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After A Successful Surgery, This Black Lab Born With A Cleft Lip And Cleft Palate Can Finally Enjoy Playing In Water
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After A Successful Surgery, This Black Lab Born With A Cleft Lip And Cleft Palate Can Finally Enjoy Playing In Water

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If you’re a frequent lurker on Imgur, you may have come across the adorable face of Felix. Probably the most-loved dog on the social media platform, Felix sure has captured thousands of hearts with his delightfully charming face.

Born with a cleft lip and a cleft palate, Felix has had his fair share of struggles. Fortunately, this January, he had surgery to repair his mouth and it was successful! Now, Felix is as happy and healthy as any other good boy out there, and he even had his first splash in the river recently, which wouldn’t have been possible a year ago!

More info: Imgur

Meet Felix – a black lab who was born with a cleft lip and palate

Image credits: thevaiobandit101

“I got Felix as an 11-day old puppy. 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 the owner shared with Bored Panda. “He had developed aspiration pneumonia at this point and was not going to live another 24 hours. I took him home with me and tube-fed him for the next 7 weeks. I treated his pneumonia as well.  He is now a 14-month-old adult Black Lab!”

But this January, he finally had surgery and is now happier and healthier than ever

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Image credits: thevaiobandit101

“The cause of a cleft lip and palate is unknown,” Jamie told Bored Panda. “It is a congenital defect found in animals and humans, and is thought to be due to improper nutrition in the mother, or exposure to chemicals during gestation.”

“Felix went to the river today for the first time since his surgery for the purpose of getting his face wet!”

Image credits: thevaiobandit101

Sadly, the cleft lip and palate are not the only medical conditions that this adorable boy has. But he doesn’t let get it in the way of his happiness! “Felix also has some digestive issues because his colon formed on the exact opposite side of his body that it was supposed to! Weird but it works. He only has one functioning eyeball, his jaws don’t match up, and the right side of his face looks like a melted candle, but other than that he is ok I suppose,” Felix’s owner told us. “None of his teeth match up either, so he has to mostly eat canned food. Sometimes I give him hard food so he can feel like “one of the gang” but it’s kind of hard for him to scoop it up. Keeps him busy though.”

“He had so much fun”

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Image credits: thevaiobandit101

“Felix had corrective surgery on January 31st to correct his clefts,” Jamie, Felix’s owner shared with Bored Panda. “He has a unilateral cleft palate that involved both hard and soft palates. 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. Ever since his surgery, probably due to his skull shifting, he suffers from a neurological tic now that causes him to spin around and bark at the air occasionally. We are trying new medications to help him out with that.”

“This would not have been possible a year ago”

Image credits: thevaiobandit101

Felix’s owner told Bored Panda that the poor boy was unable to eat and drink normally before his surgery. “I had to use a specialized tool that I made to clean the food out of his cleft every time he ate,” she explained. “He also had to be regularly sedated so it could be cleaned and flushed at the vet. One time there was an entire salmon skin up there (we live in Alaska), and another time there was a plastic dental flosser stuck up in there. He was kind of a mess.”

Here’s Felix as a baby

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Image credits: thevaiobandit101

Fortunately for Felix, he lives in a big and loving family. “Felix has 4 siblings!” Jamie told Bored Panda. “I have another dog with a cleft (not as severe and didn’t require surgery). His name is Sammy and he is an Australian Cattle Dog. I have a miniature dachshund named PB who is 12 years old. I have Baby Girl, a terrier from Bethel Alaska. And finally, there’s Meera, who looks like a 20-pound brindled whippet. They are an odd bunch, and all from the rescue. I work for a veterinarian who does exclusively rescue work. He’s a great man. Felix gets along great with all of his brothers and sisters, as well as his cat friend, and any and all fosters that I bring home. I have fostered well over 400 dogs since 2013.”

And here he is on his way to becoming a big boy

Image credits: thevaiobandit101

Apparently, Felix is feeling happy and safe living with his loving owner and siblings. “Felix is the happiest dog I’ve ever had,” Jamie shared. “He is blissfully ignorant of his health problems, and he has more energy than he or I know what to do with. I was able to take him swimming for the first time in his life this past weekend, and he did great. 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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“Felix is almost 100% back to normal after three operations in three months”

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Image credits: thevaiobandit101

If there’s one thing that this happy and energetic goofball loves to do, it’s certainly playing! “Felix loves to play ball – he will do it allllll day if you’ll throw it,” his owner told Bored Panda. “He is able to eat and drink normally now, and he’s the strongest dog I’ve ever known. After his surgery, he had a feeding tube coming out of his neck and I had to push liquid dog food through it for a few weeks. He never complained and stood so still while I did it. He couldn’t have anything in his mouth, which was difficult, because he loves to have something in his mouth at all times! He has been a real trooper, and I hope that the rest of his life will be great!”

