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Lentil, the French Bulldog with a Cleft Mouth, Helps Children [VIDEO]

Update Date: Jul 04, 2013 10:14 AM EDT
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Little five-month old French bulldog, Lentil, has touched the hearts adults and children alike. Unlike most dogs, Lentil was born with a birth defect known as cleft mouth, which includes a cleft palate and lip. Although Lentil had difficulty eating and drinking, he persevered and survived. Now, after receiving surgery to repair his cleft palate, Lentil's chances of survival are higher. Although he still has his cleft lip, which does not affect how he eats or drinks, he acts like any other puppy. Now, this little bundle of joy has joined a program that helps encourage children with abnormalities to embrace them rather than succumb to them.

Lentil was born in New Jersey in a small litter of four. Unfortunately, every single puppy had a cleft palate and a cleft lip, a condition that all but Lentil died from. Lentil, the lone survivor, needed a feeding tube every few hours since his condition left him incapable of eating and drinking on his own. Due to his condition, food and water would enter through Lentil's nose and lungs, which placed his lungs in danger. Due to the intensive care and attention Lentil needed, Lindsay Condefer with the French Bull Dog Rescue Network located in Philadelphia, PA volunteered to assist. With Condefer, Lentil was places under a 24/7 feeding program. This program's focal point was to make sure Lentil had proper nutrition.

"In the beginning, he ate every two hours throughout, over a 24-hour period, and then as he got older, we were able to stretch it to three hours," Condefer said to CNN.

Due to the condition, Lentil would eventually need surgery, which prompted Condefer to ask for help from the University of Pennsylvania's veterinary school. Condefer also started a Facebook page titled "My name is Lentil," to help spread awareness. Lentil has over 90,000 Facebook friends today. After waiting for Lentil to get a little bit older, two doctors with the veterinary school's Department of Dentirsty and Oral Surgery decided to only fix Lentil's cleft palate. Since the lip was purely cosmetic and Lentil would never be aware of it, the doctors who also consulted a plastic surgeon from the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia decided not to repair it.

Since Lentil still has his cleft lip, the veterinary school wanted him to become a part of the school's program that helps children deal with their abnormal conditions. Since Lentil joined the program, he has been dubbed as the "ambassodog."

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