Fergus is a 10 week old Shih Tzu puppy that arrived at the Sanctuary as his previous owner's illness meant he was unable to cope with such a young pup. Having been bought from an advert on the internet and with no breeder information or paperwork, it became clear to us that Fergus is just one of the many thousands of puppy farm bred dogs in this country. Often inbred or from parents with medical conditions and in poor conditions without any health screening, the worst cases don't survive at all.
Sadly, on arrival it was immediately obvious that Fergus suffered with a condition called Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS)
Often seen in flat and short nose breeds such as English and French bulldogs, Pugs, Shih-Tzus and Pekingese, those with the condition are often brought to us struggling for breath, often unable to exercise and play as they want without the risk of collapse. Often sleep deprived during the night, these poor dogs can choke when asleep, their struggle to breathe constantly waking them up throughout the night. Those with the worst cases are often seen struggling in the heat or gasping for breath as they try to live a normal life. Sadly, their compacted skeleton can cause several other malformations, often leading to secondary issues.
Fergus is one of the worst cases of this we have seen and is in urgent need of BOAS surgery. However, as he is so young and vulnerable, having already needed courses of steroids to make him comfortable, we are seeking the help of some of the country's best veterinary BOAS specialists.
Of course, this will come at a great cost.
We may be a small independent charity, but at Holly Hedge we believe that every animal that comes into our care deserves the best quality of life and the promise of a brighter future.
To see a little puppy like Fergus jump and play until he realises that his little body cannot cope, gasping for breath as he collapses to the floor, is heart breaking. We continue to try and educate people about the risks of buying puppies from the internet, often from car boots or car parks and without seeing the parents, but we still take in hundreds of animals like Fergus every year.
YOU can make the difference. Only YOU, can help provide Fergus and other puppies like him with the surgery he needs to live his life as he was meant to.
Can YOU be a hero for Fergus and make a donation towards his surgery today?
Thank you for reading his story.