Home Dog News 6 Day Old Pup Recovers Beautifully From Dangerous Surgery

6 Day Old Pup Recovers Beautifully From Dangerous Surgery

Surgery is tough. For all of us. Imagine you are just a teeny tiny 6-day-old puppy that needs surgery! Meet Ethan, the Shih Tzu puppy who arrived at the ASPCA Animal Hospital in NYC with a wound under his leg that was infected. Weighing less than 1 pound, the staff knew they had to save the little guy, but he was so young.

“Neonate anesthesia can be quite challenging. The nerves to their respiratory and cardiovascular systems are not completely developed, and their physiology makes them susceptible to hypoxemia (low oxygen level in the blood),” says Dr. Mary St. Martin, an ASPCA veterinarian who worked on tiny Ethan, according to the ASPCA’s press release.

“But they can feel pain from birth,” adds Dr. St. Martin.

6 Day Old Pup Recovers Beautifully From Dangerous Surgery
Photo: ASPCA

Ethan is such a young, tiny little guy with a rough start in life, trusting that everyone will make the right decisions for him. At 6 days old, his eyes aren’t even open yet. But as Dr. St. Martin already stated, he can feel pain. And the infected wound was causing him immense pain.

Injuries can happen with newborns, he may have been scratched by a sibling while nursing, his mother may have accidentally stepped on him – who knows the source of his injury – but thanks to the hands on approach of his owner, she spotted the injury and took him to the experts.

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With the surgery a complete success, Ethan was able to go home to recover with his owner. Human mom Sally works in a hospital, so she was able to keep a close eye on the newborn and was thrilled to see him thrive.

6 Day Old Pup Recovers Beautifully From Dangerous Surgery
Photo: ASPCA

By the time Ethan arrived back at the ASPCA 3 short weeks later to remove his sutures and recheck his recovery, the staff was thrilled to see a fat little healthy puppy that had tripled his weight and had healed beautifully. A staff favorite, it was fun to see Ethan growing and healthy.

From tiny injured newborn to fat, sassy and healthy! This GORGEOUS little pup now has a full, fun, exciting life ahead of him. Mischief to get into, butts to sniff, places to go and people to meet. Enjoy the world, Ethan! It’s a pretty cool one.


Camden Savage is a Phoenix based writer, vegan, cupcake addict and dog lover. Years in the animal rescue trenches have taught her every aspect of dog ownership from behavioral problems, personality and breed specific trait differences of all dogs.