Dog saved by kidney transplant from her puppy

A dog in St. Louis, Missouri, was saved from kidney failure thanks to a transplant from her own puppy!

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Off the street, not out of danger

Star was saved from the streets with a large litter of young puppies over three years ago. However, it was quickly discovered that she had been suffering from kidney problems and seizures for some time. Star’s kidneys were failing. After some treatment from the Murphy Animal Hospital in Missouri, USA, it appeared that the brave dog was doing much better. She even found a forever home with the pet hospital owner!

But Star wasn’t out of the woods. Sadly, this summer she started vomiting and refused to eat. The situation looked dire. The dog needed a new kidney, and fast.

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Dog organ donation: family to the rescue!

Unlike humans, there is no waiting list for organ transplants when it comes to dogs in the USA. Luckily, Star’s owners had an idea: one of Star’s puppies from her life on the streets might be a match. They contacted the Murray family who had adopted one of the pups, Elsa, about a possible organ donation. There didn’t seem to be any other options.

The Murray family spoke to local news about their reaction. After talking it over with their vet, they decided that “This is Elsa’s chance to save her mom.” They agreed to let their dog give one of her kidneys to her mum.

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A rare dog transplant surgery

On October 10, 2018, Star and Elsa went to the University of Wisconsin-Madison to undergo the rare transplant surgery. After the operation, it took just 36 hours for Star’s blood work to be back at a healthy level. The surgery had worked! Both mum and pup have now gone home to their respective families and are recovering. Well done, Elsa and Star: two brave dogs who deserve healthy, happy lives.

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Read also: Life-saving Golden Retriever becomes local hero

Emily K is a freelance copywriter, journalist and translator based in France. In her spare time, when she's not running after her cheeky beagle, she can be found pedalling around the city on her bicycle.