Family runs up £10,000 bill to save dog impaled on spike
A family ran up a £10,000 vets bill to save their beloved pet dog – after he was impaled on a metal spike.
Beloved pointer Mo bounded into bushes to investigate some old junk left by fly tippers and literally skewered himself on the metal rod.
The rusty spike went into his ribcage and punctured his lung, stomach and diaphragm leaving a hole the size of a fist and missing his heart by inches.
Owner Annette Siddle, 56, drove the one-year-old to a vet who worked furiously into the early hours during a seven-hour operation.
NEW IN : for those cold winter nights highland check dog and cat beds in stock, fleecy and washable ideal for those nights snuggling by the fire...... available in 3 colourways
Contact: 01271 440626
Valid until: Saturday, January 25 2014
Mo survived but because he was uninsured his family were left facing a massive £10,000 bill for his operation.
Anette, a married mother-of-two, said: “We were doing our walk in the woods which we’ve done for the past 26 years.
“Mo ran off to some bushes and brambles and I suddenly heard him screaming.
“It was a nightmare – he managed to pull himself off whatever it was and come back to us but there was so much blood it was unbelievable.
“I immediately rang my husband who came to collect us and take us to the vets.”
The accident happened as Annette was taking Mo for a walk in the countryside near her home in Ottery St Mary, Devon.
The wounded pet managed to wrench himself free by the time Annette had caught up with him but was losing blood and struggling for breath.
Annette, a librarian, and her businessman husband Chris, 58, drove for 40 mins to get Mo to a vet.
Charlie Youngs of Cave Vets in Wellington, Somerset, began the life-saving op at 5:30pm and did not stop until 1:30am.
He made three huge incisions and cut though Mo’s breast bone before repairing his lung and diaphragm and removing a section of stomach.
The bill for his extraordinary work was £6,500 and the cost could potentially rise as high as £10,000 with after-care.
However for Annette, Chris, and their two children Amelia, 22 and William 19, it was money well spent.
The family breed pointers for a hobby and also have chickens and cats.
Amelia said: “The hole in Mo’s side was unbelievable – you could fit your fist in it. The scar is pretty huge as well.
“But the money is not the issue, our animals are very much part of the family and we would do anything for them.
“The vets have been absolutely amazing and its a small miracle that Mo is even alive.
They have more than earned their money.”
Annette does not insure her many pets because she says the cost of covering them all would be prohibitive.
She has since returned to secluded East Hill – the spot where Mo was injured – to search for evidence and blames poachers, or more probably selfish flytippers.
East Devon District Council said 619 cases of fly-tipping were reported across East Devon in the last 12 months and East Hill is a regarded as a ‘hotspot’.
Annette said: “It was a metal rod in a pile of car parts and things like that – it looked like it had been there for a while.
“I’m incensed at these lazy, selfish flytippers – they don’t care as long as they’ve got rid of their rubbish.
“Dog walkers shouldn’t have to worry about what people might have dumped.
“Mo is making a slow recovery at home, he’s still in quite a lot of pain, but we’re all just so thankful he’s still alive.
“Although the vets bills were enormous, we won’t be insuring Mo as we breed pointers and so have a number at any given time. It’s a balancing act really and a risk we’re willing to take.”
Mr Youngs said Mo’s wounds were some of the worst he had even been confronted with and that it was an “absolute miracle” he survived.
He said: “The piece of metal narrowly missed his heart and windpipe. We deal with a lot of serious injuries but this is one of the more spectacular ones we’ve seen.”