Esther was born on August 20, 2020 and appeared to be just as healthy as her litter mates. However, by the time she was several weeks old, we noticed that she was unusually wet on her back end. I consulted my veterinarian (who also happens to be my dad) and among other conditions, he introduced the possibility that Esther might have an ectopic ureter. I had heard of ectopic ureters but we’d not had this issue in any of our puppies before. With normal fetal development, a puppy’s ureters drain urine from the kidneys into the bladder where they terminate. With an ectopic ureter, the urine from one kidney either bypasses the bladder or flows through it straight into the urethra. In either case, it results in incontinence. After eventually ruling out the alternatives, it appeared that Esther did, in fact, have an ectopic ureter. X-rays and ultrasounds later confirmed it, along with an enlarged kidney on the same side.

A specialized surgical procedure to reroute the misplaced ureter was an option. Unfortunately, we were looking at a cost of $5,000-10,000 and there would be no guarantee of success. As we consulted with other veterinarians, the option of euthanizing her had been raised. Our family had grown to love Esther. She has a sweet personality and is very smart. By no means were we ready to throw in the towel. One vet suggested we consider removing one of Esther’s kidneys. He assured me that, just like humans, canines can live a full and healthy life with only one kidney. On January 22, this surgery was performed by Dr. Bret Rochotte at Coldwater Animal Clinic.

Since her surgery, Esther hasn’t skipped a beat. Unfortunately, however, it appears the surgery only partially addressed the incontinence issue. Now, it’s time to find her a forever home, with the understanding that she will need to be an outside dog. Esther’s mother is our “Cotton” and her sire is Zinfndel’s “Big Papi”. She has a very solid English Lab pedigree and we believe she will make someone a wonderful pet. If you are interested in applying for her, please e-mail and put “Esther” in the subject line.

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