Family plea to save eight-month-old pup Ellie
- Credit: Hayley Edwards
The family of a beloved eight-month-old puppy in dire need of life-saving surgery is appealing to members of the community to give their dog the best chance of survival.
Ellie the Rottweiler, who is doted on by Hayley Edwards, Simon Munday and their two children - Ollie, seven, and Daisy, five - has been diagnosed with two heart conditions which mean her chance of surviving the next few months are dwindling.
The family carefully selected Ellie from a reputable breeder, and her early vet check came up all clear - except for a heart murmur, a condition which is fairly common in large breed dogs.
Hayley, from Great Ashby, described the heartbreak felt by the whole family when Ellie was later diagnosed with pulmonic stenosis and tricuspid regurgitation.
"I think what I'm most fearful of is where the vets say she's got a couple of months, and the surgery's been booked for four weeks time.
"My head won't rest until they say that she's coming in."
Ellie's heart conditions mean that her right ventricle and pulmonary artery are too narrow, and she needs surgery to insert a balloon and widen the valve. Her stomach is also full of fluids - her heart is having to work too hard and fluid is leaking backwards.
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The poorly pup is currently being treated at the Royal Veterinary College near Potters Bar by one of the leading cardiologist teams in Europe. Hayley has dubbed these vets "our final hope".
"She is the most loving dog. Rottweilers get bad press; but she is not that dog.
"She is the soppiest thing. Anyone that meets her thinks she's pathetic!"
Hayley and her family hope that soft-natured Ellie will get the help she desperately needs.
"She's just lovely. One way or another, we'll find the money. I'm not willing to give up.
"We bought her to be a member of the family, so I'm not willing to give up on her and say that there's nothing we can do."
She added that the family has been overwhelmed by the support of friends and strangers, who have so far raised £740 of the £6,000 needed to pay for her surgery and subsequent medications: "What has been lovely is that the vast majority of the donations on the GoFundMe have been from Rottweiler and large-breed Facebook groups.
"It's amazing - the absolute support of complete strangers. I never knew this existed. I've found it really, really overwhelming. They're donating, sharing it, they're sending me private messages asking how she's doing... I'm literally my dog's PA!"
A member of the Rottweiler owner community has organised an online dog show in aid of Ellie's treatment, as they feel "no pet should face being put to sleep due to lack of funds".
Hayley noted that the weeks since Ellie's prognosis have been tough for the family, stating that she "beside herself" with worry.
She holds out hope that a cancellation will come up which will bring forward Ellie's surgery, but knows that would mean another family in a similar position to Hayley's have lost their beloved pet.