A baggy-headed bloodhound has been saved from sightlessness after his owner forked out more that £8,000 for a facelift.
David and Denise Smart, who live in Selby, North Yorkshire, couldn’t bear to see their pet Junior go blind. The poor pooch is affected by an uncommon skin disorder – he had not developed into his skin like he should have, and the excess that was on his forehead had begun to droop down and obscure his vision.
The couple first became aware of the problem when they took Junior to a veterinarian to remove an eyelash that had been brushing against his eye. However, things didn’t get better, and he began to suffer from a condition called Entropion, which put him in danger of losing his vision completely.
Junior, who is the the son of Fortitude, a Best in Breed at Crufts, was referred to specialist Gary Lewin, who carried out the dangerous op. Although he had performed the operation hundreds of times previously on Spaniels, he described it as the hardest operation he had ever performed. Nevertheless,the three hour procedure was completed successfully, rescuing the hapless pup’s sight.
Denise, 49, recounted how the ordeal began:
“We got him when he was just a puppy and noticed he seemed to be in a lot of pain in his early life. He could hardly see and he used to get grumpy as a result.
“We have four other dogs and he was really twitchy with the others when they came up behind him.
“We took him to the vets and he had an eyelash removed because they thought that might have been scraping against his eye, but it didn’t make much difference.
‘When he became fully grown us and the vets realised he had just not grown into his skin. It was just a freak quirk of fate, and the vet said he’s never seen a case of this with a Bloodhound.”
Luckily, the couple were covered by a pet insurance policy, and Junior has recovered fully. David, 42, said:
“He’s a lot less grumpy and aggressive now. He can still be nervous, but he’s a lot happier with life.”