Two of his surgeries were because Felix ate a rock and two stuffed animals

Image credits: thevaiobandit101

Obviously, Felix is very loved in his house. There, he gets to play with other dogs, cats, and his favorite stuffed animals. In fact, he loves the stuffed toys so much, he recently ate two of them and had to have surgery!

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So, this adorable lab is no different from other good Labrador boys

Image credits: thevaiobandit101

“Seeing him like this after his surgeries is the best reward. What a guy,” Felix’s owner gushes. “He is a happy boy.”

He also recently ate a dead bird that made him really sick

Image credits: thevaiobandit101

Jamie is more than glad that Felix is part of her life. “I have had people say that I should have put him down, but I’m glad I didn’t,” she told Bored Panda. “He is a great advocate for overcoming challenges, looking a little bit different than your friends, and for having your pets spayed or neutered!”

But he’s all good now! “He is a handful!” his owner says

Image credits: thevaiobandit101

Make sure to check out the Imgur account where Felix’s owner posts his photos and videos! Promise, you won’t be disappointed but rather awarded with daily heartwarming content!

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Neringa Utaraitė

Neringa Utaraitė

Author, Community member

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Neringa is a proud writer at Bored Panda who used to study English and French linguistics. Although she has many different interests, she's particularly drawn to covering stories about pop culture as well as history. While not at the office, this Panda enjoys creepy movies, poetry, photography and learning how to play the piano.

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Neringa Utaraitė

Neringa Utaraitė

Author, Community member

Neringa is a proud writer at Bored Panda who used to study English and French linguistics. Although she has many different interests, she's particularly drawn to covering stories about pop culture as well as history. While not at the office, this Panda enjoys creepy movies, poetry, photography and learning how to play the piano.

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rl_2 avatar
R L
Community Member
3 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I like the comment about him eating a dead bird- that means he's a normal dog :-)

booksfeedthemind avatar
Donna Leske
Community Member
3 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

You beat me to it, that's almost exactly what I was going to post. My little guy, 8 mo. old, will eat anything. I took a button away from him yesterday, he was sad so I gave him a slice of raw carrot. Yum.

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yaozhang101 avatar
Annabeth Chase
Community Member
3 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

He's perfect and adorable! He also seems to have many penguin chew toys, lol

thevaiobandit avatar
Jamie Cunningham
Community Member
3 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

He loves penguins. His first favorite toy was named Soggy Penguin, and then everybody started sending him penguins so now it's a thing!

Load More Replies...
mustafakhan_1 avatar
Mustafa Khan
Community Member
3 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

"He ate a rock", "He ate a dead bird", "He also ate two of his stuffed animals". You sure that's not my dog? lol ( but fur real tho he looks so happy)

thevaiobandit avatar
Jamie Cunningham
Community Member
3 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I didn't even know he'd eaten the rock until his mouth surgery! They saw it on the x-ray when they were inserting the feeding tube. So then it had to come out eight days later. It was a 3 cm x 4 cm rock! Then, I was standing there watching him and he picked up a stuffed rutabaga and swallowed it whole in about three big horks. So I immediately took him in for surgery, and they also found a stuffed lobster in there already.

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rl_2 avatar
R L
Community Member
3 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I like the comment about him eating a dead bird- that means he's a normal dog :-)

booksfeedthemind avatar
Donna Leske
Community Member
3 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

You beat me to it, that's almost exactly what I was going to post. My little guy, 8 mo. old, will eat anything. I took a button away from him yesterday, he was sad so I gave him a slice of raw carrot. Yum.

Load More Replies...
yaozhang101 avatar
Annabeth Chase
Community Member
3 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

He's perfect and adorable! He also seems to have many penguin chew toys, lol

thevaiobandit avatar
Jamie Cunningham
Community Member
3 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

He loves penguins. His first favorite toy was named Soggy Penguin, and then everybody started sending him penguins so now it's a thing!

Load More Replies...
mustafakhan_1 avatar
Mustafa Khan
Community Member
3 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

"He ate a rock", "He ate a dead bird", "He also ate two of his stuffed animals". You sure that's not my dog? lol ( but fur real tho he looks so happy)

thevaiobandit avatar
Jamie Cunningham
Community Member
3 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I didn't even know he'd eaten the rock until his mouth surgery! They saw it on the x-ray when they were inserting the feeding tube. So then it had to come out eight days later. It was a 3 cm x 4 cm rock! Then, I was standing there watching him and he picked up a stuffed rutabaga and swallowed it whole in about three big horks. So I immediately took him in for surgery, and they also found a stuffed lobster in there already.

Load More Replies...
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