Meet the pug with bizarre stretchy skin condition who was so ill vets advised EHR owners to put her to sleep – but who’s been saved by wearing a baby grow
Meet adorable Pepper the Pug – the pooch who owes her life to a BABY GROW.
Cute Pepper was born with a bizarre condition that makes her skin super-stretchy – and so fragile that it blisters and tears at the slightest touch.
The condition is so severe that vets advised devastated owner Nicola Galpin, to have Pepper put down when she was just a few weeks old.
But brainy Nicola came up with a method of stopping her hound’s skin from rubbing and tearing – by dressing her in a BABY GROW.
Now the pampered pooch has a bursting wardrobe which includes six baby-grows, two cardigans, two coats and one Christmas jumper- which all provide the vital warmth and protection which keeps her alive.
Nicola, from Clacton-on-Sea, Essex said: “I love wrapping her up in clothes. She needs the protection because her skin is so weak but it makes me feel nice too. She looks absolutely adorable but it’s also for her own good, it’s kept her alive.
“The vets said she would probably tear her skin so often it would be kindest to put her down – but I couldn’t give up on her and knew I would find a way to keep her safe.
“She has a lack of collagen in her body, meaning that she has nothing to hold her skin in place, but the baby-grows really help her- it’s amazing.”
Pepper has a condition called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, which causes her skin to ear easily and makes her skin extra stretchy. Dogs suffering from the condition don’t usually survive puppyhood, but at almost two years old, thanks to Nicola’s baby-grow idea, Pepper is still going strong.
Nicola has collected baby grows and from from family friends, who are happy to donate their cast-offs to donate their cast-offs to help little Pepper.
She was on the brink of giving up on her young puppy in Christmas 2013 when Pepper, just seven-months-old, needed an operation to repair her hips.
The 41–year-old said: “Afterwards she had so many tears and holes in her body, the vet advised us to put her down but she was only a puppy and so full of love. We just couldn’t do it.”
Today, Pepper is still going strong despite having to be checked for cuts on a regular basis. She is now 18-months-old and showing no signs of slowing down.
Nicola said: “She doesn’t even notice that there’s anything wrong! She runs around like a maniac, is extremely playful and loves her life.
“In some positions she looks like she’s wearing a hoodie because her skin hangs about two inches underneath her body and gathers all around her joints.
“Sometimes, she’s got so much excess skin that you can wrap your hand in her like a glove.”
Pepper even has to wear a special jacket when going out in the car with Nicola but there’s no doubt she’s a happy dog.
“She’s never in pain. She doesn’t even notice any new cuts until she starts playfully licking them.”
Now Pepper is helping other dogs with the condition and has a Facebook page called ‘My name is Pepper….Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome will not beat me!!’
Nicola said: “People from all over the world have joined to get help and advice from her and me.
“Someone even sent me a medical ointment, called Equiade, that is usually used on horses, which we’ve found is really helpful for treating Pepper’s wounds.
A spokesperson from the Ehlers-Danlos National Foundation said: “Dogs show not only the same clinical and pathological features as humans with EDS but they also have the same problems with medical management.
“Dogs with EDS have skin and joint laxity that far exceeds that of any normal dog. Often, they have luxated hip joints but do not appear to have pain associated with it.
“Despite the shorter life expectancy, they are able to run and play like most other dogs.”