Can you help Hopper?


Can you help Hopper?

by Danielle Thompson (June 2020)

CAN you help to save a severely disabled puppy?

In May, Jenny Preston, 28, and Jamie Preston, 32, from Ainsdale, recently adopted a severely disabled 10 week merle sheepdog/collie/springer spaniel cross-breed puppy, Hopper. The dog, who is now four months old, is both deaf and blind and has severe deformities in his hind right leg. He has been ‘offered a lifeline’ by a specialist orthopaedic vet to save his deformed leg from amputation.

The couple have launched a Go Fund Me appeal to raise £5,000 to afford his treatment – but ideally need to raise this in just two months’ time. Anything raised beyond the cost of his surgery will be donated to Many Tears Animal Rescue in Wales, who take on additional needs/deaf/blind dogs.

Health issues are more typical and more severe when two merle dogs are bred together, so it is recommended that a merle be bred to a dog with a solid coat colour only.

Jenny, said: “We need to raise funds for what will potentially be a life saving operation for Hopper as he may not be able to cope with an amputation. We have been offered a lifeline by an experienced orthopediac vet but this surgery would be very expensive.

“Beautiful Hopper came into our lives in May this year when he was 10 weeks old. Hopper was the result of accidental breeding of two merle dogs and inheriting double merle genes meant that Hopper is both deaf and blind. We responded to an advert from two lovely ladies who were trying to find a home for Hopper.

“Hopper was also born with a deformity on his right hind leg. He can bear weight on it occasionally but often 'hops' on his left.

“X-rays show that Hopper has a twisted tibula and fibula, an angular deformity, eight toes including one that is under his skin and his patella is not developing correctly.

“Our vet suggested an amputation from the hip but an amputation would be incredibly challenging for Hopper. Without sight and hearing his balance would be challenged further and his left leg, although not deformed, has some issues with the knee so an amputation would only further stress his left knee.

“However, there is hope for Hopper. He would require both a CT scan and two costly operations but this could potentially render his leg usable.

“The ideal time for his surgery would be when Hopper is six months old.

“Hopper is our world. From the minute we met him he changed our lives forever. He is a happy, playful little puppy. He has responded to touch training well, enjoys his short walks and copes well with support for being deaf and blind.

“Any donations would be so gratefully received and we thank you so much from the bottom of our hearts for taking time to read about our wonderful little miracle puppy.

“We have had a blind dog before from Romania and he had a lovely life with us, we had him for five years until he passed away around 10 years old.

To donate to the appeal, visit Go Fund Me and search for ‘Help for Hopper.’

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