We are devastated to tell you that Puggy is poorly. Although we are insured to the highest level, our pet insurance company (Tesco) is refusing our claim due to an ear infection Puggy had as puppy. They say it is classed as pre existing condition and although we have challenged them, they have let us down.
As you may or may not know, Puggy has had a really hard time lately. We shared some glimpses of what’s been happening on his social media accounts but generally choose to keep things light and cheerful as we know people love Puggys silliness. But in truth, things are a lot worse than they seem and we are only sharing this publicly now as we desperately need you to help us help our boy. Its been a nightmare situation for us and although we are trying to remain positive and upbeat, we believe that there is always a time that you should ask for help. And our time is now.
After an emergency trip to the vets following unusual behaviour and showing signs of pain in his ears, Puggys condition spiralled and he has required extensive treatment and testing ever since. Puggy has already endured so much over the past 6 weeks and has braved multiple blood tests and swabs as well as an MRI and a Spinal tap under general anaesthetic. Although his condition is slightly improving and he is somewhat comfortable, we still have more bad days than good and need to find out what exactly is causing the issues and more importantly how to treat them.
The tests so far have taught us that Puggys issues are not neurological and that the issues are with his ears and his balance, but so many more tests are needed. What we know for certain is that Puggy is suffering from extreme Vestibular disease, along with perforations in both ear drums, with foreign matter trapped in his inner ear. This means he is constantly dizzy, he is deaf, his vision is impaired, he has a permanent head tilt, nausea, confusion, falls over regularly and struggles to walk. We have managed to find systems around the home to deal with this, such as carrying him around in his fluffy bag bed, using a buggy when out and about, holding him up while he poops and eats and making him as comfortable as possible. But we can really sense that he is unhappy and wants to be able to do the things he loves, consistently without pain or risk of injury.
Puggy has been referred to a specialist team of vets, neurologists and dermatologists, who are all doing their best to work out the best way to cure him. Puggy has been on antibiotics, pain relief and steroids for 6 weeks now and will need further scans when his eardrums heal to determine the best way to remove the foreign matter and infection from his inner ear canal. This is a complex issue with any dog, especially pugs who have exceptionally small, complicated ear canals, meaning surgery is probably our only option. We will find out more at the end of this month.
We have promised Puggy that we will do our best by him and if there is a way to cure him, we will find it, no matter what! But sadly, this treatment comes at a cost. Our vet bills are spiralling, and we already owe over £6,000 (not including the time off work we have had to take to care for him, prescriptions, travel etc..). We simply don't have the funds as we trusted our insurer would cover the costs, especially considering we have only ever made one claim with them and we had the most premium policy available. We foresee the eventual costs to be around the region of £12,000, but will update you all as we move forward.
As you probably know, Puggy is an internet Pug and has had multiple viral videos of him doing silly stuff in order to spread joy and make people smile. We are not ready for Puggy to give that all up, as he loves nothing more than posing for treats and doing fun silly things to make billions of people laugh all around the world. Puggys simple pleasures have been taken from him, he cant go for walks, perform tricks, play with our other dogs, enjoy puzzle toys or even fish for treats in his beloved ball pit. All we want is for him to feel some sense of normality and to be a silly, carefree pug once more.
We understand that many people have found the pandemic extremely difficult and we know the timing is terrible, but if you can, please help! Our hearts are breaking every day and we would love for things to return to normally for Puggy and for us as a family.
For now we will continue to do everything we can to help Puggy stay safe and pain free and he will continue to be the brave, endearing little superstar he always has been!
*** Most images and videos you see on his social media pages are from the archives or were filmed before he fell ill.
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