Kind-hearted dog lovers are digging deep in their pockets and sending prayers out for a bright and alert puppy who was left with just weeks to live.
The lovely little Labrador pup has a medical condition that blocks food from getting to his tummy, starving him to death. Bred at aVets immediately diagnosed Persistent Right Aortic Arch which can only be rectified by expensive specialist keyhole surgery
Veterinary assistant Laura Gould has taken the pup to her heart and is now co-ordinating an appeal to fund the treatment for the puppy – which has been named Cadbury – partly because he is chocolate coloured and partly because he appeared in the lead-up to Easter.
"Dogsfriends, based at Rodney Stoke, are absolutely brilliant and go above and beyond what many other rescue centres do, they take on animals that some other centres would just turn away," she said.
"Cadbury was already suffering from malnutrition and was very skinny. We carried out a very thorough investigation and found he has Persistent Right Aortic Arch – where a large pocket of soft tissue has formed in his oesophagus.
"It means that when he eats the pocket of tissue collects the food and he vomits so the food doesn't reach his tummy.
"In the short-term we have been able to recommend a different way of eating so basically you elevate the front of his body and feed him small balls of food, waiting a few minutes before you feed him again.
"Labradors are always hungry but obviously Cadbury was starving. Sue Sparrow, from Bristol, is acting as foster mum for Cadbury. Thanks to her care the puppy is putting on weight and starting to enjoy life as he should be. Laura said he's put on enough weight now for him to have the keyhole surgery operation that will ultimately save his life."This week Cadbury is going to have his operation, at Highcroft Vets in Bristol, under specialist senior soft tissue surgeon Juliet Hatch," said Laura.
"It is a very big operation for such a little fellow. There certainly are risks, and the first 24 to 48 hours after the operation will be pretty critical for Cadbury."
Unfortunately the specialist surgery comes with quite a price tag. The operation itself will cost about £1,000 and the aftercare is expected to be the same.
"We've set up an appeal for Cadbury and staff at all our branches have joined in with the fundraising, baking cakes and putting together bags of dog treats to sell in our surgeries," said Laura.
Anyone who would like to donate can do so at the practice's surgeries in Wells, Cheddar and Blackford.
Laura added: "People are being very kind and we are all keeping our fingers crossed for Cadbury, who despite everything is so full of life."
Cadbury got through the operation OK.