Can you help Bertie jump and run again?
An animal rescue centre in Bicester, Oxon is imploring people to donate money to help a beautiful shih tzu run and jump again.
One-year-old Bertie has a genetic condition that caused his legs to stop growing – his feet are now rolled underneath his body and he’s in agony. The funds will go towards his surgery, which costs £4,000 in total, and will allow him to live life like a normal dog.
To correct the issue, vets will need to break both of his front legs and fit them with metal plates. The procedure includes two operations, one for each leg, six weeks recovery and months of physio.
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Bertie will also need to be kept in a crate while his legs heal.
His condition is rare, and the pooch wasn’t diagnosed until he was nine months old. His former owners couldn’t afford the surgery or the rehab, and so brought Bertie to Ardley Rescue Kennels.
‘If you imagine your elbow to your wrist you have the two bones – the radius and the ulna – in Bertie those stopped growing,’ said Annabelle Weir, from the centre.
‘Because all the other bits continue growing it made his legs bow and caused his paws to go underneath him. He can’t really run or jump and if he does too much it leaves him in pain and he just limps around.’
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‘He’s still a puppy really and he wants to run around and play and meet other dogs, but he just can’t,’ she said. ‘It’s a genetic condition he was born with, but it wasn’t apparent when the owners got him as a puppy.
‘You could see there was something wrong when he was about five months old. But it wasn’t until October when they took him to the vet and he was diagnosed.
‘I think it would be very difficult for a member of the public to cope with him now and it was just going to be too much for his owners.’
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Annabelle said: ‘He will need two operations, one on each leg, which will cost about £4,000. The vets are kindly doing it not-for-profit for us, so we just have to pay for equipment and anaesthetic and X-rays he’ll need afterwards.
After the operation he will need to be in a crate and not move around, which is going to be hard for him, but it will be better in the long run, it will give him a new lease of life.
‘He’s a happy and active dog, he loves being outside and it’s such a shame that he’s not going to be able to but it will be so much better for him in the long run. These operations will give him a new lease of life.
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‘If everything goes smoothly Bertie will be able to do everything a normal dog can, although he is likely to suffer badly with arthritis when he’s older.’
Can you help Bertie? To donate money, visit his Go Fund Me page .
The centre is also trying to raise an additional £6,000 to save his friends, including 12-year-old Jack Russell, Molly; one-year-old rottweiler cross, Hank, and four-year-old Bichon Frise, Doug.