Looking at JR and Bandit, you would think they are just two cuddly, adorable Dachshund/ Chihuahua pups.

But sometimes, looks can be deceiving. JR and Bandit were surrendered to Northeast Animal Shelter because of their dietary health issues.

JR and Bandit were born to Samantha, a Dachshund, whose owner is one of our community outreach clients. The pups were picked up by the CO team and placed in a foster home, where the extent of the problem revealed itself. Feisty little Bandit suddenly began exhibiting troublesome signs: vomiting, lethargy, and difficulty breathing. The frightened pup, who had been eating and playing normally earlier in the day, was rushed to an emergency veterinary hospital.

The diagnosis was megaesophagus, a condition in which the muscles of the esophagus do not work properly, and food and water stay in the chest cavity instead of moving into the stomach. Sometimes the condition can lead to aspiration pneumonia, which is what happened with Bandit.

Thankfully, Bandit’s condition stabilized, and after a few days, he was released from the hospital with a plan on how to manage his medical situation.

The chances are likely that JR, now named Malcolm, will develop the same condition as his brother, now named Angus. Nonetheless, the pups were adopted into a loving home together and today, they are active, happy, and continuing their medical care with their primary vet. As for their mother Samantha? She was spayed at our first low-cost community spay and neuter clinic, another service of the outreach program.