Tragic Bambi the spaniel cannot walk properly because her back legs are so badly deformed they look like a fish’s tail. When she was brought into an animal rescue centre filthy, malnourished, covered in sores and with her legs dragging, it was feared she had been so badly injured that she would have to be put to sleep. Yet 12 month old Bambi’s back legs were not buckling because of the way she had been hurled callously from a passing van but from a medical condition that vets can treat with surgery.
Rescue and rehoming charity National Animal Welfare Trust has launched a fund-raising campaign to pay for Bambi’s operation and rehabilitation.
Bambi was brought recently to their Watford headquarters by a local dog warden with things looking decidedly ominous.
Rescue centre manager Jackie de Friez explained: “Bambi came to us filthy, hugely underweight and she had sores all over her. The memory of her mistreated and malnourished body is one that will haunt the staff for a long time.”
The sight of Bambi struggling to walk also horrified staff.
Bambi has been dubbed Mermaid Puppy because of her deformed legs (Image: National Animal Welfare Trust)
Bambi has condition that has left her back legs deformed (Image: National Animal Welfare Trust )
Bambi's deformed legs have led her to be called Mermaid Puppy (Image: National Animal Welfare Trust)
Ms de Friez continued: “When standing naturally, her back end curls under her hips and her back legs appeared to be buckling under the pressure.
“We call her the Mermaid Puppy because her back legs are so deformed they almost make the shape of a tail. We thought she had suffered a spinal injury due to being thrown from a van and the emergency vet who had seen Bambi before she arrived in our care had initially advised euthanasia.
“Thankfully, there are rules around stray dogs, which state an owner must be allowed seven days to come forward and claim their dog.”
With Bambi struggling and in pain, the rescue centre took her to their vets for a second opinion.
Ms de Friez added: “Here, we found out her condition was something she had lived with from birth. Bambi has one of the worst cases of something called ‘lateral luxating patellae’ which means her back legs need to be operated on to free her of pain.”
Beautiful Bambi deserves a chance to enjoy life pain free, say campaigners (Image: National Animal Welfare Trust)
A leading veterinary specialist has offered to carry out the operation but with surgery on both legs, along with physiotherapy and hydrotherapy to keep the kneecaps in place, the charity needs to raise £5,500.
Charity supporter Carol Spencer, who is currently fostering Bambi, said: “Because Bambi is a young dog, she’s desperate to run and play and she’s proven herself to be a tough little cookie as she battles her disability, but her fighting spirit is causing her further problems.
“She suffers from a constant sore on the top of her left foot, where she drags it along behind her as she plays. She over-exercises, desperate to run and play, and tires herself out so that she’s left having to play laying down.”
As of today, the charity has raised £3,650 on Bambi’s Just Giving page and is telling supporters: “This is an enormous expense for a charity like ours, where every single penny is accounted for. However, it’s an expense that will allow a beautiful natured little dog, who has been so harshly betrayed by humans in the past, the chance to live the life she deserves.”
If you would like to donate and help Bambi, please visit: https://www.nawt.org.uk/blog/help-bambi-live-pain-free
Keep Them Active. Energy varies between breeds, says Dr. Becker. “Greyhounds, Labs, Golden Retrievers, Jack Russell Terriers, Border Collies, and other active breeds have unfathomable energy.” He continues, “wolves spend 80% of their time awake, moving. With cats, there’s not such an exercise requirement,” but providing outlets for play at home is still crucial. For both cats and dogs he recommends food-dispensing that “recreates the hunt,” and puzzle feeders that engage your pet’s “body and mind.”