Cleft Palate Puppy- From Birth to 6 Years of Age

Kaytee- Cleft Palate/Lip

June 2011- Kaytee's now 6 years old and continues to do well.
No further nasal infections after the one she had last year. 

June 26, 2011

For pictures of Kaytee while with her breeder, who tube fed
her around the clock for over 4 weeks and followed

Anne's advice on feeding a cleft palate puppy, please click here.


For information on how to feed a cleft palate puppy, please visit the Hennwood website at the addresses below.  This information along with the dedication of her breeder helped Kaytee to both survive and thrive with an unrepaired cleft palate.
Before her bath she was playing outside, pictures indoors were taken after! 
We continue to put Vaseline on her nose to keep it moisturized  but it tends to
act as a dirt magnet so her beard gets stained and gunked up easily. 

Playing with her new brother Kobuck. 

Kaytee's First Nasal Infection...
March 17, 2010-  Kaytee's nasal area looked irritated so we made an appointment with the vet.  We did a round on Simplecef but it didn't clear up.  I took her back and asked for a culture of her nasal area.  It came back as normal flora but some results were pending.  She has a staph infection that is treatable with drugs like Clavamox.  But the Clavamox has made her vomit 9 times in 7 hours.  We'll try something else.

Kaytee chasing her new ball before she popped it!

Kaytee's Annual Update- Age: 5 Years
January 10, 2010

Kaytee turned 5 years old at the end of November, 2009!   Her nose continues to dry out so we apply Vaseline to it.  It's best to wash her face first to get moisture into her skin, then apply the Vaseline.  Her teeth get tartar on them faster than the other dogs... thinking it's due the fact her her mouth is always open because of her harelip.  She had her teeth cleaned earlier in 2009 but not long after the tartar started to build up again.  She doesn't like to have her teeth brushed but we're wiping them down with gauze once a week and scale them periodically.  We started using OraVet on her teeth to slow down the buildup.  This past year, we found out she has a sensitivity to Metronidazol back in July.   She's also gotten a little fat so she's been put on a diet!  With all the running she loves to do, we need to keep her at a good weight to prevent ortho problems later on.  Her nose coloring hasn't changed since last year.  And she still loves... make that demands... to play fetch outdoors :)  Despite the fact she was born with cleft palate, hare lip and mostly blind (we think she can still possibly see shadows with her left eye which has a cataract) she continues to do very well. 

This cleft palate puppy was definitely worth saving!


Kaytee's Annual Update & Pictures-
December 26, 2008

Kaytee turned 4 years old at the end of November!!  Her black pigment on her nose may be lightening a bit.  Her right eye has definitely shrunk over the years but it's caused her no problems so far.  We apply Vaseline to her nose to keep it supple.  Her unrepaired cleft palate has not caused any problems.  She does get food caught in her beard and in the hair near her nose. I wash her face and comb out any gunk with a flea comb and trim it to help keep it clean.  She's done very well.

Click here for more recent pictures.


November 24, 2007
Kaytee turned 3 years old today. 
There have been no health concerns
and she continues to do well.

Cleft Palate Puppy- From Birth to 2 Years of Age

Adult dog with an unrepaired cleft palate and hare lip
Photos taken November 23rd and November 26th, 2006.

Meet Kaytee... age 2 years with an unrepaired cleft palate that runs about half way back (see graphic pictures below).  She has a harelip with a nose deformity and is mostly blind. Most doctors that met her thought surgery would be the only option but so far she hasn't had an upper respiratory infection.  You'll find many vet's that have never heard of NOT attempting to repair a cleft palate.  Note that it's said that some cleft palates are so severe that the only kind thing to do is euthanize and this is very true.  But many others are euthanized unnecessarily. 

Shortly after Kaytee was born to a breeder in Texas, I started searching the Internet for information that might help her to survive.  I was annoyed when I repeatedly found information that said "euthanize immediately" when other people posted searching for help.  Other sites had bad information on feeding a mush but that would cause upper respiratory infections.  I finally found a website that actually made sense.  It helped Kaytee survive.  If you've reached this page looking for hope for a pup you have, the webpage at the link below might also help you.  * The most important things are that they must be tube fed according to Anne Hennion's instructions until about 4 weeks of age and then they are fed only dry food and water for life.  NO WET FOOD.

Puppy born with a cleft palate and harelip.
The information contained here is provided only as a
possible option and may not be right for everyone.

~ Photos below are graphic. ~

Cleft palate Old English Sheepdog at birth.  11-24-2004
Kaytee at birth- November 24th, 2004.
The first vet said the cleft palate didn't look too bad...
the second vet that saw her said it was very bad.

Old English Sheepdog puppy with a cleft palate and harelip at about 6 weeks of age.
Kaytee at around 6 weeks of age.

Same puppy at around 9 weeks of age.

Kaytee at approximately 9 weeks of age.  When we picked her up at the airport in Detroit everyone wanted to see the puppy.  She had traveled with her "normal" sister from Texas to Michigan with the family that picked her up for us.  Though warned that she had a birth defect, at least one lady appeared appalled by her appearance.  The hurt and rejection that some children with cleft palates and hare lips and their parents must feel.

For information on the possibility of
raising a cleft palate pup without surgery,
please visit the following address-

Photo of dog with a cleft palate and harelip.

Photograph of cleft palate and harelip.

But do NOT feel sorry for me... I enjoy life and most people
 don't even know that I'm blind.  I was given a chance to
live when many pups like me are euthanized at birth. 

Age- 2 years.  Harelip with nose deformity.

Left eye allows her to possibly see shadows.

Right eye did not form properly- she has no vision with this eye.

A normal, happy, healthy adul Old English Sheepdog from age 1 1/2  years to 2 years.A normal, happy and healthy OES at age 1 to 1 1/2 years of age.

"The Pretty One"

Copyright 2006 J. Dunne  All rights reserved.  Copying of images is prohibited.