Meet Mandrake, an Edmonton chihuahua who faced down a rare condition that causes plumbing problems

Meet Mandrake.

He’s far from perfect, but don’t get caught up on his looks. This five-pound fur ball is tough.

Now considered a medical marvel, this small but mighty Edmonton chihuahua, is hoping to find a new home.

Found abandoned in the hallway of an apartment building at only one year old, Mandrake arrived at the Edmonton Humane Society, shaking from pain and infection.

This little guy had what some might call ‘plumbing issues.’

“He had a lot of problems when he first came to us,” said Dr. Anthea Smith, director of animal health at the society. “I’m really pleased that, with the help of a specialist, we were able to help fix him up and get him ready for adoption.” 

After much investigation, the veterinary staff determined that Mandrake was suffering from bladder stones and a urethral rectal fistula — a rare condition that causes urine to pass through the rectum rather than the urinary tract.

It’s one of only 10 documented cases of the deformity, according to society staff.

After specialized surgery in Calgary, and more than $5,000 worth of followup medical care, Mandrake is now marking his territory on trees and fire hydrants with ease.

While he’s on the mend, there are some problems with Mandrake’s health that just can’t be fixed.

Despite setbacks, he’s ‘a happy dog’

He has a deformed vertebrae and tail, dental problems, and a genetic liver defect. He’ll need a special diet, medication, and regular veterinary checks.   

“This doesn’t seem to affect his quality of life,” Smith said. “He is able to run and jump and be a happy dog.”

Despite all his setbacks, shelter staff say Mandrake is a lovable ball of energy, and would make the perfect pet for a family willing to accept all of his imperfections.

“He’s a nice little dog and he’s doing really well, and I think it’s something that a good home can easily take on,” Smith said. 



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