Operation turns Barney into a ‘different dog’

A DOG, believed to have been bred on a Welsh puppy farm, is recovering after undergoing major surgery for a life-threatening condition.

W12914H14  Julie Bennett and Billy Elliott with Barney
W12914H14 Julie Bennett and Billy Elliott with Barney

Barney, a West Highland terrier, was born with an abnormal blood vessel going around the liver, which caused toxins to build up, which affected behaviour and growth.

Barney’s previous owners gave up the dog to the Worthing & District Animal Rescue Service (WADARS), as the cost of veterinary treatment and the worry for its welfare was too much for them. Billy Elliott, senior animal rescue officer at WADARS, said: “The vet is really pleased. Barney seems to have come out really well, he’s much happier and his tail’s wagging.

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“He must have been walking around like he had a permanent hangover.”

The surgery partially closed the abnormal vessel, which will continue to close over the next few days allowing blood to be filtered through the liver.

Barney was originally purchased from a ‘breeder’ in Chichester, who provided a vaccination certificate from a vet in Wales.

The family which had Barney before its operation had already spent £500 on medical bills in the space of four weeks before they found out that an operation would cost around £2,000.

Billy said: “Spending that kind of money on one animal is a lot for a local charity like us.”

Following the operation, Barney has been in the care of dog fosterer Julie Bennett. Julie, 43, of Hildon Park, Durrington, said: “When I first had him, we thought it was touch and go, because his behaviour was so bad and his co-ordination wasn’t right. But since the operation, he’s a completely different dog.

“He’s absolutely gorgeous and I love him to bits. He’s part of the family and will make someone a cracking dog. He’s going from strength to strength. To see him improve the way he has is so satisfying for me.”

On March 30, Grove Lodge veterinary nurse Vanessa Tobias will be taking part in the Warrior Run at Albourne – a six-kilometre ‘extreme’ obstacle course – in memory of her friend and fellow veterinary nurse Dee White and to raise money for Barney’s treatment.

“Because Dee loved animals, if I was to do something, she would have wanted it to be for WADARS, so I decided to do it for a young animal that needed a life-saving op,” she said.

To make a contribution, visit www.justgiving.com/Vanessa-Tobias or text NEST72 to 70070 followed by a pound sign and donation amount.

A link can also be found at www.facebook.com/GroveLodgeVets