Caine, a beautiful 2-year-old boxer/Rhodesian ridgeback mix, has learned to survive without a tongue, after he lost his in a paper shredder incident.
The adorable Caine has always been a curious pet, and that, unfortunately, cost him his tongue. It happened at the beginning of 2010, when his owner, Ashley Taylor, left him in the care of her mother, Pat, while she went away for the winter holidays. The last thing Pat remembers before the accident is hearing Caine sniffing around the kitchen, as was his habit. Then came a terrifying yell, and when she rushed into the kitchen she saw the dog’s tongue hanging around three inches, on the other side of the shredder. He had probably tried to grab a piece of kibble that had somehow fallen into the shredder, and activated the device.
While Caine managed to free himself from the shredder, he also chewed off his own tongue, before Pat could do anything to help him. She rushed to a vet clinic, where she was advised to put the dog to sleep, but as that was never an option, she got them to stitch up the base of the tongue, to stop the bleeding. Ashley returned the next day, and began consulting with specialists, about how to help Caine survive his ordeal. They suggested euthanasia, but she wouldn’t hear any of it, so they decided to insert a feeding tube into his stomach.
That’s when Caine’s second life began. His human family watched him 24/7, catering to his every need, and he felt motivated to fight for his life, even without a tongue. The goal was to teach him to eat and drink, so he wouldn’t need the tube anymore, and Caine was eager to learn. Ashley discovered that little meatballs are the secret to feeding him. They make small meatballs out of Science Diet dog food, and play a little game with him – they’d say something like “Are you ready?” , Caine tilts his head back and moves his head forward to swallow. As far as drinking goes, they either use the feeding tube, or feed it to him with a syringe, but are also working on techniques that would help their dog drink on his own.
Without a tongue to regulate his temperature during the summer, Caine will have to be kept somewhere cool, to prevent fainting and vomiting, and even though he gets tired a lot faster these days, he has beaten the odds, and, just like Faith – the biped dog, he has proven that anything is possible.
Be sure to check his blog, for updates on how he’s doing.