Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Can you help Charlie this Xmas?

Two weeks ago Charlie was a stray. Mr Campbell and his partner found him and took him in. They thought he had a mild skin problem so they took him to see a vet for a check up.

Unfortunately the vet discovered it wasn't a mild  problem - it was very serious. Charlie seemed to have suffered a very nasty chemical burn and needed intensive steroid treatment. The vet, Catherine Hambly, told Tailwaggers she is not sure whether they will be able to save Charlie's sight which has also been affected.

The Campbell family already love Charlie. They hadn't been looking for a dog but he found them. He gets on very well with their children and although they are on benefits they have already managed to pay the vet  £220 so far. The vet estimates further treatment costs at £550. The Blue Cross have offered £100 and gave the vet Tailwaggers phone number. Tailwaggers has matched the Blue Cross offer and agreed £100 but the trustees would very much like to be able to offer to pay more.

If you would like to donate to Charlie's case please use the Just Giving button - this near to Christmas it must be very difficult for the Campbell's to find this unexpected amount. 

Charlie has found a loving home and we'd like to help his new owners over this very rough start.

Who knows what led Charlie's previous owner's to abandon him, or indeed what happened to him to cause him such horrible chemical burns, but he's happy now and getting treatment.

We'll be launching an appeal in  Dogs Today but as this is an urgent case we thought we should put it straight on the blog.

If more money is raised than is needed to treat Charlie the funds will go to help other pet owners in distress.

We'll come back to the blog with news of how Charlie is, let's hope his kind new owners all have a lovely Christmas together.

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Alfie and Skye - Tailwaggers success stories


Alfie is the much loved companion of pensioners, Margaret and Robert Stebbens.  He came into their lives in October 2008 when he was just six weeks old.  Tragically, Alfie’s breeder had died only two weeks before.  Margaret and Robert tried to arrange insurance for Alfie at the time, but were told by PetPlan that this could not be done until he was eight weeks old.  Sadly, Alfie became ill within days.  One morning Margaret found him pressing his head against the wall and when he tried to move, kept bumping into things.

Alfie was hospitalised for a week for observation and tests and was found to have congenital portosystemic liver shunt.  A liver shunt is a blood vessel that by-passes liver tissue, carrying blood from the intestines, stomach, spleen and pancreas to the heart before it can be filtered.  This results in insufficient blood supply to the liver so that it cannot function properly.  The toxins in Alfie’s blood were poisoning him and causing blindness.  He needed life-saving surgery at a cost of £1,700, a terrible shock for Margaret and Robert and a sum that they simply could not afford.  In addition there were costs for a special diet, further medication and further tests to see if Alfie’s liver was functioning normally after the surgery.  There was an agonising post op period of 48 hours when Alfie fought for his life under the dedicated care of his veterinary nurse, Amy.

Tailwaggers was able to contribute towards the cost of Alfie’s treatment and thankfully he has made a full recovery.  In Margaret’s words, ‘We love Alfie unconditionally.  He has brought so much fun into our lives and we couldn’t imagine life without him.  He’s so full of mischief.  He’s just our little Alfie.  We are so grateful to Tailwaggers for helping to pay for Alfie’s treatment.’

Note:  Portosystemic liver shunts are seen frequently in some dog breeds, including Irish Wolfhounds, Maltese and Yorkshire Terriers, which suggests a hereditary cause.


Skye’s owner, Michelle Taylor realised something was wrong with her beautiful tortoiseshell cat when she noticed that Skye hadn’t moved from the same sitting position for several hours during the night.  Michelle also noticed that Skye’s pupils were dilated.

In the morning Skye seemed a little better and went outside as usual but very unusually she didn’t return.  Michelle spent hours the following evening trying to find her cat, feeling distraught at the thought that Skye may have gone to find somewhere to die.  Michelle was hugely relieved when Skye returned home the following night but she was clearly very ill.  Normally a very feisty cat, Skye lay still and quiet when Michelle took her to the vet, who saw that Skye was severely dehydrated, anorexic and jaundiced.  And she needed further tests to diagnose exactly what was wrong.

Diagnostic tests and treatment were likely to cost several hundred pounds – a huge worry for Michelle and her family, as was the decision about how much it was fair to put Skye through.  Fortunately for Michelle her veterinary practice were very understanding and helpful and were willing to start treatment with a payment of £50.  They also contacted the RSPCA who agreed to contribute a further £30.  The Cats Protection League was unable to help, as Michelle didn’t fit their critieria, but gave her the contact number for Tailwaggers.

The rest, as they say, is history.  Tailwaggers did help.  Skye’s digestive system had an allergic reaction to the waste material being carried away from her liver, but she responded to steroids and antibiotics and is now fully recovered.

Case histories written by trustee Carol Fowler


This blog will enable us to bring you news of urgent Tailwaggers campaigns or other ways you can get involved with this tiny, ancient charity.