Now that’s puppy love! Adorable dog with a deadly heart disease is saved after whole village club together to buy her a pacemaker
Now that’s what you call puppy love! An adorable pooch with a broken heart was saved – after an entire village clubbed together to help pay for emergency surgery.
Springer Spaniel Alice was given just days to live by vets when they discovered only a third of her heart was working.
Her devastated owners, Siouxie and Richard Nelson, were told her only option was to have surgery to install a pacemaker – but it would set them back a hefty £3680 – more money than they had.
Desperate nurse, Siouxie, 26, set up an online appeal to help fund Alice’s operation, and within hours, word got round the village of Woodhouse Eaves, Leics, where the couple live – and friends, family and neighbours chipped in more than £2000 to help fund the surgery.
Now, three-year-old Alice is fighting fit – and has fully recovered from the operation.
Siouxie, said: “I didn’t even know dogs could have pacemakers, of course humans can have them, but I never thought a lively young pup would need one.
“It was heart-breaking seeing Alice so unwell.
“Without those generous donations she might not be here today and I can’t describe how much love and joy she brings to our lives.
“It’s a small village so everyone knows Alice. She’s so friendly, so everyone wanted to help her when she heard she was ill.
“We are eternally grateful to everyone who donated to save Alice’s life.”
Siouxie and husband Richard, a bricklayer, first took Alice to see vets when she started collapsing – and she was diagnosed with a third degree heart block.
She said: “Alice is normally so lively and is obsessed with playing with her tennis balls, but suddenly, she wasn’t interested.
“Then she began to faint which was really distressing, I heard her walking into the room but as I turned around to greet her she fell to the floor.
“We were told she needed a pacemaker fitted within a few days to save her life.
“The operation was a no-brainer for us, we would do anything for her.
“Anyone who is a dog lover will understand how much they mean to you and are a member of your family.
“We do keep money aside for vet bills but this amount in such a short space of time was unfortunately out of our reach, and we only had about half the amount it would cost saved up.
“That’s when we set up our fundraising page and within hours we were left speechless by all of the donations pouring in.
“We live in a small village and it was great to see so many people, including our family, friends and even strangers chipping in.
“Even after the operation three months ago, people are still donating, and since then we’ve tried to give something back by donating once a month to other dog fundraising pages to help others who are going through a similar situation.”
Villagers donated just over £2,187, donated by 77 people towards the operation within a week of the page being set up.
Alice had surgery at the Vet Cardiorespiratory Centre, in Kenilworth, Warks.
Siouxie said: “Our Vet, Mike Martin, went above and beyond to save Alice’s life.
“Mike and his team in our opinion are extraordinary, to have developed such skills as to use human pacemakers in dogs and have the dedication and passion to pioneer such treatment is astounding.
“Now we are three months post-op and Alice is completely back to normal – it really is unbelievable.
“The pacemaker battery life for Alice is around seven years, but she now has her very own savings account so she can use as many batteries as she likes.
“Anyone who would like to keep in touch with Alice’s progress can follow her gofundme page, fix Alice’s heart.”
Laura Dickenson, a Referral Nurse from The Veterinary Cardiorespiratory Centre said: “Alice was a great patient.
“Thankfully her surgery went well and we were pleased with her recovery.
“Pacemaker surgery is really a very rewarding and enjoyable procedure for us as we have so many pets that have such an improved quality of life.
“Early signs and symptoms of heart problems can be a change in your pet’s exercise levels, breathing or coughing but also any signs of collapsing like Alice.
“If your pet is experiencing any of these then they should be referred to a Specialist Veterinary Cardiologist for examination and diagnostic tests as soon as possible.
“Here at the Veterinary Cardiorespiratory Centre we have our own Facebook page, Dogs with Pacemakers, so families can get in touch with each other and get support and advice.”