone calls! We feel so blessed to have such an amazing support system!"

Since Emma's birth, her story has reached thousands around the country ... and the world!

Contacts from not only the families of cleft palate puppies -- but from the parents and family members of cleft affected children -- began pouring in as local news stations, youtube videos and numerous web pages told of Baby Emma's trials and triumphs.

Emma appears regularly in the dog fancier's bi-monthly magazine, Chihuahua Connection and her story has been told via the nationwide radio talk show, Animal Radio.

The attempts to share the blessings that Emma and the Lamkin family have received continue on as they "Paw It Forward" through their many charity efforts.

The Lamkin family is currently in the beginning stages of planning in order to complete the complex filing/application processes to attain federal 501 (c) (3) status so that they may better continue their charity service.

"We have many plans in the works to benefit both children and animals living with cleft palate and craniofacial deformities nationwide!"

The foundation's mission is two fold ... ideally, to create and maintain a nationwide database of certified pet therapy dogs with a passion geared towards aiding in the comfort and companionship of children suffering with cleft and craniofacial conditions. Patients and service dogs will be linked and matched to create the best possible experience for both. Through the implemented network, families around the country may request and receive animal assisted therapy sessions in their area to benefit the recovery and rehabilitation of their children.

Additionally, the foundation will form a nationwide foster and rehabilitation program which would give puppies born with cleft and craniofacial deformities, proper care, treatment, surgical procedures and family placement as they grow and fully recover. At that time, these dogs will be permanently placed in families dedicated to the foundation's mission and entered into the ever growing database in which they will serve as members of the foundation's pet therapy team.

"In the meantime, we will continue with our efforts to reach cleft children and their families in support and recognition..... we will continue to aid families with cleft puppies in getting the care and treatment that they require to survive.... and we will continue to promote awareness and support of the same!"

There is currently a fund raiser/pledge drive going on to help raise the funds necessary to build Emma's non profit foundation and provide for its mission.

Join In Emma's Non Profit Foundation Fund Raiser

"It is our goal that this fund raiser page be visited by one million viewers! We just need 220 pledges of 100.00 each for the fund raiser to succeed, but if Emma's story can find its way into the hearts of one million viewers -- the TRUE SUCCESS will be immeasurable!"

Additionally, Emma's good friend Linda Higgins, renowned Interior Designer of 37 years, has "gone to the dogs" with her new line of couture pet apparel!

In yet another effort to promote Emma's foundation and raise funds for the same, Mrs. Higgins has created an incredible line of daily wear dresses and formal gowns called "Emma"! What a fabulous honor!

A portion of the proceeds received from this amazing fashion line will go to aid in the many charity projects carried out by Emma's non profit foundation.

"We are working on a children's book to offer as a source of comfort and understanding to kids going through the same thing... I think these children will really be able to relate to Emma on a level that we, as adults may not."

Also in the plans, is an autobiography of Emma's story. Watch for it on Amazon.com this fall!

Visit Emma On MySpace for more information, photos, videos and other details of her story!

See Emma On Dogster

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