When the poor pooch was discovered its coat was so matted the man who found him initially could not tell if he was alive or not.
Upon closer inspection, the man realised the dog was breathing but terrified so decided to take the animal home with him.
However, after a week the man released the Shih Tzu needed more help than he could provide so took him to a vet, at which point the RSPCA was called. The dog, now named Ashton, after where he was discovered, was rushed to Greater Manchester Animal Hospital for emergency veterinary treatment. Once at the hospital vets shaved around 10% of Ashton’s bodyweight off in matted fur to allow him to move freely. They also discovered Ashton, who is thought to be around six years old, is blind in one eye due to glaucoma and has very little sight in the other due to cataracts.
Use a Food Dispensing Toy for Fast Eaters. If your dog eats too fast use a food dispensing toy (we love the Kong Wobbler & Bob a Lot), or place a few tennis balls in their bowl to slow their eating. Not only does this keep them from eating too quick, it gives them a nice mental workout.
RSPCA Inspector Ryan King said given Ashton’s poor eyesight it was ‘not surprising the poor dog’ was ‘too terrified’ to move from where he was abandoned. ‘Sadly it looks like both eyes may have to be removed to prevent further suffering – although vets will do all they can to save the eye with cataracts,’ Ryan said.
Socialize your pet. This is especially important for puppies. Again – behavior problems are the number one reason dogs don’t stay with their families and don’t get adopted by new families. Lack of proper socialization can result in inappropriate fears, aggressive behavior, general timidity, and a host of other behavior problems that are difficult to extinguish once a dog is mature.
‘Staff had to shave off 1.3 kilograms of matted fur – which was 10% of his overall body weight – as this was preventing him from moving and causing him suffering.’
Keep a pet-friendly home. Your dog or cat is a part of the family. If she’s a kitty, she needs her own litter box in a quiet, out-of-the way corner, a scratching post or tree, her own toys, and a nice cozy spot for napping.
Ryan said while Ashton was ‘doing well in himself’ it was clear he had been cared for properly.
‘Ashton was clearly neglected and it appears that instead of seeking help for their pet the owner decided to dump him and left him in a very vulnerable position as he couldn’t see or walk – he would have been terrified in such an unknown environment, Ryan said.
Ben Faulkner, manager at Greater Manchester Animal Hospital, said when Ashton arrived at the hospital he was in a ‘terrible state with matted fur and blindness’.
If you have an older dog with tooth troubles, add a little water or chicken broth to his or her kibble and microwave for 20 to 30 seconds.
‘Sometimes matting can cut off blood supply to limbs and in some cases dogs left in this state have had to have amputations,’ Ben said.
‘Fortunately, this was not the case although the dog had overgrown nails and one was curling into the paw pad which would have caused considerable suffering.
‘He was also found to have multiple eye conditions which will require further examinations and possible removal and had ear infections in both ears which he is now receiving treatment for.’Following Ashton’s discovery, the RSPCA is appealing for information to help track down his owner.
Remove Ticks From Your Dog With a Pair of Tweezers. Don’t have a tick remover on hand? You can carefully remove ticks from your dog with a pair of fine tipped tweezers. Grab the tick by it’s mouth area (the part closest to your dogs skin) and pull firmly until it’s removed. Place the tick in a jar of alcohol to kill it, and be sure to wear gloves when dealing with ticks since they can transmit diseases to pets & people.
Anyone with information that can help the investigation should call the RSPCA appeals line on 0300 123 8018.
Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected] .
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