Willow needs your help

Willow is a 6 month old Golden Labrador puppy who has developed Elbow Dysplasia in both front legs.

Willow is our first dog so when we started looking for a breeder we found a lovely couple who had five puppies for sale. We did all the checks and went to visit Willow in her family home when she was just 3 weeks old, we both fell in love with her straight away. 

We visited often and saw her and her siblings at play as well as the mother. We are still in contact with the breeder, even meeting up with the mother and her brother and sister for a family reunion, and none of the other pups have developed any symptoms

Willow is the most placid dog you could ever wish to meet, she likes nothing better than to be licking your hands or your face given half a chance. We can count on one hand the amount of times she has barked, even the postman loves her!

She was checked by our vet when receiving her injections at 8 weeks and 10 weeks, and was given the all clear with regards to any hip or elbow problems.

At the age of 5 months Willow had developed a limp in her right leg so we took her to the vets who at first diagnosed a pulled muscle, and we went home with some painkillers and anti inflammatory. We were also advised to give her minimum exercise to help her rest her leg.

We returned to the vets the following week as the limp was still there and she was in obvious pain. We scheduled an x-ray which showed she had dysplasia in her right elbow and the beginnings of it in her left elbow. The x-ray also checked on her other leg joints both front and back and there is no problem there. According to the vet it is 'one of those things' and Labradors are very prone to joint problems.

We have pet insurance which covers £2000 per condition and with the cost of medication and the x-ray this has come to £450 (including excess). Willow now needs to see a specialist for further examination and the operations on both legs. We have been quoted £240 for the initial consultation with one specialist and from another vet practice we have been quoted £2300 for the operation on both legs.

After many discussions with our insurance company we can increase our cover to £5000 per condition.. BUT.. the elbow dysplasia is now classed as a pre-existing condition so it would not be covered by the new amount, essentially leaving us with £1600 left. AND, if the costs run past the remaining £600 we have to get permission from the insurance company for the remaining £1000 to be released, which they might refuse to do!!

Why do we need £3500?

£240 per consultation (depending on vet)
£1200 for a CT scan
£2300 for the operation (at least depending on vet)
Return visits and follow ups including medication - an unknown amount.
We will also be using as much of the insurance as we possibly can towards the costs.

We simply do not have the amount of money required to pay for this. My wife and I both work but there is never enough money to go around and live month by month. We could start saving towards this but the length of time it would take us to put away that amount would be too late for Willow. Her legs are starting to turn outwards and is in obvious pain. If we don't get the operations done soon she will be lame by the time she is one year old and unable to walk.

In the short time we have had her she has become our world, she loves everybody unconditionally. She is not a barker, a biter, or a chewer (touch wood) even though she is still teething. If she sees someone across the road she wants to go and say hello and everybody who meets her says what a beautiful dog she is.

We have tried every avenue we can think of to raise this money without success and we now come cap in hand to ask for help from the goodwill and generosity of others. Please help Willow have a long term future.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and for any help you can give

Willow X

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Paul Morrow 
Caister-on-Sea, East of England, United Kingdom
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