POSTED: Thursday, January 26, 2012 - 6:40pm
UPDATED: Friday, January 27, 2012 - 7:46pm
EL PASO - A local family says they picked up their puppy from the pound, and had to put it to sleep days later. Now, they have a warning for other pet owners, and they are not the only ones.
"We started noticing body parts coming out," Marie Ramirez said.
"Pickles," her family's nine month old pit bull puppy, was locked in the pound for two days after it got out of the yard.
"We took him home. That night he started throwing up, and then he got really sick. Some weird things started happening to him," she said.
The puppy's intestines began to protrude from his bottom. He was in severe pain and had to be put down.
"It was real sad to have to see him suffer like that, because it's something that we've never seen happen to an animal," Ramirez said.
Ramirez says "Pickles" was healthy before he went into the pound, and the family thinks he may have gotten sick during his stay there.
"The veterinarian looks at every dog, every day," Ellen Smyth said.
Smyth oversees El Paso Animal Control Services, and she says that's not the case.
"The dog came in healthy and was released healthy," Smyth said.
Smyth says a genetic defect in "Pickles" likely caused the prolapse. In fact, she says pit bulls are predisposed to the condition.
"This is just a tragic incident, and we're sorry about that," Smyth said.
Ramirez says she was told the pound's food made "Pickles" sick, but Smyth's vet says there's no way. The family also says one of their other pit bulls is sick, and they're worried the condition is contagious. Animal control services says it's not.
Now both sides have a warning for other pet owners.
"Just be careful with your pets. You know we trust them with our pets and we don't know what's going on," Ramirez said.
"I think the message for owners of pit bills and boxers is to watch for this type of a condition," Smyth said.