"Neonate anesthesia can be quite challenging," Dr. Mary St. Martin, one of the ASPCA veterinarians who worked with Ethan, said in a press release. "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). But they can feel pain from birth."
It was clear that the puppy was already suffering. His human, Sally N., had brought him to the emergency room after noticing how upset he was.
"He was crying," she said in the release. "He had a wound that smelled and looked like it was infected." She suspects that his mother accidentally injured the pup while cleaning or moving him.
Fortunately, the surgery was a success, and three weeks later, Dr. Martin removed Ethan's stitches.